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Tuesday’s papers: Thai cave rescue, coastal pollution, Lapland heat and Helsinki sprawl

Media in Finland, as elsewhere, is gripped by the Thai cave drama. Also on the front pages: Helsinki’s growing tentacles, dirty waters and Secret Service shenanigans.

Näkymä Seurasaaresta Seurasaarenselle kauniina päivänä.
Finnish coastal waters, such as these near Helsinki's Seurasaari, are threatened by agricultural runoffs. Image: Esko Jämsä / AOP

The tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, like many Finnish papers, leads off with dramatic images and accounts of the discovery of a dozen boys and their football coach, safe after nine days trapped in a flooded cave in Thailand. The headlines emphasise that their ordeal is far from over: “Here’s the plan to rescue the boys from the cave” and “Grim estimate: The boys may have to spend months in the cave; don’t know how to swim”. Experts say that the youngsters’ eventual escape from the cavern will depend on being able to learn one of the world’s most extreme sports – cave diving – from scratch.

Ilta-Sanomat’s second main story on Tuesday is headlined: “This is the Secret Service that will follow Trump to Finland: Heroic deeds, boozing, prostitutes”. It notes that when Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin meet in Helsinki on 16 July, they will both be protected by secretive security forces with “mythical reputations”. Russia’s FSO and the US Secret Service both have had their share of controversy, with the Secret Service facing scandals in recent years involving prostitutes in Colombia in 2012, heavy drinking in Amsterdam two years later, and cases in the past few years involving an underage girl and the theft of a laptop containing top-secret documents from an officer’s car in New York.

In less-sensational news, the paper looks forward to Tuesday’s likely announcement of the new line-up of the Bank of Finland’s board, to be led by former European Commissioner Olli Rehn.

MT: Summer stock and capital commuters

The main stories in agrarian paper Maaseudun Tulevaisuus include a look at outdoor summer theatre productions, trotting races, and berry pickers’ difficulties in finding work due to tougher new EU laws and small harvests after poor spring weather.

On a more urban tip, the paper looks at how people are travelling to work in the Helsinki region from farther afield, some from as far as 200 kilometres away. In the 1970s most employees in the capital lived in neighbouring municipalities, with the longest commutes from Riihimäki and Hämeenlinna to the north. Now as many as 130,000 people commute into the capital region. That rose by nearly three percent last year, and includes significant numbers from around Jyväskylä, Tampere and Turku.

LK: Lapland brings the heat

Finally Lapin Kansa from Rovaniemi, Finnish Lapland, cites a fresh report from European Environment Agency (EEA) on the region’s waterways. According to the State of Water report, only 40 percent of EU waterways are in good condition, with those in Central Europe the worst off. Finnish waters rate better than average, but the study notes that the situation is most worrying in coastal areas, largely due to agricultural runoffs.

Local news centres mostly around traffic accidents and sports, and how Lapland was the hottest part of Finland on Monday, with highs of 28.5 degrees Celsius in Inari and 25.9 in Utsjoki. After a warm Tuesday, the situation will revert to normal in the coming days, with temperatures up north topping out in the mid-teens while southern readings move back up into the 20s.

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