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Tuesday's papers: Early pensioners, Indian lifts, Ruisrock ruse and period pains

Tuesday's newspapers include stories about Finnish retirees taking early pensions, trouble for lift maker Kone in India, a cunning plan to gain free entry to a Finnish festival, and the difficulty of competitive sport for female athletes at a certain time of the month.

Mies, jolla on sorsa ja maastokuvioinen vaate päässään Ruisrockissa.
Tabloid daily Iltalehti covers the story of the "duckman" -- a man disguised as a duck who attempted to swim his way to a free place at the annual Ruisrock summer festival. Image: Totti Nurmi

Helsingin Sanomat has a story on the rising trend of Finns taking their pensions early. People holding an occupational pension in Finland are eligible to take it out early, at a reduced rate, from the age of 61. It's a popular scheme, reports Hesari, and August is far and away the most popular month to start drawing a pension – perhaps due in part to the end of the summer holiday period and the prospect of returning to a life of drudgery.

HS interviews Sakari Viika, a 61-year-old freelance photographer who is drawing half his pension to help his financial situation. The sums are not large: he gets half his pension of just under a thousand euros, and it helps him make it through the month.

That's fairly typical, according to HS. The paper gathered stats from the Finnish Centre for Pensions that show 60 percent of those in receipt of partial pensions carry on working as before. Some 30 percent have reduced their working hours or plan to do so, and 10 percent are giving up work altogether.

Pensions, then, are not a promise of milk and honey. The average occupational pension in Finland is just 1,720 euros, while the basic old age pension is 760 euros.

Kone problems

Kone is one of Finland's blue riband companies, a world-class liftmaker that likes to avoid the whole lift/elevator debate by talking primarily about 'people flow'. Their Chinese website even provides a handy definition: "People Flow means people moving smoothly, safely, comfortably, and without waiting in and between buildings".

It's a world leader and as such has been providing lifts and escalators for the Delhi metro, but that may be about to change. The Hindu nationalist government in New Delhi has started a 'Make in India' campaign that demands all public sector operators prioritise Indian companies in public procurement.

Kauppalehti reports that this isn't a problem for Kone's lift operation, which has a factory in Chennai, but the escalators for the Delhi underground are currently made in China. As the Narendra Modi government is chauvinistically committed to competing with China in industrial production, that's a big no-no.

The head of the Indian metro system, Sharat Sharma, tells KL that he's suggested Kone further 'Indianise' production. It remains to be seen if they can do that, and if it will be enough.

Ruisrock duck stunt

Ilta-Sanomat has tracked down one of the heroes of this year's Ruisrock festival: a man who tried to swim into the fenced-off area disguised as a duck. Security stopped his attempt at breaching security, but he did gain a certain amount of notoriety for the stunt.

The Turku event has a spectacular shoreline setting, and as such is vulnerable to aquatic invasion--something the intrepid freerider planned to exploit.

Timmi Tuutti tells the tabloid he had planned his swim for two years, and had carefully prepared his attempt. It involved netting around a floating duck to cover the swimmer, rocks in a rucksack to weigh down his body so it wouldn't show on the surface, and an elaborate mirror system so that he could see where he was going while doing back stroke.

He's also a strong swimmer, as a leading member of Hamina swimming club. This is not a trick for the average festival bum.

Alas, Tuutti's trick failed when he swam into a felled tree on the water. He spent a long time trying to get round it, got quite cold, and eventually was spotted by security guards. Between chuckles, they told him it was time to turn round and swim back where he'd come from.

Periods painful for sportswomen

Hesari covers one of the big taboos in women's sport on Tuesday, asking how female competitors manage their monthly cycle. Jenni Laukkanen, an Olympic swimmer, says that she's struggled to find a way to manage – swimming with painful cramps is not fun or beneficial.

The solution she and many others have used is hormonal contraception to delay periods that might hit during competition.

This takes a great deal of planning, says Laukkanen and the doctor interviewed for the story, as it must be started well in advance. Athletes can stop their cycle altogether using some contraceptives, but that's not recommended by medical experts.

One big problem is young women's difficulty in talking about the issue. Laukkanen says she's struggled with that.

"There was a high threshold for opening my mouth, because I thought that you can't talk about periods," said Laukkanen.

That seems to be a common problem: HS asked several female athletes to comment for the piece, but only Laukkanen was prepared to go on the record.

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