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Wednesday's papers: Turku stabbing trial, more sote strife and tips for hot days at the office

Wednesday's papers cover closing arguments in the Turku stabbing trial, a new front in Finland's Sote conflict, and how to handle heat.

Auringonottaja keväisessä helsingissä.
Image: Martti Kainulainen / Lehtikuva

Finland's newspapers cover conclusion of the arguments in the trial of Abderrahman Bouanane, a Moroccan man who admits stabbing ten people in Turku market square last August. Helsingin Sanomat reports the key issues to be decided, noting that Bouanane's defence team argue that the crimes were manslaughter and attempted manslaughter, while the prosecution says they were calculated murders and attempted murders motivated by terrorism.

The prosecution says that the defendant was aiming to decapitate people, and continued attacking new victims even when being chased down. That indicates a level of premeditation consistent with a murder conviction, according to the prosecutors. The defence team meanwhile says that Bouanane had not made detailed plans and previous thoughts of a terror attack do not constitute a plan.

Turku court heard the defence argue that Bouanane's video manifesto, which he released before he went on his rampage, was aimed at people already sympathetic to ISIS and could therefore not be regarded as an attempt to spread fear. The prosecution rejects that argument, saying that ISIS has repeatedly urged followers to commit attacks independently.

ISIS media channels have not claimed the attack, however, leaving the court to decide whether terror was a motive.

The defence in the trial admits manslaughter and attempted manslaughter and wants a sentence of at least ten years in prison. The prosecution is seeking a life sentence. The court's verdict is due on 15 June.

Tampere joins Sote rebels

Tampere daily Aamulehti looks at a new attempt by Tampere city councillors to change or block the government's long-planned reform of social and healthcare services. Up until now the Helsinki region has led municipal protests against the reform, but Tampere's Green, Leftist and Finns Party groups have called a special session of the council to try and force through a negative statement on the plans.

To do that they need a majority of the city's 67 councillors, which will require some social democrats to join the rebellion. It's expected the National Coalition party will stick to their party's line, although in Helsinki they have in fact joined opposition politicians to oppose the plans.

"Originally the aim was for the reform to save three billion euros each year," said Finns Party councillor Lassi Kaleva. "In Sweden however we've seen that market-based healthcare raises costs."

Also on Tuesday the four Helsinki region municipalities (Helsinki, Vantaa, Espoo and Kauniainen) published a joint statement opposing the Sote plans. Parliament is scheduled to vote on the reforms in June.

Hot tips

The biggest news for most people in Finland this week is of course the hot weather. Helsingin Sanomat has ten top tips for people who unfortunately have to work even though the temperature has passed 25 degrees Celsius.

Number one if to get up early as it's somewhat easier to do so now than in November when you might go days without seeing the sun.

Next up are eating breakfast outdoors, walking or cycling to work, go swimming if possible, take breaks during the workday to get outside, hold meetings outdoors, work from home, make sure you don't get sun burnt and, above all, enjoy the weather--don't feel guilty about taking breaks or working from home.

Hopefully those tips will help people in Finland deal with the unusual warmth.

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