Arabic takes center stage for Stockholm theatre troupe | AFP

As Arabic overtakes Finnish to become the second most spoken language in Sweden, one theatre troupe embraces the change by touring the Scandinavian country with plays in the language.

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Askel & Elere – Glass

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Finnish duo Askel & Elere return to Soulvent with the four track ‘Glass EP’.

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Finnish town offers prizes to turn residents green | AFP

An EU-funded project in Lahti, southern Finland, offers inhabitants rewards including bus tickets or free food if they ditch the car in favour of cycling or public transport, under a scheme to lure the public into lower-carbon lifestyles. The “CitiCap” app tracks a user’s carbon emissions as they move around, by detecting whether they are travelling in a car, on public transport, on foot or by bike. The aim is to develop a “personal carbon trading” scheme that rewards citizens for green behaviour and which can be expanded to other cities.

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Finns turn to berry picking as coronavirus shortages bite | AFP

350 Finnish workers pick strawberries on the country’s largest strawberry farm, alongside 150 Ukrainian pickers, after coronavirus travel restrictions led Finnish farmers to recruit seasonal workers domestically for the first time in decades. Finland usually welcomes 16,000 foreign agricultural workers during the berry harvest, but this year only a third of that number came, all from Ukraine. However demand among Finns for working on the farms has been high, in part thanks to higher levels of joblessness since the coronavirus pandemic hit.

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Nokia workers protest in France against job cuts | AFP

“This is unjustified, intolerable, incomprehensible and unbearable”: Nokia employees in the French city of Lannion protest after the Finnish telecoms equipment manufacturer said it would cut 1,233 jobs in France at its Alcatel-Lucent subsidiary, including 402 jobs at its Brittany site, i.e. more than half of its workforce. IMAGES

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Children return to school in Finland after eight weeks of coronavirus lockdown | AFP

Finnish schoolchildren return to class after eight weeks of coronavirus lockdown despite warnings from the teacher’s union it may not be totally safe for its staff or the children.

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Schools reopen in Finland | AFP

Pupils at Eestinkallio primary school in Espoo, bordering the Finnish capital Helsinki, return to class after eight weeks of distance teaching as Finnish authorities begin to lift the restrictions designed to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Strict social distancing rules will be in place in schools for the remaining two weeks of term before the start of the summer holidays in June. Finland has so far recorded 284 coronavirus-related deaths and over 6,000 infections, a lower rate than neighbouring Nordic countries, which has led epidemiologists to warn that future waves of the virus may prove more serious. IMAGES

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Finland begins fishing plastic ‘ghost nets’ out of the Baltic | AFP

Finnish environmental authorities have begun a project to trawl the Baltic sea and remove abandoned fishing nets, known as “ghost nets”, which continue to trap fish and other wildlife. Plastic fishing equipment disintegrates extremely slowly in the water, and the UN’s food body estimates ghost nets constitute one tenth of all plastic waste in the world’s seas.

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Finnish power companies turn to animal poo for cleaner electricity | AFP

In the search for cleaner ways to generate electricity, power companies in Finland have set their sights on an energy source which is distinctly more brown than green: animal dung. 100 tons of manure from this year’s Helsinki International Horse Show was incinerated to produce enough energy to power the four-day event and heat homes in the capital. Energy company Fortum claims that that the manure produced daily by two horses can heat a single family home for a year. Meanwhile energy company Vantaan Energia has launched a campaign for dog owners to “give poo a new life” by sending their pets’ doings to be incinerated at the firm’s waste to energy plant. Vantaan Energia burns 1,000 tonnes of household rubbish every day, which it says produces efficient energy with limited emissions and leftover waste products.

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Finnish leader chides Trump during WH briefing

Amid White House battles with Congress over an impeachment inquiry, Finnish President Sauli Niinisto is urging President Donald Trump to work with European leaders adding: “Mr. President, you have here a great democracy. Keep it going on.” (Oct. 2)

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Finland begins fishing plastic “ghost nets” out of the Baltic | AFP

Finnish environmental authorities have begun a project to trawl the Baltic sea and remove abandoned fishing nets, known as “ghost nets”, which continue to trap fish and other wildlife. Plastic fishing equipment disintegrates extremely slowly in the sea, and the UN’s food body claims ghost nets constitute one tenth of all plastic waste in the world’s seas.

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Brexit without a deal “seems obvious now”, says Finnish PM | AFP

Britain leaving the EU with a no-deal Brexit now appears “obvious”, says Finland’s Prime Minister Antti Rinne, whose country holds the rotating EU Presidency. SOUNDBITE

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Finnish President greets Iranian foreign minister in Helsinki | AFP

The President of the Republic of Finland Sauli Niinisto greets Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammed Javad Zarif at the President’s official residence Mäntyniemi in Helsinki. Zarif is to visit three Nordic countries to discuss regional affairs and human rights. IMAGES

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Askel & Elere – Coincidences

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Finnish talents Askel & Elere return to Soulvent for their most accomplished release with the label yet, the ‘Yeah Alright EP’.

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Signing of bilateral treaties between South Korea and Finland | AFP

South Korean President Moon Jae-In and his Finnish counterpart Sauli Niinisto assist to the signing of bilateral treaties. Moon is visiting the Nordic region and will be spending eight days in Finland, Norway and Sweden. IMAGES

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Goalie Rask backstopping Bruins’ Cup hopes

Finnish goaltender Tuukka Rask has led the Boston Bruins to within three wins of the Stanley Cup championship.

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Ministers pose for family photo as Arctic Council meeting begis

The foreign ministers of the US, Russia, Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland Norway and Canada arrive and pose for a group photo as the Arctic Council ministerial meeting in the Finnish city of Rovaniemi opens. IMAGES of the family photo

Pompeo, Lavrov meet in Finland before Arctic ministerial

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo an Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov shake hands before reporters in the Finnish city of Rovaniemi before the beginning of an Arctic Council ministerial meeting. 1ST IMAGES

Askel – Murhe Dub

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Deep sonic textures from Finnish producer Askel – forthcoming on Terra Firma.

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Anti-immigration: Finland’s populists eye an election upset

In the remote, northern Finnish town of Oulu where he has lived for seven years, Syrian-born Jabo Waleed started feeling recently that some people’s behaviour towards him was becoming less welcoming. I can honestly say it’s not like before,” Waleed told AFP in fluent Finnish from behind the counter of his kebab shop in the town centre. Waleed’s experiences have been echoed by many other immigrants across Finland, since police in Oulu announced in December the arrest of nine suspects, all of whom had arrived in Finland as refugees or asylum seekers, for suspected sexual offences against minors.