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Tuesday news wrap: Men cross border to seek asylum, fishing nets hurting Saimaa Ringed Seals, new benefits of early bilingualism

The top stories from Finland on Tuesday include: a case against Iraqi twin brothers accused of participating in a massacre is headed to the Supreme Court; three men who crossed the Russian border have applied for asylum in Finland; learning a second language before the age of five may bring more benefits than previously thought.

Yle Linkkitorni ja lippu.
File photo. Image: Derrick Frilund / Yle

Finnish Deputy Prosecutor General Raija Toiviainen says that she plans to appeal Pirkanmaa District Court's decision to free two Iraqi asylum applicants who were suspected of participating in a massacre in Iraq in 2014. The twins were accused of participating in mass murder in the 2014 Camp Speicher massacre in Tikrit, Iraq, in which ISIS forces slaughtered over 1,500 unarmed Shia Iraqi Air Force cadets. Read more here.

Men cross Russian border, ask for asylum in Finland

Suomen ja Venäjän raja.
Image: Yle

Three men crossed the border from Russia into Finland Tuesday morning and claimed asylum. Finnish border guards are investigating suspected border offences. The illegal border crossing took place in the wee hours of Tuesday morning. The crossing point was in Tohmajärvi, a municipality in North Karelia in eastern Finland. Find out more about this story.

Illegal fishing nets harming Saimaa Ringed Seals

Neljä norppaa rivissä.
File photo. Image: Marita Vokkolainen

Monitors working for the Finnish forestry administration agency Metsähallitus have reported finding an exceptional amount of prohibited fishing activity in Saimaa Ringed Seal habitats this spring. During the final three days of the monitoring period for example, officials said they found seven illegal fishing nets and several wide-mouth fish traps that pose a danger to seal pups. Find out more.

Early language skills good for the brain

Dr. Aleksi Sihvonen stimulates researcher Sini Hämeläinen's brain magnetically.
Dr. Aleksi Sihvonen magnetically stimulates researcher Sini Hämeläinen's brain. Image: Yle / Niklas Fagerström

Learning and speaking a second language during early childhood may result in profound, long-term changes to brain development, according to new research from the University of Helsinki. A researcher says that - in the case of recovery from a brain injury for example - people who learned a second language before the age of five could be better off than their single-language counterparts. Read more about the effects of early language learning here.

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