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Friday's papers: New Terrafame owner found, Italian behind bogus Soini Twitter account, new norovirus outbreak

Finnish newspapers on Friday included news that the state-owned mining firm Terrafame has found a new owner, an Italian journalist created a fake Twitter account in the name of Finland's Foreign Minister Timo Soini, and health officials say a new strain of norovirus has broken out in Finland.

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Image: Yle

Finland's biggest daily Helsingin Sanomat reports that the state-owned nickel mining company Terrafame has found new investors.

The paper says the new interested investors are from abroad, but at least for the time being the Finnish state will retain majority ownership. The state's ultimate goal, the paper writes, is to eventually relinquish the firm entirely.

HS reports that Terrafame officials will hold a press conference early Friday afternoon.

Terrafame has been a hot topic in the news most recently due to a controversy concerning Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's involvement in the firm's funding.

Earlier this month following an investigation, the Parliamentary Ombudsman exonerated Sipilä of charges that he should not have participated in funding decisions for the state-owned firm that went on to order 500,000 euros worth of mining equipment from a company owned by his relatives.

Soini's fake Twitter account

A fake Twitter account was created in the name of Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini on Thursday, according to Finnish news service STT and published in Ilta-Sanomat.

Unlike many high level politicians these days, Soini does not have a Twitter account himself.

Yle News could not find the Twitter account in question on Friday morning, as it may likely have been already taken down. But one of the fake tweets reportedly falsely stated that the former leader of the Soviet Union Mikhail Gorbachev had died.

Shortly afterwards, the fake Soini account tweeted that it was not real and was created by Italian journalist Tommaso Debenedetti. This was not the first time he has done this sort of thing.

For years now, Debenedetti has been well known around the world for spreading fake news on Twitter, and says he does it to bring attention to how the media uses Twitter as a news source, despite its unreliability.

The incident wasn't even the first time Debenedetti targeted Soini. In 2015 he similarly created an account in Soini's name.

If Soini does eventually decide to open a Twitter account, his assistant Riikka Taivassalo said it would be formally announced.

New strain of norovirus hitting Finland

According to Helsingin Sanomat a new strain of norovirus has arrived to Finland, with more than 500 cases already reported this year. 

Health officials are concerned about the relatively rapid spread, as about 2,000 cases of norovirus are normally reported annually. The arrival of the new strain means that people have virtually no immunity to the virus, according to the paper.

The very contagious norovirus can affect anyone and when contracted causes vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain and often, fever.

Transmission can come from contact with an infected person,  from contaminated food or water or by touching contaminated surfaces.

The city of Vantaa's communicable disease expert Kirsi Valtonen recommends that people thoroughly wash their hands with soap and hot water, but also to use a disposable paper towel to touch public restroom surfaces.

"If you touch things in public places, for example doorknobs, remember not to pick your nose or put your fingers in your mouth," Valtonen warns.

Yle journalist resigns

Ilta-Sanomat leads with the resignation of Yle journalist Susanne Päivärinta, who resigned on Thursday. She took a parting shot at several Yle managers in an email to colleagues, and the redtop publishes all the details on Friday.

Her move comes after two other Yle journalists, Jussi Eronen and Salla Vuorikoski, resigned in the wake of a row over editorial lines and self-censorship after they published stories about Prime Minister Juha Sipilä's links to a sub-contractor of state-owned mining firm Terrafame.

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