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Thursday’s papers: London attack, Koivisto's health, Terrafame dispute and a spring warbler

The front pages of Thursday's newspapers are dominated in Finland - as elsewhere - by news of the apparent terrorist attack in central London on Wednesday. Domestic stories range from hiring on the west coast to energy saving on farms, as well as the diminishing health of long-time President Mauno Koivisto.

Tyrinselän tuulivoimalat
New wind power jobs on the west coast pale in comparison to those at a car factory. Image: Nina Keski-Korpela / Yle

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat features a portrait of the police officer who died after being stabbed by the attacker, who had already killed four people by ploughing into them with a car. The paper's website also runs a surveillance camera video showing the events grimly unfolding on Westminster Bridge.

Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä has expressed the government's condolences, writing on Twitter: "I strongly condemn the terrible attack at the Parliament in #London. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families."

Some 40 people were hurt in the attack, including South Korean, French and Romanian citizens. Finnish authorities say there were apparently no Finns among the victims.

Koivisto homecoming just "a dream"

Turning to domestic news, Ilta-Sanomat reports that former president Mauno Koivisto has been moved into a care facility. He is 93 and suffers from Alzheimer's disease. IS quotes an interview with his wife Tellervo Koivisto, 88, in the women's magazine Me Naiset. She says that the former statesman now needs round-the-clock professional care and that a return home will likely remain "a dream".

Mauno Koivisto was president from 1982 to 1994, following the quarter-century autocratic rule of Urho Kekkonen. He finally stepped down due to ill health, including apparent dementia.

VB: Windy job prospects, watchdog eyes Yle

Vasabladet, a Swedish-language paper from the west coast, leads off with news that the Danish wind power company Vestas will be hiring 10 more people in the Ostrobothnian region. They'll be helping to build 34 new-generation wind turbines in Ömossa, near Kristinestad on the west coast.

That news, while welcome for the town, pales in comparison to Wednesday's announcement that Valmet Automotive will be hiring more than 1,000 people this spring for its car plant further down the coast in Uusikaupunki.

Vasabladet also notes that Finland's Council for Mass Media (JSN) is to weigh in on Thursday about whether the Finnish Broadcasting Company (Yle) violated good journalistic practices in its coverage of the state-owned mining company Terrafame last autumn.

The media watchdog is to take a stand on both whether Prime Minister Juha Sipilä improperly influenced the public broadcaster's reporting on his family's ties to the company, and whether Yle's management allowed external actors to make journalistic decisions in the case. The JSN has already considered the case once, declaring then that Yle had not violated the Finnish media sector's own journalistic guidelines.

MT: Energy and bird calls

Finally the national rural paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus leads off with a guide for agricultural producers on how to save energy on their farms – and how to obtain EU funding for an energy audit. The paper’s website also prominently features a startling video of dreadlocked “bird whisperer” Andreas Hansson, who has learned to precisely mimic the songs of 120 bird species. Signs of spring indeed.

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