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Monday’s papers: Cyberdefense, recycling targets and May Day weather

The Finnish press kicks off the last week of April with stories ranging from virtual war games to the forecast for the upcoming holiday weekend.

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Finnish forces are taking part in a NATO-led cyberwar exercise. Image: Henrietta Hassinen / Yle
Wif Stenger

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat covers the Finnish Defence Forces’ participation in a major international cyber-warfare exercise. The five-day Operation Locked Shields begins on Monday, led from the NATO cyber base in the Estonian capital, Tallinn. Finland and Sweden have teamed up for a joint exercise division. Billed as the world’s biggest cyberdefence exercise, Locked Shields will see forces defending critical infrastructure such as electrical distribution and mobile phone networks.

IS also reports that at least one person has died in an early-morning apartment fire in Kerava, central Uusimaa. Rescue teams received an alarm about the blaze on Palopellonkatu shortly before 6 am. A passer-by had noticed smoke and flames pouring out of the third floor, with the glass around a balcony exploding during the phone call to emergency services. Around 30 people were evacuated and one found dead.

And the most-read story on the IS site this Monday morning is the latest weather forecast for next week’s Vappu (May Day) festivities, which many celebrate with the first outdoor picnic of the year. With the main festivities beginning next Monday evening ahead of the First of May on Tuesday, many are planning a long weekend of partying.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecaster Jari Tuovinen says that this year’s May Day weekend will probably be slightly cooler than average. Temperatures will struggle to reach the double digits in the south, with overnight lows remaining around the freezing point and a chance of showers. Central Finland’s highs may top out around +8C, with Northern Finland remaining firmly in subzero territory at night at least. The north should be drier than the rest of the country, though. Tuovinen stresses that there is still plenty of time for the prognosis to change in either direction, though.

MT: Unambitious recycling

The national rural newspaper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus looks at the EU’s new recycling targets, with some Finnish MEPs calling them insufficient. Under the goals approved by the European Parliament last week, member states must recycle at least 55 percent of household waste by 2025 and 65 percent by 2035. At the moment the figure stands at 44 percent. MT interviewed Sirpa Pietikäinen of the conservative National Coalition Party and Heidi Hautala of the Greens, who both argue that these goals are not ambitious enough and in general that the EU must be more forceful in battling environmental degradation.

LK: Snus smugglers busted

Finally the Rovaniemi-based Lapin Kansa leads off with smuggling on the Finnish-Swedish border. Finnish Customs has announced the seizure of large amounts of snus tobacco. They found 334 kilos of the moist powdered tobacco – which is legal to sell in Sweden but not in Finland – in a van being driven into via the Haparanda-Tornio border crossing point. More snus was then recovered in raids in the Helsinki region. Authorities believe the same perpetrators had brought in some 2,000 kg of snus this past winter. Three foreigners, two of them residents of the capital region, have been detained, and the case has been handed over to the prosecutor’s office in Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland.

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