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by Euro Reporter
2014-08-25 12:55:35
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Russia Says Aircraft Didn't Violate Finland's Airspace

Russia's Defence Ministry has denied that a Russian aircraft entered Finnish airspace; local media quoted the ministry as saying on Sunday. Finland's Defence Ministry said a day ago it suspected a Russian state aircraft briefly entered its airspace over the Gulf of Finland without permission on Saturday afternoon.

According to Russia's ministry, a military transport plane of its Baltic fleet made a planned flight on Aug. 23 from its St. Petersburg region to Kaliningrad, a western exclave of Russia bordering Poland and Lithuania.

"The flight was going on a strictly fixed route," Interfax news agency quoted an unnamed representative of Russia's defence ministry as saying. "The plane did not deviate from its air route during the flight..."

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The voice of the Russian opposition is to be heard through Finland

The Guardian and other news outlets have reported that Russian state action has recently reduced the abilities of independent media to operate freely in the Russian Federation. News mediums have been shut down or transferred to the control of elements close to the government. At the same time, access to publicity has been severely limited for elements critical of the Putin administration. Several reporters have left the country, and some of those who have stayed have been intimidated or assaulted. A group defending the right of free speech, active in Finland and abroad, has set up a page called REAKTSIYA - REACTION 'Unbiased News Source to Russians' on the American crowd funding site Kickstarter, on which they are raising $500,000 in funding for establishing a Russian language news portal. In addition to the Internet, news and discussions of the portal would be broadcasted through the Astra 4A satellite as well.

The group has also approached the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority about the possibility of obtaining a license for an analog AM radio frequency, as well as potentially also using the digital DRM standard. If a short-term license is granted for AM operations, the intention of the group is to start broadcasting on a 558 kHz frequency and with 100 kW power output as soon as possible, though no later than in early 2015. The AM licensing round will commence in the Finnish Communications Regulatory Authority with the inception of the Information Society Code on January 1, 2015, at which time the group can apply for a longer license.

The coverage area of the AM broadcast will reach at least St. Petersburg, but in good radio weather, especially at night, the broadcast can be heard as far as Moscow and Minsk. More than 20 million Russian speakers live in this area. The satellite broadcast will cover all of Western Russia, the Baltic, Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia and Kazakhstan, as well as other Russian speaking areas, in which a total of 200 million Russian speakers live. No license is required for satellite broadcasts. Portal reporters will be selected from proven defenders of free speech. The spokesperson for the group is Timo Uusi-Kerttula, the founder of the only commercial talk radio station in Finland.

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Finland is way behind in smartphones, thanks to Nokia

Finnish digital technology analyst Horace Dediu made this cool chart showing how much slower smartphone adoption has gone in Finland than in other Nordic countries.

Interestingly, this isn't because Finland is a backward or benighted place. It's almost certainly the opposite — Finland is home to Nokia, which was the dominant mobile phone maker of the early 21st century but has struggled to make a touchscreen device that people enjoy. But as the rest of the world started to turn to iPhones and Android-powered devices, the deep ties between Finland and Nokia encouraged people to stick with feature phones even as other countries were moving on.

 


         
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Emanuel Paparella2014-08-25 13:30:12
Having lived through the era of Stalin when the bear next door came to knock at the door regularly to the point of driving the Finns into cooperation with Hitler, it is no wonder that they are so sensitive to the issue of free speech or lack thereof in Russia. Putin authoritarianism which in slyness beats even Stalin, must be deeply troubling to the Finns. Something that ought to be of great concern to the rest of the EU, but alas, does not seem to face the right winger in the EU parliament.


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