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Thursday's papers: Private elder care worker strike, Niinistö in Brazil, vipers' new status

The Finnish president's official visit to Brazil will last two days.

Lula da Silva waving to a crowd in London.
President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva beat far-right incumbent Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil's October 2022 presidential elections. Image: STELLA Pictures/ddp/abaca press
Yle News

People working with the elderly and disabled within the private social services sector began a three-day strike action on Thursday, according to newspaper Helsingin Sanomat (HS).

The strike was prompted after negotiations with employers failed to reach an agreement regarding pay. The trade unions' aim is to close the pay gap between the private and public sectors, HS notes.

This round of industrial action will mostly affect private care homes in the regions of Uusimaa and Southwest Finland and include Esperi Care, Saga Care, Validia, Mehiläinen and Mainiokoti units.

Social services union Sote ry said in a release that all affected units have been notified, according to HS.

Niinistö meets Lula

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is meeting with his Brazilian counterpart Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva in the South American country's capital Brasilia on Thursday, newspaper Ilkka-Pohjalainen (IP) reports.

The two heads of state will be discussing the current geopolitical climate, common global challenges, relevant regional issues as well as the overall relationship between Finland and Brazil, according to the paper.

The Brazillian president has caused somewhat of a stir with his recent comments about the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, IP notes, particularly with his criticism over the United States' involvement in the conflict.

"Although my government condemns the violation of Ukraine's territorial sovereignty, we support a negotiated political solution to the conflict," Lula said in April.

Niinistö's official visit to Brazil will last two days.

Protected snakes

New nature protection legislation that entered into force on 1 June saw Finland's only venomous snake, the viper (Vipera berus), earn a special protected status, Tampere-based Aamulehti writes.

As a protected species, people are no longer permitted to kill vipers without reasonable cause, nor may they disturb the snakes in their natural habitats.

A clause in the updated Nature Protection Act does allow, however, for the removal of the animal from one's own property, Aamulehti notes, adding that if relocation efforts fail, people can still resort to killing the animal.

Although not classified as endangered, populations of the snake species have been declining in Finland due to habitat loss, traffic and slaughter.

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