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Friday’s papers: Plastic recycling, healthcare layoffs and wild berry prospects

With little national news, most Finnish newspapers focus on world headlines and local items.

Nuoriso, selfie, kesäloma, Tammerfest 2017
Youngsters record Tammerfest for posterity. Image: Jani Aarnio / Yle

The largest provincial daily, Aamulehti, looks at the US claim that it downed an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz and the sentencing of Mexican drug lord ‘El Chapo’. With the domestic news front quiet, the paper focuses on local stories such as suspicions around foreign asphalting companies and the Tammerfest music festival, which began under sunny skies on Thursday at Ratina Stadium featuring Finnish pop comet Alma and ‘90s Swedish band the Cardigans.

Aamulehti also surveys the status of the wild berry harvest that began a couple of weeks ago in the surrounding Pirkanmaa region. According to the paper, blueberries (also known as bilberries) are now ripe, but this year’s crop is skimpy, mostly due to last summer’s drought. Orange cloudberries are also ripe and in bountiful supply. The red lingonberries (aka cowberries) won’t be ready for picking until August but should also be plentiful. Meanwhile the first wild mushrooms, the yellow chanterelles, are just becoming ready for harvesting with local amounts depending on rainfall.

Kaleva: Recycling and road mishaps

In the northern city of Oulu, Kaleva looks into the spread of ebola in the Democratic Republic of Congo and forest fires in Siberia and Alaska amid record-hot, dry conditions.

In local news, Kaleva spotlights millionaire Veikko Lesonen, who has invented a plastic recycling system that is to be piloted by a housing company in Oulu this autumn. There’s a report of one local man who is suspected of driving while under the influence of drugs, without a driver’s licence – and with studded snow tyres still on his vehicle. Another motorist struck and killed an elk (known as a moose in North America) on Thursday night in Oulu, causing a traffic disruption and totalling the car but no other injuries.

TS: Ambulance layoffs, river bacteria

Turun Sanomat likewise concentrates on its southwestern regional beat. Private healthcare firm the Med Group has begun redundancy talks with 57 employees because the public Southwest Finland health care district is taking over more ambulance transport services itself.

Meanwhile the city’s Swedish-language university Åbo Akademi wants to expand its training programme for pharmacists to include head dispensers, as the nation faces a shortage of qualified pharmaceutical staff.

The most-read stories on the TS site include traffic accidents such a fatal crash in the maritime municipality of Kustavi and a five-car pile-up in Naantali.

Another popular item reports on the discovery of E. coli and other harmful bacteria in the Vähäjoki river in northern Turku. The Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment has banned swimming in the river and any other use of its water pending further tests. Fortunately for local swimmers the nearby Paattistenjoki – a dammed river – is still fine for a splash.

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