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Thursday’s papers: Niinistö gets the plaudits after Trump show in White House

Finland’s papers are dominated on Thursday by President Sauli Niinistö’s extraordinary meeting with his US counterpart Donald Trump.

Niinistö joined Trump's first press conference in a week. Image: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Threats to schools

In the wake of the Kuopio tragedy, Helsingin Sanomat takes a look at threats to schools (siirryt toiseen palveluun), which occur more often than you might think in Finland.

In the years 2007-2009, 77 people were referred to psychiatric care after threatening violence at a school. In 2010 that number dropped to just nine, although HS does not give more recent numbers.

The typical threat comes from a young man, often with a mental health issue, according to HS. Around 40 percent of those who receive psychiatric care after making a threat had experienced bullying in school, and a third had been customers of child protection services.

There are common threads among those who have actually perpetrated attacks. They include an interest in firearms, mental health issues, a long history of bullying in school and difficulty in resolving conflicts.

However Henri Rikander, a safety and security consultant interviewed by HS, says that it’s impossible to build a profile of possible attackers.

Those planning attacks, however, may give warning signs in the lead-up. Rikander cites research suggesting that in 90 percent of cases researched in the US, an adult was concerned about the attacker’s behaviour in the lead-up to the attack.

Posti departure ramifications

The news on Wednesday that Posti CEO Heikki Malinen would resign from his post would have received considerably more attention had it occurred at a different time.

As it was, the sword attack in Kuopio and Niinistö’s visit to Washington overshadowed Malinen’s departure, but business daily Kauppalehti does devote some space (siirryt toiseen palveluun) to it on Thursday.

Malinen departed after controversies over his generous compensation package combined with a plan to slash pay for workers in sorting officers, which were slammed by unions and politicians, and also in the media.

KL is concerned that Malinen’s treatment in the media and by politicians might deter other qualified individuals from applying to lead state-owned firms.

Editor Arno Ahosniemi says in a comment piece that this is already happening, as head hunters are finding it tough to persuade candidates to take on state-owned firms.

Ahosniemi links Malinen’s fate to previous instances of political pressure on the leadership of state-owned firms, suggesting that this political impulse to act is reducing the likelihood of good candidates taking on big jobs--and damaging the interests of taxpayers.