Friday's papers: Daycare pay gaps, health care steps, new audience measurement
The week's final press review takes a look at proposed changes to daycare teachers' salaries, a "freedom of choice" health care bill and readership figures for Finland's main media outlets.
Radontietoutta uudella tavalla: STUK houkutteli ämpäreillä keuhkosyövän torjuntaan
Radonille altistuminen voi aiheuttaa keuhkosyöpää. Vaikka kyse on vakavasta asiasta, voi radonin mittaamisesta tehdä mukavaa, ajatteli Säteilyturvakeskus ja valjasti ämpärit hyvälle asialle.
Season’s first snowflakes fall in Lapland
The ground was white with a light dusting of snow in northern Lapland on Tuesday morning. It was enough brighten the scene, but not enough to be officially classified as the first snowfall of the season.
WHO: Finland's air third-cleanest in world
According to a fresh report from the World Health Organisation, the air in Finland is the third cleanest in the world, and one of the very cleanest parts of the world can be found in Finnish Lapland.
It's officially hot – as blueberries bloom in southern Finland
The past week has brought warmer weather than most of last summer to many places in Finland. Spring sowing is well underway as farmers await much-needed rain in the coming days.
Mysterious radiation leak traced to paper mill in central Finland
The caesium-137 leak detected by the Finnish radiation watchdog last week was traced to another tenant in its building – and from there to a UPM mill in Jämsä.
Helsinki University to possibly cut 1,200 jobs, save 86m
Just days after being listed as being among the top 100 universities in the world, it was announced that Helsinki University is gearing up for a rigorous savings plan and may cut up to 1,200 jobs. The public university announced on Tuesday that job cuts and other measures were in the works in order to save 86 million euros.
Finnish residents throw out 24 kilos of edible food each year
Finland’s consumer association has tallied Finnish food waste statistics and the results are surprising. Household waste accounts for the most food waste annually, beating out the amounts produced by food services, retail and industry.
Daily: Most one-legged traffic cops sleeping on the job
Seasoned motorists know to ease off the gas pedal when they approach one of the many speed detectors deployed at strategic locations on the nation’s roads. However the daily Turun Sanomat reports that up to one-third of the one-legged traffic cops are kept switched off, so police don’t have too many images to process.
Labour market leaders abandon "social contract" talks
Employer and employee representatives have reached a stalemate in the efforts to hammer out a deal on measures to restore productivity and boost economic growth. The labour market leaders’ decision to suspend the negotiations comes on the eve of a deadline set by Prime Minister Juha Sipilä.
Economic confidence hits four-year high
A monthly survey of consumers’ perceptions of Finland’s economy shows that attitudes are still cautious. But with one third of respondents believing the economy will pick up over the next year, the results of April’s consumer barometer survey are the most positive since May 2011.
Air quality plummets with dry sunny weather
After a winter with little snow, sunny, dry weather has let dust loose. Alarmingly poor air quality has been measured in many parts of the country over the past days.
Gay marriage vote: PM Stubb "sincerely happy", Finns Party’s Soini "disappointed"
Finnish Prime Minister Alexander Stubb says the historic passage of a gender neutral marriage bill in the Finnish Parliament is a testimony to the power of grass roots activism. Head of the opposition Finns Party Timo Soini said he was disappointed with the outcome and that electors would decide the fate of the lone Finns Party MP who voted in support of gay marriage.
“The kids wanted their school day back”: Teachers insist layoffs are disrupting learning
As some municipalities choose to send school staff home on temporary unpaid leave in a bid to cut budgets, teachers in Kokkola say that the measure has led children to miss out on special needs teaching, language classes and reading comprehension.
Returning Finns encounter job hunt roadblocks
Finns returning from abroad to find jobs in their homeland are discovering that their global experiences or professional skills don’t hold a candle to academic qualifications. This fate awaits many of the 9,000 Finnish returnees who come to the country every year.
Police slam Seinäjoki council for “dangerous” street blackouts
Authorities in the Ostrobothnian town have begun switching off streetlights overnight to save money, in a move that police say has compromised residents’ safety. The municipality admits that the savings from the cutback are modest.
Yet another study: Finland has world’s most cost-efficient education system
A new study has ranked Finnish schools the most efficient education system among 30 OECD countries in terms of their return on expenses. The study says Finland won the top spot because of its large class sizes and reasonable teacher wages.
Heavy rainfall hits Eastern Finland – more in one day than the average monthly total
And the rain came pouring down on Tuesday in Eastern Finland – in some places more than the total monthly average for May. Information from the Finnish Meteorological Institute’s observations stations says the cities of Mikkeli, Varkaus, Kuopio and Ilomantsi were hardest hit by the deluge, says Yle meteorologist Toni Hellinen.
Inflation slows as runaway food prices stall
Statistics Finland reported Friday that the annual increase in consumer prices slowed from 1.6 percent in January to 1.3 percent in February. The data crunchers said that the curb in rising prices was caused mainly by lower price tags on food.
Snowless winters could lead to summer frost
MTT Agrifood Research Finland has studied the consequences of snowless winters on Finnish fields and grains. The studies suggest that the combination of no snow and a cold winter could prove devastating to the countryside.
Finland’s productivity fell last year
Despite talk of a recovery and of the job market beginning to heat up again, the latest figures released on Friday show a fall in Finland’s gross domestic product compared to the year before.
Skills mapping programme to target long-term unemployed
From January 2014 some 30 municipalities will launch a work and performance measurement project for the unemployed. The trial developed by the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities, will help local governments avoid placing unemployed persons into futile or inadequate programmes.
Looking for new niches in the apps market
A growing number of Finnish companies are aiming to enter the mobile apps market with products other than games, such as smartphone and tablet applications focused on health and on education.
Finland lags in seniors' wellbeing
Unlike its Nordic neighbours, Finland failed to make it to the top ten in a new global index measuring the wellbeing of older people in terms of their income, health, education and employment, and environment. Finland’s Minister of Health and Social Services did not want to comment on the results.
Finns cool on visa-free Russian travel
Finns are divided on the idea of introducing a visa-free travel regime on the Russian border. The strongest opposition is found in the south-east of the country.
Norwegian king sails in heritage-steeped Helsinki regatta
Close in the wake of the Tall Ships Race, Helsinki welcomes a new fleet of sailing vessels this weekend, with an international racing tradition stretching back more than a century.
Paper: Alcohol deaths cost a billion annually
Alcohol-related deaths cost society some one billion euros annually. Every year alcohol costs Finns about 25,000 years of life, according to a report in the regional Sunday supplement Sunnuntaisuomalainen.
March snow proving tenacious
The weather will continue to be cold throughout the country right into the first week of April, predicts Yle meteorologist Toni Hellinen. March’s measurements are likely to become the chilliest in recorded history.
Antti leaves trail of snow drifts across Finland
The city of Hanko in southwest Finland woke Saturday to find snow drifts as much as half a metre deep. Finns discovered other surprising signs of the tempestuous passage of the winter’s first blizzard, Antti.