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Monday's papers: Nurses' job talks, NHL Finns, winter weather predictions

Thousands of nurses face job cuts, Finnish hockey players make a splash and long-term projections for a warmer winter.

Erik Haula tuulettaa maalia.
Finland's Erik Haula is raising eyebrows in the NHL. Image: Getty Images

Municipal job restructuring talks may threaten the livelihoods of thousands of nurses despite a widely-reported lack of available professionals in Finnish health care, wrote daily Helsingin Sanomat on Monday.

The Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (Tehy) says that their members are facing lay-offs in 30 municipalities.

CEO Minna Karhunen of the employers’ umbrella organisation the Association of Finnish Local and Regional Authorities said she regrets a situation where facilities such as health centres may sometimes call in pensioners and unqualified workers to fill in gaps in staffing.

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru said in HS she understands the economic strain of cutbacks and municipal savings, but finds the message sent by the talks worrying.

"I would hope that municipalities could refrain from sending this message to nurses that they risk being fired over spending policies, when nurses are sorely needed in the sector, especially in elder care," Kiuru said.

Finns flying on ice

Papers on Monday also carry news of a winning streak among Finnish players in America's National Hockey League (NHL).

Winnipeg Jets wunderkind Patrik Laine picked up two assists in the first two games of the season, and stood out when he scored against the New York Islanders only minutes before the end of the second period.

The Islanders beat the Jets 4-1, but Laine opened his point streak while skating alongside top players Mark Scheifele and Blake Wheeler.

Aamulehti wrote that Laine, who first broke onto the international hockey scene with a 2016 hat-trick against Toronto, did not attend training camps or matches while awaiting his two-year contract extension. That did not stop him from scoring 1+2 points at the start of the season.

AL reported that Laine's compatriot Erik Haula, snapped up by the Hurricanes this past summer, is also on an autumn streak. He is the first player in the history of his team to score a goal in each of the season's first three opening matches.

International meteorologists' long-term call

Speaking of ice, teams of international meteorologists expect a somewhat milder winter in Finland. Tabloid Ilta-Sanomat reported that the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMRWF) is forecasting that average temperatures will be 0.5-1 degree Celsius warmer than usual in 2019-2020.

Warm, humid air will blow into Finland from the Azores before the end of the year, IS wrote.

Other organisations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in the US, the Beijing Climate Centre (BCC) and the UK's Met Office all report higher than average long-term temperatures across Northern Europe.

Predictions from China are perhaps most drastic, projecting winter temperatures in Finland at three degrees Celsius higher than usual this year.

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