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Wednesday’s papers: Street shootings, Sheeran-mania grips Finland, and Somali integration

The press reports on two separate gun-related incidents, enthuses about Ed Sheeran and compares Finland to Minnesota.

Poptähti Ed Sheeran esiintyi Malmin lentokentällä tiistaina.
48,000 music fans attended the concert of British pop star Ed Sheeran at Malmi airport in Helsinki on Tuesday evening. Image: Emmi Korhonen / Lehtikuva

Many dailies cover the continued fallout from Tuesday’s street shooting in Helsinki, which one eyewitness told tabloid Iltalehti was like a "scene from an American movie". Two people were injured after a shooting incident on Hietalahdenkatu in the city's Kamppi district at around 4pm Tuesday. Not long afterwards, Helsinki police announced that an individual had been taken into custody for questioning.

Officials are expected to provide more details about the incident on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, daily newspaper Aamulehti reports of another attempted shooting - this time in the city of Valkeakoski, located about 35 km south of Tampere.

According to the paper, one person was injured in the Tampere incident, which occurred just after 10pm on Tuesday and was the second shooting incident on the streets of Finland over a matter of about six hours.

One eyewitness told Aamulehti that police stopped a car on the outskirts of Valkeakoski and that a man and woman were seen walking away with their hands in the air. The Central Finland Police Department have not, however, confirmed if any arrests have yet been made in relation to the shooting incident, according to the paper.

Somalis fare better in Minnesota than Finland

Main daily Helsingin Sanomat reports from the Cedar-Riverside neighbourhood in east Minneapolis, Minnesota - otherwise known as ‘Little Mogadishu’ - where the paper describes how Somali immigrants integrate much faster into American life than they tend to do in Finland.

According to HS, there are many similarities between Finland and the state of Minnesota which make for interesting comparisons on the experiences of Somalis on either side of the Atlantic.

Firstly, Minnesota has a population of approximately 5.6 million, similar to that of Finland, albeit with a much bigger Somali population - 50,000 compared with 20,000 Somali-speakers registered in Finland. Somalis began to arrive in Minnesota in the early 1990’s, around the same time they also started to appear in Finland, fleeing the civil war that has ravaged the country and is still ongoing.

Furthermore, Finland and Minnesota share similar climates, which HS also cites as a reason why so many residents of the US state report having a Nordic background.

According to HS however, these similarities between the two regions make the differences in the experiences of the Somali communities all the more stark.

The most striking difference is the unemployment rate among Somali speakers - in Finland it is over 40 percent. In Minnesota, it is just 15 percent, the paper reports.

Finnish flags and sauna tales woo Sheeran audience

Many papers also give plenty of space to the performance by pop artist Ed Sheeran in Helsinki, the first of the British musician's two concerts over two days as part of his Divide world tour.

According to tabloid Iltalehti, 48,000 fans from across Finland made their way to the open air venue at Malmi airport in the north east of the capital, with another 60,000 expected to attend tonight’s concert.

Despite reports of traffic congestion around the venue, IL reports that there were very few complaints among fans - many of whom sang along throughout the two hour performance. The paper also reports that Sheeran appeared on stage at one point wearing the Finnish national football team's shirt, to raucous approving applause from the crowd.

The singer further endeared himself to his Finnish audience, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat, when he described how he spent his birthday in Finland in February last year - by going to the sauna and rolling around in the snow.

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