Thousands of Iraqis who arrived in Finland last year have decided to cancel their asylum applications and return home, with some saying they dislike the frosty weather and find the locals unfriendly.
More than 4,100 applications for asylum have been cancelled, officials say, with Finland chartering flights to take the refugees back to Baghdad from next week.
Though the majority say they yearn to be reunited with their families, others are simply disillusioned with the Nordic way of life, according to a local travel agent in Helsinki.
Muhiadin Hassan, who is selling up to twenty tickets to Baghdad each day, told Reuters: “Some say they don’t like the food here, it’s too cold or they don’t feel welcome in Finland. There are many reasons.”
Read more »
The White Death – World’s Greatest Sniper
Simo Häyhä was credited with over 500 kills in his service during the Winter War with his service cut short as he was wounded by a Soviet sniper. Simo was shot in the face with what turned out to be an exploding bullet and he was taken out of action due to these wounds. The total time that Simo Häyhä served in the Winter War was 100 days with about 500 kills credited to him. His record is truly remarkable and is long since remembered in the nation of Finland.
Häyhä’s specialty was his knowledge of the forests, his enduring patience, and his impeccable rifle marksmanship. A sniper by trade, he would dress up in all-white camouflage, sneak through the woods with only a day’s worth of food and couple clips of ammunition, and then lie in wait for any Russian stupid enough to wander into his kill zone.
Simo Häyhä was born in 1906 or 1905 (there seems to be two dates of his birth depending on the reference materials) in Rautajärvi, Finland. The town was in the shadow of the Soviet Union and as was the case with many border areas, the home of Mr. Häyhä was lost to the Soviets in the spoils of the Winter War. Like many of the towns and villages of this region the area was rural, and Mr. Häyhä was what people would call an outdoorsman spending much of his time outside letting his skills sharpen.
In 1925 Mr. Häyhä joined the Finnish Army for his one year of mandatory service. He must have been suited well for the Army in some regards as when he left he had achieved the rank of corporal. Later Simo Häyhä joined the Suojelskunta (Finnish Civil Guard) serving in his home district. The Civil Guard is a difficult organization to explain but putting the Civil Guard in US terms it is much like a very well-trained National Guard Unit.
As you can see from the photo above, the refugees are families, women, children, elderly and infirm.
Oh no… wait. Healthy looking men.
Finland’s government has condemned a racist protest in which demonstrators – including one dressed in a Ku Klux Klan outfit – attacked a bus transporting asylum seekers. Read more »
The Finns are standing strong and talking tough, wanting to kick the Greek socialists out of the eurozone.
Finland’s parliament has decided it will not accept any new bailout deal for Greece, media reports said Saturday, piling on pressure as eurozone finance ministers tried to find a way out of the impasse.
The decision to push for a so-called “Grexit” came after the eurosceptic Finns party, the second-largest in parliament, threatened to bring down the government if it backed another rescue deal for Greece, according to public broadcaster Yle.
Under Finland’s parliamentary system, the country’s “grand committee” – made up of 25 of 200 MPs – gives the government a mandate to negotiate on an aid agreement for Greece.\
Members of the committee met for talks in Helsinki on Saturday afternoon to decide their position, YLE reported.
But the parliamentary officials have declined to comment on the media report.
The finance minister, Alexander Stubb, was at the crunch eurozone talks in Brussels and tweeted that he could not reveal the mandate given to him by the grand committee so long as the negotiations were still ongoing. Read more »
There has been a lot of speculation about whether or not Kim Dotcom may be extradited if his residency is revoked for lying on his application.
There is also debate about where he would be sent to.
Some say Hong Kong as that is where he moved from to live in New Zealand….or to Germany…or to Finland….he holds passports in both of the latter jurisdictions.
Then you have to query David ‘Tainted’ Fisher’s expose…surely he knew about this already when he launched his dictated hagiography that he tried (and failed) to claim was work of journalism.
Could it perhaps be that ‘Tainted’ Fisher wrote the article to actually assist Kim Dotcom escaping justice by fleeing back to Germany? Read more »
The Labour party has made a fundamental error with their education policy.
They have confused quality with quantity.
In their mad rush to appease the NZEI with increased teacher numbers they have failed to understand that there are literally hundreds of studies world-wide that show that reducing class sizes do almost nothing to increase the quality of outcomes.
Even Damian Christie understands this:
Reducing class size might sound good, but with little impact on achievement is it the most useful way to spend edu $? http://t.co/NIlQxGpaIF
— Damian Christie (@damianchristie) July 6, 2014
Studies show that by increasing the quality of the teacher, rather than some journeyman, union hack, and put them in front of the classroom, then that has much more of an impact than reducing class sizes. In Finland, the country Labour used to hold up as the example for education, they focused on quality and have a requirement that every teacher have a minimum of a Master level degree. Imagine the howls of outrage from teacher unions in NZ if a political party mandated that for teachers.
Which brings me to an email from a reader that explains what Labour have missed.
In Hi Cam,
I was an English teacher in China for a couple of years at a private school that taught classes spoken English in-house and away at local state schools. This was all prior to the 2008 Olympics.
Class sizes ranged from between 12 to 25 students in-house and averaged about 40 in the state schools. Read more »
In terms of education no one on the left is offering anything this election – just more BANS – to go alongside truck bans, man bans, foreign investment bans, Nigella bans etc.
The Green/Labour/PPTA/NZEI block simply plan to ban National Standards, Charter Schools and the $359 million of government spending directed at improving leadership, teaching and learning in areas where schools are failing.
The only glimmer of a proposal they give is to say – we need to be like Finland. The funny thing is that those groups would go even more apoplectic if some of the things Finland does were put in place – plus – those working in Finland recognise that the conditions that make it work there do not work anywhere else.
“Compulsory schooling begins at the age of seven, with only a broadly-outlined national curriculum, and students wear their own clothes and call the teachers by their first names.”
Problem 1: Schooling begins at 7. In New Zealand the Left blame all school failure on poverty in the home. So they would want to leave children in that situation longer – so when those kids start school they are even further behind? When the children don’t own clothes of a quantity and quantity acceptable to going to school it just given them one more things to be socially distinct on – the Left would be happy with that?
Problem 2: That change would put a whole lot of NZEI employees out of work and out of the union. I can just see NZEI marching in favour of that.
Problem 3: One of the complaints with Charter Schools from the clueless Left has been that they may propose a curriculum apart from the national one. So they would suddenly be in favour of the much greater curriculum freedom offered to Finnish schools? Would they happy for schools to simply be leaving out portions benefiting the Left’s social agenda that are in our current curriculum?
“PISA results show that Finland was 12th best in the world for maths – outside of Asia, only Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Netherlands and Estonia fared better. Britain was 14 places below Finland.”
Problem 4: Some of the Finland results are not that flash. The Left also complain vehemently about testing and whinge about PISA (especially when it calls into doubt their “world class” mantra). So – they want Finnish systems based on a testing system that shows quality but at the same time bag the testing system and don’t want it here? It must be confusing having to try and think this way.
“And a study by the Smithsonian Institution showed that the difference between Finland’s weakest and strongest students was the smallest in the world.”
I’m happy to report this update on this morning’s “Cry Baby of the Week” story on Robyn Carter.
In short, Robyn claims she was so scared during the Seddon earthquake. All this was made worse because her cochlear implant doesn’t allow her to hear the TV properly. She couldn’t find out what the situation was via TV, so she is using this to push for live close captioning of news for the 700,000 deaf and hearing impaired people.
And she wants you to pay for it.
What Martin Johnson didn’t reveal is that Robyn Carter is not your average woman stuck in a rural area during an earthquake.
How many times have we seen the media not disclose the true background of their cry baby situations? This lady is an advocate for her cause. Which is fine. But to pass herself off as the victim in the story really doesn’t say much for Martin Johnston’s spidey senses.
But it gets worse. VERY much worse: Read more »
The Beer Floating Event Read more »
…about the NZ education system being world class…..and about Finland. Both take a hammering in the latest rankings.
Time for change and for the unions to stop opposing everything and put kids first.
Time for Labour to take responsibility for their ridiculous numeracy project that has impacted on the 15 year olds being tested.
Time for National to get bolder.
The common factor in NZ’s decline over the last 14 years. The unions opposing everything. Read more »