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Friday's papers: From Syria with love, Rovio's share price slide and bread made from bugs

Friday's newspapers include news of a Finn stuck in Syria, a cold shower for Rovio investors and a new kind of bread made from insects.

Foodwest Sirkkamysli_3.jpg
Crickets are now used in a special loaf sold by Finnish baker Fazer. Image: Tarmo Niemi / Yle

Helsingin Sanomat reports contact with a Finn currently marooned in the village of Atma on the Syrian-Turkish border. "Daniel" says he moved to Syria in 2013 partly out of a feeling of duty to help his Muslim "brothers and sisters", and partly out of guilt at the comfortable life he led in Finland.

He is the target of an investigation including three other Finns who left for Syria, including one who died fighting for ISIS. Daniel says he's happy to return to face the music, but does not want to leave his Syrian wife and three-year-old daughter behind. They have no travel documents and to get them they would have to travel from their home in rebel-held Idlib province to government territory in Damascus, an extremely perilous journey.

If Daniel crossed the border into Turkey he could easily get to Finland, either by acquiring a passport from the Finnish embassy or via arrest and deportation by the Turkish authorities, but his wife and child would be left behind.

So he stays in Syria. He says he is paid for teaching English to aid workers, including the White Helmets group, but does not comment on what he did before that. He denies ever joining ISIS, and says he parted ways with a Finnish friend who joined the infamous group. Daniel says he spent more time with Syrians, while his friend gravitated towards foreign fighters.

He says he has no need of any help in abandoning radical ideologies.

"It could be that there are some who need such help," said Daniel. "But personally I don't need any de-radicalisation process, as I don't represent any extremist group or their ideologies."

Turbulence hits Angry Birds firm

Finnish games firm Rovio announced third quarter results on Thursday, with turnover up year-on-year but, unfortunately for the firm they were under analysts' expectations. That led to a dip in share prices of 22.1 percent: a drop of a fifth in one day.

"We can't comment on share price fluctuations, but we have operated in a manner fully consistent with our strategy," Kauppalehti quotes Rovio CEO Kati Levoranta as saying.

The paper also quotes analyst Hannu Rauhala as asking whether expectations around the firm are realistic. nevertheless, he rates Rovio as a 'buy' and reckons the target price should be 15 euros: well above the 9.21 euro closing price on Thursday.

Part of his rationale is that the company is switching away from puzzle games to more profitable areas, and has a new firm in the works. Even so, investors who bought at the IPO price of 11.50 will be pondering the volatile movements of the stock.

Bread with extra protein

Friday is the glorious day when lucky shoppers at eleven Helsinki-region stores will be able to get their hands on bread with a special extra ingredient: insects. Fazer is launching its cricket bread this week, in celebration of the fact that insects are now legally classified and regulated as food in Finland.

Helsingin Sanomat reports that each loaf of protein rich bug bread will contain flour produced from 70 crickets.

"It doesn't taste like crickets," said one consumer vox popped by HS. "It tastes just like bread, really good bread actually."

Fazer's sales people talked of a 'food revolution' at the launch, and the company is also planning to start selling cricket-infused chocolate in some shops. For now the bread is restricted to hypermarkets in the capital region, but the firm will eventually roll out its special bread to some 47 stores nationwide.

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