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Tuesday’s papers: Korean tensions, Vuosaari fire lessons, wind power windfall

The topics on the front pages of Finland’s print media on Tuesday are all over the map, from the local to the global, from Korean worries to Nordic governments' climate proposals.

Auto jäällä Hailuodon edustalla
At present the island of Hailuoto near Oulu is only accessible by car when the ice is strong enough - but that is set to change. Image: Wasim Khuzam / Yle

The leading tabloid Ilta-Sanomat looks at the reasons for an apartment fire that killed a Ghanaian mother and three children in Vuosaari, eastern Helsinki, last year. It was started by an electric sauna where clothes were hanging up to dry.

The Safety Investigation Authority's main recommendations are that home occupants should no longer have sole responsibility for the installation and maintenance of smoke alarms and that sauna stove user interfaces should be updated.

The board also recommends that authorities should "reform the reception, integration and training system for immigrants with a view to ensuring that immigrants acquire basic safety skills". It notes that "for some immigrants, Western safety thinking and culture as well as the authorities’ operating models...may be very foreign".

On the international front, Ilta-Sanomat surveys at the latest developments regarding the Korean peninsula. These include unconfirmed reports that Pyongyang has moved an object resembling an intercontinental missile toward its coastline, and a phone conversation between German Chancellor Angela Merkel and US President Donald Trump, who agree that tougher sanctions must be imposed on North Korea.

AL: Tampere as Ground Zero

The premier provincial daily Aamulehti helpfully carries a graphic explaining what impact a 100-kilotonne nuclear bomb would have on its hometown, Tampere. That's the size of the weapon believed to have been developed by North Korea, which would be nearly five times as big as the one that the US dropped on Nagasaki in 1945.

AL also covers Monday's protest against the deportation of an Afghan family in Jyväskylä, in which police used tear gas. The three-member family of rejected asylum seekers, who are due to be expelled from the country, were removed from their home shortly after 6pm. That followed hours of tense confrontations between police and demonstrators.

Looking north, the paper notes that municipalities in Finnish Lapland that host wind power turbines may get a tax windfall next year if a government plan is approved. The cabinet proposes that wind parks be placed in the same property tax category as hydropower plants. The sparsely-populated municipality of Simo, for instance, would gain more than a half a million euros in tax revenues. It is now the site of 37 wind turbines, with 27 of them coming on line this year.

Kaleva: More used cars and green bikes

Kaleva from the northern city of Oulu focuses on local transport issues, such as a planned causeway to the island of Hailuoto and three local road accidents. Staying with the motoring theme, the daily picks up an Uutissuomalainen report of a clear uptick in imports of used cars, rising by 30 percent between 2014 and 2016.

Meanwhile in neighbouring Sweden the government is proposing a bold climate budget that would direct half a billion euros toward emissions reductions and other environmental projects. In comparison, the Finnish cabinet's budget for next year earmarks 25 million euros to carry out an energy and climate strategy. Green carrots in the Swedish plan include 35 million euros to encourage people to use bicycles instead of cars by means such as a 25 percent subsidy on the price of electric bikes.

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