On April 4, 2023, Finland officially became the 31st member of the NATO military alliance. The 830-mile border between Finland and Russia is now by far the longest border between any NATO country and Russia, which otherwise borders only Norway, Latvia, Estonia, and short stretches of the Polish and Lithuanian borders where they encircle Kaliningrad. In the context of the not-so-cold war between the United States, NATO and Russia, any of these borders is a potentially dangerous flashpoint that could trigger a new crisis, or even a world war. But a key difference with the Finnish border is that it comes within about 100 miles of Severomorsk, where Russia's Northern Fleet and 13 of its 23 nuclear-armed submarines are based.
According to Hersh's sources, the explosives were planted in June 2022 by US Navy divers under the guise of the BALTOPS 22 NATO exercise, and were detonated three months later with a remote signal sent by a sonar buoy. One source told Hersh that the plotters knew the covert operation was an “act of war," with some in the CIA and State Department warning, “Don’t do this. It’s stupid and will be a political nightmare if it comes out." Now, after China demanded that the United States “explain itself to the world” over the claims, Hungary has added its voice to the call for a full and proper investigation, demanding to know "who committed it and why."
Here’s what the West is intellectually unable – in the midst of its boundlessly self-righteous, militarist mood to see: NATO’s expansion policy created – and is responsible for – the conflict. Russia created – and is responsible for – the war. There exists no violence which is not rooted in underlying conflicts. Conflict and peace literate people, therefore, talk about both. And if they want peace, they do not increase the symptoms – the war – they address the real cause, the conflict and ask the conflicting parties to tell what they fear and what they want and then move, step-by-step towards a sustainable solution. But neither the mainstream media nor politicians have the civil courage to address the conflict. It’s only about the war and only about Russia/Putin who must be punished, no matter the price to be paid by future generations. If we survive.
This key decision, upon which the world’s future now depends, will be between a continuing erosion of the significance of international law (which laws come from the U.N. and its agencies) and a proportionate increase in what the U.S. Government calls “the rules-based international order,” in which America’s Government increasingly controls (and even sets) those “rules” that will replace international laws; versus a future in which what erodes will instead be the U.S. Government’s international power to control the world in its own (billionaires’) favor, and, so a future that correspondingly benefits the global public (the very people who suffer from the aristocracies’ — especially America’s aristocracy’s — increasing control over the entire world).
Finland - 25,000 health care workers from six hospital districts represented by the Finnish Union of Practical Nurses (SuPer) and the Union of Health and Social Care Professionals (TEHY) are all set to go on strike starting on April 1. Unions are demanding immediate staff recruitments to solve an acute staff shortage in the social and healthcare services (Sote) sector, and a 3.6% increase on top of the annual pay raise over the next five years. On March 30, A national mediator presented a proposed settlement but it was rejected by unions who declared that the settlement did not address workers’ primary concern of staffing shortages. If the union’s demands are not met after two weeks of striking, 15,000 more health workers from other seven hospital districts also will join the strike.
The autumn is a colourful time in Finland. The trees turn yellow and then red before the leaves fall. Neon pinks and yellows also appear—the reflective vests of toddlers and children venturing out to explore parks and cities with their day care teachers. In Finland these sights are omnipresent. The country’s free or inexpensive public and private day care is, in many suburbs, so extensive that it seems every block might as well have one. This autumn, my eighteen-month-old daughter has started in hers—a city-run public day care quite close to our home. There, for a part of the day, she will join a group of twelve equally small kids while her parents go to work or study. Among other activities, she plays with friends, goes on nature trips, and visits the library.
A two-year basic income experiment was carried out in Finland in 2017-2018. The evaluation study is now available. The register data on employment now cover both years of the experiment and a more thorough analysis has been made of the results of the survey. In addition, the interview-based survey of basic income recipients complements the overall picture. In accordance with the preliminary plan for the evaluation, the employment effects of the basic income experiment were measured for the period from November 2017 to October 2018. The employment rate for basic income recipients improved slightly more during this period than for the control group. During the reference period, the basic income increased the number of days of employment by 6 days and the basic income recipients were employed for 78 days on average.
In December 2019, 34-year-old Sanna Marin from Finland’s Social Democratic Party became the world’s youngest head of state. Her centre-left government consists of five parties, all led by women, four of them 35 or under. The cabinet has a female majority, and even the parliament has near gender parity with 93 women MPs out of a total of 200.
HELSINKI— Thirty-four-year-old Social Democrat Sanna Marin took office in Finland on Tuesday as the world’s youngest serving prime minister, heading a coalition with four other parties led by women, all but one of them under 35. Marin won the confidence of parliament with 99 votes in favor and 70 against. She replaced Antti Rinne, who resigned last week after the Centre Party, one of the members of governing center-left coalition, said it had lost confidence in him over his handling of a postal strike.
In 2008 you could see tent villages and huts standing between trees in the parks of Helsinki. Homeless people had built makeshift homes in the middle of Finland’s capital city. They were exposed to harsh weather conditions. Since the 1980s, Finnish governments had been trying to reduce homelessness. Short-term shelters were built. However, long-term homeless people were still left out. There were too few emergency shelters and many affected people did not manage to get out of homelessness...
Finland now has the youngest prime minister in the world, 34-year-old Sanna Marin. The Social Democrat was catapulted into power when her predecessor, Antti Rinne, was forced to resign after a postal worker dispute escalated into a nationwide general strike. Rinne’s downfall was shockingly rapid. At the end of August, the government proposed changes to the classification of around 700 workers in the postal service, known as Posti. The proposal was to shift 700 Posti employees working in packaging and e-commerce shipping into a separate collective bargaining unit.
NEW YORK, March 20 – As in 2018, Finland again takes the top spot as the happiest country in the world according to three years of surveys taken by Gallup from 2016-2018. Rounding out the rest of the top ten are countries that have consistently ranked among the happiest. They are in order: Denmark, Norway, Iceland, Netherlands, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada and Austria. The US ranked 19th dropping one spot from last year. This year, the Report analyzes how life evaluations and emotions, both positive and negative, have evolved over the whole run of the Gallup World Poll, starting in 2005-2006.
My debate with Vartiainen was an interesting experience coming from the US. That a conservative Finnish MP agreed to debate an unknown socialist from America in an event organized by the country’s far left is kind of amazing on a discursive democracy level. I can’t imagine a US member of Congress ever agreeing to anything like that. In his introductory remarks, Vartiainen emphasized his view that he likes both the welfare state and market liberalism and believes there is a symbiotic relationship between them. He summed this up by saying “my slogan would be more market economy and more welfare state.” So an MP from the most economically conservative Finnish party has an ideological position that is generally in line with US Niskanen Center and a set of current policy preferences that is to the left of the US Democratic party.
Demonstrators brandished banners that read "Make peace, not war", "Refugees are welcome" and "Make human rights great again!" About 2,500 protesters demonstrated in support of human rights, democracy and the environment in Helsinki on Sunday, a day before U.S. President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin hold a summit in the Finnish capital. Demonstrators brandished banners that read "Make peace, not war", "Refugees are welcome" and "Make human rights great again!" Trump arrived in Helsinki later Sunday from Scotland. Tens of thousands of people demonstrated against his visit to London on Friday and several thousand more protested on Saturday in Scotland, where he spent much of the weekend playing golf.
From Finland’s high-tech businesses through to an extensive network of regional co-ops that ensure that there are banks, stores and other services within two miles of residents throughout the year, there are co-owned services in every sector stretching right across a country 40% larger than the UK. We have much to learn from countries like Finland and, across Europe, there has been a welcome strengthening of trade relations and contact between the 160,000 co-op enterprises which provide jobs for 5.4 million European citizens. My recent trip to Finland coincided with the start of the Lapland tourist season: the plane that brought me there boasted a seven metre high picture of Santa Claus on the tail. But I was there for a more prosaic reason, visiting some of the country’s leading co-operative enterprises.