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Friday's papers: Response to latest Paris attack, verdict in neo-Nazi case and world-record coffee consumption

Friday's papers in Finland cover the latest terrorist attack to hit Paris, an expected court decision on rioting in Jyväskylä and the country's claim to fame: number one coffee drinkers again.

Kahvikuppi kuvattuna ylhäältä - kahvinpapuja taustalla.
Finns drink an average of 2.7 cups of coffee a day, according to new figures. Image: Ismo Pekkarinen / AOP

Friday papers in Finland respond to an attack late Thursday night that left one police officer dead and two injured in a shootout on the famous Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris. Leading daily Helsingin Sanomat points out that the high-profile incident took place just days before the first round of the French presidential elections, scheduled for Sunday.

The man behind the attack was killed by police bullets as he was trying to escape. The 39-year-old Frenchman was last detained in February, when he was believed to have been planning a police murder. The jihadist groups that calls itself Islamic State has since come forward to claim the assailant as "one of the their own", HS writes. The French news agency AFP calculates that 238 people have been killed terrorist attacks in France since the start of 2015.

The presidential candidates started a debate soon after the shooting took place about suspending their campaigning due to the shooting. Several presidential hopefuls cancelled their Friday and Saturday campaign events.

Second attack thwarted

Turun Sanomat, a newspaper out of southwest Turku continues coverage of the Paris tragedy, with a report from a Lännen Media journalist on the scene. It says the police had initiated a massive operation to track down the attacker's possible accomplices. Investigators have cordoned off the Champs Élysée and asked people to avoid moving around in the area.

An eyewitness told the France24 news channel that the attacker drove up and fired dozens of shots on a police van with a rifle. People in the near vicinity threw themselves on the ground in panic.

French authorities thwarted a second planned attack this week, TS writes. On Tuesday in southern France, the French Intelligence Service arrested two extremist Islamist terrorists, whom they suspected of planning an attack on a presidential campaign rally.  

Rioting convictions?

The tabloid Iltalehti contains an STT news agency story this Friday about how the courts will hand down a verdict in the Jyväskylä neo-Nazi rioting case today at 2 pm.

The District Court of Central Finland will issue its verdict on a case involving the Nordic Resistance Movement, a white supremacist organization. 22 people were charged with inciting a violent riot or violent rioting in an August 2015 incident in front of the Sokos department store in Jyväskylä. The police claim that the neo-Nazi group was demonstrating in front of the store, but then began to assault bystanders and aggressively prevent police from taking action.

Three men have been charged with leading the demonstration, one of whom is Jesse Torniainen, the man sentenced to two years in prison for aggravated assault after his attack on a passerby at the Helsinki Central Railway Station that later led to the victim's death.

Several of the group members on trial have admitted assault, but each has denied any rioting.

Top coffee drinkers - again

And lastly, Vantaan Sanomat out of the metropolitan city of Vantaa has a story on Finland's world-record coffee imbibing. New figures show that Finns consume close to 10 kilos of coffee per person each year, which translates roughly into over 2.7 cups a day. The paper says this puts Finland at the top of the list for world-wide consumption once again.

Another thing that makes the Finnish coffee gluttony unusual is their preference for light blends. The paper notes that just 18 percent of Finns drink dark roast coffee. In 2016, import of roasted coffee grew by over six percent year-on-year to 8.4 million kilos, most of it from the Netherlands and Sweden. Coffee exports are also up: 4.5 million kilos of the stimulant were sold to the Baltic countries and Russia primarily last year.

Finns imported 1.2 million kilograms of instant coffee in 2016, the same amount as in the previous year. Capsule coffee accounts for only one percent of import volume, and four percent of value. About 71 million kilos of raw coffee were imported last year, an increase of five percent on the previous year. The leading importing countries, accounting for 75 percent of all imports, are Brazil, Columbia and Honduras.

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