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Norway Refuses to Gift Finland Even One Measly Mountain

Semantics put a stop to a fun birthday idea

(Newser) - Norwegians made the news late last year with an innovative proposal to celebrate Finland's 100th birthday by gifting their neighboring country the summit of Mount Halti , which sits on the border of the two Scandinavian countries. Most of the mountain is already in Finnish territory, the Independent reports. While... More »

Nobel Economics Winner: CEO Bonuses Are 'Too Complicated'

Oliver Hart of the UK and Bengt Holmstrom of Finland are pioneers in contract theory

(Newser) - British-born Oliver Hart and Bengt Holmstrom of Finland won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for their contributions to contract theory, shedding light on how contracts help people deal with conflicting interests. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said their theories "are valuable to the understanding of real-life... More »

5 Countries May Make Seniors Go Back to School

To keep their skills current and the Nordic region a major player in global arena

(Newser) - A recently published 36-page report outlining proposals to improve working life in the five Nordic countries—Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Sweden, and Norway—has a proposal that Quartz says contains a "startling" word: "mandatory." Poul Nielson, a Danish politician given the task last year of preparing a labor... More »

10 Countries With the Highest Quality of Life

Finland bests the rest

(Newser) - The US is in the top 20 countries with the highest standard of living—but don't let that go to your head. The Social Progress Index says that at No. 19, America is a "disappointment" given its huge economy, per Business Insider . The ranking is based on three... More »

1,380 Feet Below Finland, $4B Tomb Being Built

Finland looks to be the first country to bury its nuclear waste permanently

(Newser) - Finland is preparing to seal 5,500 tons of dangerously radioactive nuclear waste in 26 miles of tunnels for the next 100,000 years. AFP calls it "the world's costliest and longest-lasting burial." Finland generates more than one-third of its electricity through nuclear power, and the radioactive... More »

Finnish Island Freaks Out During Military 'Invasion'

The 'invasion' was really just a training exercise

(Newser) - There's a goofy Monty Python song called "Finland," and what transpired on one of the Nordic country's islands last week could have been taken right out of one of the comedy troupe's sketch lineups—except local residents weren't laughing. No one gave the people... More »

Not Enough Mail, So Finland's Postal Service Will Mow Lawns

On Tuesdays, and it won't provide the mower

(Newser) - The USPS isn't the only woebegone postal service. Things are bad enough in Finland that the state-owned Posti is getting into ... lawn care. Under the new program, which begins next month, postal workers will mow residents' lawns each Tuesday, when mail volumes are typically lower, broadcaster Yle reports. Interested... More »

People Love to Watch This Guy Crush Things

The Hydraulic Press Channel on YouTube has hundreds of thousands of followers

(Newser) - Lauri Vuohensilta is a competitive Finnish powerlifter and factory owner, but the world will probably remember him for something else entirely: His love of crushing things. That's because the 29-year-old has been filming himself crushing assorted everyday objects in a hydraulic press on his Hydraulic Press Channel on YouTube... More »

18 Asylum Seekers Accused in German Sex Attacks

Police chief in Cologne is fired

(Newser) - Eighteen of 31 suspects identified in the New Year’s Eve assaults on women in Cologne, Germany, are asylum seekers, authorities revealed Friday, the same day the city's police chief was removed from his post, per CNN . Some 170 criminal complaints have been filed in Cologne, including at least... More »

500-Year-Old Design Used to Build World's Longest Ice Bridge

The ice bridge should be strong enough to hold a 2-ton car

(Newser) - In a move Leonardo da Vinci would definitely think is pretty cool, 150 students and volunteers will be using one of the Renaissance master's old designs to create the world's longest ice bridge, Discovery News reports. Construction on the project—helmed by Eindhoven University of Technology in the... More »

Norway's Weird Gift Idea Involves Shifting Its Border

Norwegians want to give their flat neighbors a mountain

(Newser) - Finland celebrates the 100th anniversary of its independence from Russia in 2017, and people in Norway think they've found the perfect present for their much flatter neighbor. A campaign to shift the border a few hundred feet to give Finland a mountain peak is gathering steam and has won... More »

Defector May Reveal Human Experiments in North Korea

Scientist reportedly fled to Finland

(Newser) - A North Korean scientist has defected to Finland, and he may have evidence that his native country has been conducting ghastly experiments on humans involving chemical weapons, reports the South's Yonhap News Agency . The scientist is identified only as a 47-year-old named Lee who worked at a facility in... More »

Big Change in Finland Schools: No More 'Subjects'

Nation's highly regarded educators are switching to broader 'topics' instead

(Newser) - Finland's education system is generally considered among the best worldwide, but it's about to undergo a fundamental overhaul anyway—one that the Independent describes as among the most radical ever undertaken by any nation. It's doing away with individual subjects. Instead, students will learn about broader topics... More »

Could Using a Sauna Help You Live Longer?

Finnish study links sauna use, decreased risk of heart-related death

(Newser) - "Finns say the sauna is a poor man's pharmacy," a 54-year-old Helsinki native told the BBC in 2013. "If a sick person is not cured by tar, spirits, or sauna, then they will die." Looks like the Finns—most of whom have private saunas at... More »

Scientists Link 2 Genes to Violent Behavior

Criminals in Finland more likely to have mutated versions

(Newser) - A new study might be inching us closer to the possibility that the worst criminals can blame their behavior on bad genes. In the study of 900 convicts in Finland, researchers found that those with mutated forms of two genes were 13 times more likely to have a history of... More »

3 Jump to Safety Before Plane Crash Kills 8

Crash is Finland's worst air disaster in decades

(Newser) - Three people, including the pilot, managed to jump to safety using parachutes when a plane carrying skydivers experienced trouble over western Finland; another eight were killed when the aircraft crashed and caught fire, the BBC reports. Witnesses saw the three jump from the American-made Comp Air 8 light utility aircraft... More »

Why Some Jews Fought Alongside Hitler

Allied against Russia, Finnish Jews wanted to prove themselves

(Newser) - The Nazis had an unlikely ally during World War II: the Jews of Finland. As Finns and Germans allied against Russia, Jewish soldiers fought in the Finnish military—and still find themselves defending the fact that they sided with Adolf Hitler, writes Paul Kendall in the Telegraph . "I had... More »

Finland Takes Bronze From USA in Hockey

It was a 5-0 rout

(Newser) - They went from gold-medal hopefuls to fourth-place finishers in two days. The USA men's hockey team lost to Finland 5-0 today and will leave Sochi without a medal, reports USA Today . Unlike yesterday's 1-0 loss to Canada, this one wasn't much of a game. When Finland scored... More »

In Finland, Reindeer Glow in the Dark

Reflective spray being tested as way to cut down on car accidents

(Newser) - Rudolph's glowing nose just became rather unnecessary—at least in Finland, where herders are painting reindeer to essentially glow in the dark. It's not Santa's sleigh they're worried about, but oncoming cars. Roughly 4,000 reindeer die in traffic accidents in the country each year, the... More »

European Corruption 'Breathtaking': EU Report

Romania and Bulgaria lead the pack of worst offenders

(Newser) - Think Europeans are unlikely to be corrupted by a bribe? Not according to a new EU report that calls European corruption "breathtaking" in scope and says it costs at least $120 billion a year, the BBC reports. The extent of corruption varies by country, but 75% of Europeans surveyed... More »

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