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Friday’s papers: Slush and snow, fatal military accident, identity theft

Finland’s print media wraps up the working week with a range of subjects, from the Slush startup conference in Helsinki to an impending blizzard that could snarl traffic as the weekend begins.

Slush 2017
Much hype about Slush in the Finnish press. Image: Tiina Jutila / Yle

The bestselling tabloid Ilta-Sanomat (IS) warns of heavy snow in parts of southern and eastern Finland on Friday, which may reach blizzard conditions. The Finnish Meteorological Institute (FMI) predicts 5-10 centimetres of new snow in the south-east, stretching from the capital region to Joensuu and points south. Along the coast temperatures are likely to remain on the plus side, so the precipitation will come down as sleet or rain – messy for driving in any case. Meanwhile northern Lapland will be crackling under temperatures as low as -25 Celsius.

Turning to weightier matters, IS previews Friday's court ruling on the accidental shooting death of a young officer trainee during military exercises two years ago. Western Uusimaa District Court is to hand down its decision on the fatal incident in Syndalen on the Hanko peninsula. The prosecutor has accused three officers of negligence in the case.

AL: Sauna meetings and cricket pizza

The largest provincial daily, Aamulehti (AL) from the south-central city of Tampere, covers international stories including the new Zimbabwean cabinet, the Japanese emperor’s plans to step down in 2019 and US Secretary of Defense James Mattis’ vow to pursue “unrelenting” diplomacy with North Korea. On the local front, AL looks at proposals for a redesign and expansion of the Särkänniemi amusement park area, including a possible hotel, as well as crime stories including one where an identity thief used another man’s name to steal a mobile home.

A Helsinki man was arrested in 2015 for selling the vehicle, which had been rented in his name in the town of Nokia. The mobile home changed hands for 7,000 euros at a petrol station in the same town – but police admit that the actual identity of the man who hired and then sold the vehicle remains a mystery.

The Tampere paper also looks south to Helsinki for a report on the first day of Slush 17, the tenth annual gathering of startup firms and investors, as well as speakers such as former US vice president Al Gore and Finnish president Sauli Niinistö. It peeks behind the scenes to find out how hype and word of mouth is generated, from co-ed meetings in a sauna to cricket pizzas for lunch.

TE: Princely presents, Stockmann closure

Also mentioning Slush is the financial site Talouselämä, which carries a large picture of two handmade hobbyhorses presented at the event to Britain's Prince William, noting that the Finnish Foreign Ministry has on Friday unveiled a new website devoted to the popular Finnish youth pastime, which is gaining ground internationally.

On more serious news, Talouselämä looks at the decline of iconic Finnish retailer Stockmann and the impact of the closure of its department store in Oulu, northern Finland, as well as recent sharp fluctuations in the value of cryptocurrency Bitcoin and the latest rumours of a White House shakeup, with official denials that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be shown the door.

TE also cites Britain's The Economist praise for the Levi ski resort in Finnish Lapland, which it compares to France’s Serre Chevalier and Canada’s Mont Tremblant as "a good value for money".

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