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Wednesday's papers: Turku stabbing investigation, Brexit problems and Johaug's tears

On Wednesday the newspapers continue coverage of the Turku knife attack, take a look at one Finn's problems in post-Brexit Britain, and observe a Norwegian skiing star's doping difficulties.

Therese Johaug itkee tiedotustilaisuudessa.
Finns were satisfied with a doping verdict for Norwegian cross-country skier Theresa Johaug on Wednesday. Image: Lehtikuva

Once again the newspapers on Wednesday are dominated by the aftermath of Friday's stabbing attack in Turku. On Tuesday four people were remanded into custody in connection with the attack, while one was freed and cleared of suspicion. Media investigation into the suspect's background continued.

Ilta-Sanomat leads with the news that the suspect, who is known as Abderrahman Mechkah to the Finnish authorities, attended school in Turku in the 2016-17 academic year. The paper also warns readers that there's a long legal process ahead, with Professor Matti Tolvanen telling the paper that the case could drag on for a year or more. The earliest it might be concluded is spring 2018, according to Tolvanen.

Aamulehti meanwhile reports that the response of emergency services will also be investigated. The Tampere daily says that some witnesses believe paramedics took too long to get to the scene to help the first victim. The regional authorities have asked for a report on the response from the local university hospital.

Finn told to leave UK

Brexit has caused ructions for many Finns in Britain and Brits in Finland, and on Wednesday HS takes a look at one case in some detail. Researcher Eva Johanna Holmberg received a letter from the Home Office this month telling her that she had no right to be in Britain and had one month to leave the country.

Her mistake, it seems, was to tick the wrong box when applying via the Home Office website for the status of 'qualified person' -- an EU citizen who has lived in the UK for five years and is therefore entitled to 'settled status' and similar rights to British citizens.

This is not yet a necessary step for EU citizens in the UK, but Holmberg decided to do it anyway for peace of mind and to get the admin out of the way. The website looked simple, she tells HS, so she sent in her application. Unfortunately it was rejected and the UK government told her to leave.

She immediately contacted lawyers, who said the removal letter was almost certainly without foundation but difficult to rescind. Her partner contacted the local MP, the Green Party's Caroline Lucas, and she promised to help.

But despite legal eagles and a prominent politician in her corner, Holmberg remains in limbo. Her advocates are unsure why exactly her application was rejected but suspect it might be to do with her employment situation. Although she works for Queen Mary University in London, her employer is technically Helsinki University--and that might not suffice for UK authorities.

In any case, she has legal bills of 3,800 euros and counting and considerably less peace of mind than she had when she entered the Kafkaesque bureaucracy around Britain's chaotic plans for a life after Brexit.

Johaug cried, Finns satisfied

It's rare for a Norwegian sports star to make the front pages of Finnish newspapers, but Theresa Johaug managed that on Wednesday. The cross-country skiing icon was caught doping in October 2016, but blamed the positive test on using the wrong lip balm provided by the team doctor. The doctor resigned his post.

Nevertheless she was banned from competition for 13 months by the Norwegian Olympic Committee, a period that conveniently elapsed just before the next Winter Olympics. The International Ski Federation intervened, asking the Court of Arbitration in Sport (CAS) to extend the ban. On Tuesday CAS ruled that the ban should be 18 months, and would prevent Johaug from going to the Olympics.

Finns have followed the case very closely, thanks to the country's long tradition of cross-country skiing and several Finnish doping scandals. Norwegian dominance in the sport has been met with some scepticism among Finnish fans, and so Ilta-Sanomat's headline "Johaug cried, Finns satisfied" is pretty accurate.

Finnish skier Aino-Kaisa Saarinen told IS she was pleased with the verdict.

"Otherwise it would be all over from an antidoping perspective, if some doctor could always come along and assume responsibility for an athlete's use of a banned substance," said Saarinen.

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