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Friday's papers: PM's email exchange, Soini 'threatened by suicide bomber,' Nokia-branded phones return

Newspapers on Friday provided further developments about email exchanges between Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and an Yle journalist regarding connections between government funding of a state-owned mining company and the PM's family business. Ilta-Sanomat reports that the Foreign Minister and a fellow Finns Party colleague were threatened by a man who later carried out a suicide bomb attack in Iraq. And if you've been longing to use an old-fashioned Nokia-branded candybar phone, you're in luck.

Juha Sipilä
PM Juha Sipilä at a press conference on Wednesday. Image: Yle

For the past week the Finnish press has covered the hubbub surrounding an exchange of emails between Prime Minister Juha Sipilä and an Yle journalist last Friday evening, which was started by the journalist herself when she asked the PM about connections surrounding the government decision to inject 100 million euros to the state-owned Terrafame mine and the mine's subsequent decision to grant a 500,000 euro contract to a steel company owned by the PM's famliy.

Over the course of last Friday afternoon and evening, Sipilä had sent some 17 emails to the journalist, according to Hufvudstadsbladet, which published the email exchanges in full. Yle had published excerpts from the emails on Wednesday evening, but the journalist, Salla Vuorikoski, then posted the entire exchange on her personal Facebook page on Thursday morning.

The exchange began by asking Sipilä's office for comment about connections between the funding of Terrafame and the steel company owned by his relatives. At 12:18 pm on Friday, Vuorikoski asked for Sipilä to comment. Sipilä did not respond, the story was published at 2:05 pm, and then later Sipilä angrily complained that it had been published without his comments.

The exchange continued through the day, ending with Sipilä's declaration that 'my respect for Yle is now zero. Which is no different from yours for me. So we're even.'

Finns Party FM 'threatened by suicide bomber'

Officials have confirmed that a radicalised Finnish national who reportedly carried out a suicide bomb attack in Iraq had earlier threatened Foreign Minister and Finns Party leader Timo Soini - as well as party colleague and European Parliament member Jussi Halla-aho  - with violence, according to evening tabloid Ilta-Sanomat.

The paper writes that, the Finnish Security Intelligence Service, Supo confirmed last week the radicalised man had likely died in a suicide bomb attack in Iraq after joining forces with the Islamic State.

But before then, officials said, the roughly 20 year-old man with a Pakistani background had sent threatening messages to both Soini and Halla-aho while he lived in the Finnish city of Pori, and subsequently after leaving Finland. The man reportedly sent the threats via email and on Facebook, the paper writes.

Nokia-branded feature phones coming in 2017

Savon Sanomat reports that Nokia confirmed that it signed an agreement to allow its intellectual property and brand name for the HMD Global company to begin selling Nokia-branded candybar feature phones.

HMD Global said the transaction with a Foxconn Technology group subsidiary and Microsoft was complete, which paves the way for HMD to being producing and selling Nokia phones under a ten-year exclusive licensing agreement.

HMD Global is now the new home of Nokia phones, and under the new agreement Nokia will receive royalties from HMD for sales of handsets and tablets, according to the paper. The phones are scheduled to roll out next year.

About five years ago Nokia's smartphone division partnered with - then was acquired by - Microsoft Corporation which eventually shut the division down in 2014.

In an effort to enter the highly-competitive smartphone market, Microsoft put its Windows Mobile operating system on the Lumia-branded Nokia smartphones, eventually removing the Nokia name entirely.

But after poor sales and market shares, Microsoft wrote off the acquisition to the tune of some 7 billion euros, announcing widespread layoffs affecting thousands of its employees, both in Finland and abroad.

In the ensuing years, Nokia has transitioned itself into a wireless infrastructure company, and in the spring of 2015 acquired Bell Labs' parent company Alcatel-Lucent, in a share exchange worth some 15.5 billion euros.

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