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Monday's papers: Finland's Nato date, school strike and brown fat

Domestic outlets report that Finland will say yes to Nato in ten days, suggest that some parents will be forced to take unpaid leave this week, and ask how to supercharge brown fat.

Some parents face the prospect of unpaid leave as teachers are set to go on strike. Image: Antti Kolppo / Yle

Finland's security policy debate is proceeding apace, with senior figure after senior figure coming out in favour of Nato membership in recent weeks. Over the weekend the opposition Finns Party's party council declared it was time to join Nato, but Iltalehti has a bigger scoop.

The paper is reporting (siirryt toiseen palveluun) that president Sauli Niinistö will on 12 May endorse Finnish Nato membership. Niinistö has kept his cards close to his chest in recent months, even as he negotiates the practicalities of any possible application, so this declaration would indicate that the process is really moving forward.

Following the president's announcement, parties in parliament will back his positive Nato stance. Iltalehti, citing foreign and security policy sources, suggests that Niinistö will make his position clear by noon on 12 May before parliamentary groups convene for a meeting at 2pm.

Both Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) and Niinistö have so far kept silent on a Finnish Nato bid, saying they want to allow for the political process to play out.

The SDP and the Left Alliance are the only main parties that have not yet announced their stance on Nato. The SDP is expected to announce its decision on 14 May.

The SDP is widely expected to back Nato membership, while the Left Alliance remains split on the issue.

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School's out

A week-long strike by municipal sector workers in ten cities, including those in the capital region, looks set to go ahead from Tuesday 3 May.

Hufvudstadsbladet (siirryt toiseen palveluun) asked Markus Äimälä, a labour law expert at the Confederation of Finnish Industries (EK), how parents of young children can get time off work.

While employees are generally entitled to paid leave to care for sick kids under the age of ten, that provision does not apply to strikes.

Äimälä suggested remote work or bringing children to work. But he also told the Swedish-language daily that using vacation days or taking unpaid leave were "last resorts" if other work arrangements were not possible.

The good fat

Helsingin Sanomat (siirryt toiseen palveluun) readers are flocking to an article exploring how to unlock the metabolic benefits of brown fat, which torches calories to keep us warm.

While studies have indicated that cold exposure, like ice swimming, activates brown fat, Kirsi Virtanen, a nutrition professor at the University of Eastern Finland, told HS that you don’t have to turn to extreme measures to boost your body’s good fat.

"Just sleeping in a room that's a few degrees cooler promotes the activation of brown fat. Right now we're investigating whether a simple blast of cold air to the face can trigger the same reaction," she explained.

About 70 percent of men and 60 percent of women in Finland are overweight (BMI 25 or more). Roughly one-quarter of the country's adults are considered obese (BMI 30 or more), according to the THL.

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