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Tuesday's papers: Deep archipelago troubles, fresh storm for al-Taee, and Finnish cartoonist wins big

The press dives under the Baltic Sea surface, examines the troubled return of an embattled politician, and finds Finnish success at Comic-Con.

Lähikuva rantakivestä ja vedestä, jossa aurinko kimmeltää.
Destructive algae is causing widespread problems in the Baltic Sea around the Finnish archipelago. Image: Mårten Lampén / Yle
Yle News

Main daily Helsingin Sanomat’s climate correspondent Piia Elonen goes "under the surface" of the Baltic Sea around the Finnish archipelago to witness at first hand the devastating effects climate change and eutrophication are having on the sea water as well as plant life and fish. The biggest problems, according to HS, are caused by eutrophication, which occurs when water becomes overly enriched with minerals and nutrients - much of which comes from agricultural runoff. This in turn creates oxygen-depleting levels of algae, ultimately spreading “silent death” along the bottom of the sea.

The article describes the problems facing the "wonderful, miserable, unique, vulnerable" Baltic Sea; from the "greenish yellow porridge" on the beach to the slimy green algae that obscures the view to the seabed. Canoeists and sailors have begun to steer clear of the Archipelago Sea in July, according to HS, and fish caught there may not be suitable for consumption by children or pregnant women.

The Baltic Sea is however "beautiful in its own special way, and worth saving," and efforts to conserve the sea have been ongoing since the 1974 signing of the Convention for the Protection of the Baltic Sea. The problems, however, are becoming further exacerbated by climate change and the time for action is now, the paper’s climate correspondent concludes, before it is too late.

Fresh scandal for embattled politician

Many papers report on the continued troubles of Social Democratic Party politician Hussein al-Taee, who has only just returned to work from sick leave after controversial comments he had made on Facebook several years ago about homosexuals, Jews, Somalis and Sunni Muslims came to light.

Now a fresh storm is brewing, as a report by tabloid Iltalehti accuses al-Taee of falsifying or “at least embellishing” his educational information on his LinkedIn page and on the parliamentary website.

According to the paper’s investigation, the Iraqi-born politician claimed to have completed two Master's Degree programs at the University of Warsaw: one in Leadership, and another in International Relations and American Studies. However, the university confirmed to the tabloid that al-Taee never completed either of these courses. The univerisity confirmed that the MP did receive a degree from the institution for a 2016 thesis on the role of Iraq's pension system in supporting stability and growth of the country.

Furthermore, the paper reveals that al-Taee’s claim to have received a diploma in ‘International Relations and Diplomacy’ from the University of Lincoln in the UK was also not corroborated by the awarding university, which instead has a record of al-Taee studying International Management.

IL report that al-Taee’s LinkedIn page was updated after they began their investigation, and the paper asked the politician to explain how and why this happened in an email exchange on Monday.

“I have not been active on LinkedIn, so my profile information was incomplete and inaccurate,” al-Taee told the tabloid.

'Cartoon Oscar' for Finnish artist

Turku daily Turun Sanomat reports on the success of local cartoonist Max Sarin, who was awarded two Eisner awards - often known as the Cartoon Oscars - at the Comic-Con event in San Diego.

According to TS, Sarin and his fellow cartoonists John Allison and Julia Madrigal won in both the 'Best Continuing Series' and the 'Best Humor Publication' categories for their comic series Giant Days. Sarin and his co-cartoonists' victory was made all the more impressive by the fact that they beat comic book heavyweights DC’s Batman and Marvel's The Immortal Hulk to the prize for 'Best Continuing Series,' according to TS.

Sarin has been working on Giant Days since 2015, which follows the fictional lives of three university students; Susan, Esther and Daisy. Image: Max Sarin

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