It’s springtime – get your bikes out! But remember that bicycle thieves are also on the move.

BIKE THEFTS have a special place among the other ordinary crimes that complicate our lives. To start with, any cineaste recognises stealing bikes as part of classic cinema imagery, thanks to the Italian neorealist film classic The Bicycle Thieves. The film depicts the events after an unlucky fellow, whose employment depends on his bike, has that very bicycle stolen.

WANDERING the streets of Vaasa, on Finland’s west coast, one could be forgiven for thinking that not much controversial happens here. Proudly bilingual, the population of the regional capital of Ostrobothnia swells considerably each year with an influx of students attending its three universities and two polytechnics.

But what is lurking in the shadows of the city proudly touting itself to be the sunniest in Finland? Quite a lot it seems.

A look at the awkward relationship and interaction between traditional print media and the internet.

THESE are times of distress for traditional print media. Circulation has declined throughout the internet-age – gradually for some publications, dramatically for others, and the list of casualties is ever growing. Meanwhile, modern readers competently skim through multiple online news-sites in a matter of minutes, liking and sharing, but not necessarily caring and understanding, as they go.

Helsinki suburb Vuosaari is emerging as a dynamic and international centre in its own right.

“What makes Vuosaari interesting and special as an area is that it comes across as a fascinating, modern and urban city district that pulsates with life.” This is what Aku Louhimies, one of Finland’s front-line film directors, said in an interview about a year ago. His new film Vuosaari, a collection of contemporary love stories, is hitting cinemas on 3 February.

Just who will be elected as Finland’s next president?

The race for the presidency is heating up. Although there’s been a lot of talk about it since the summer, now that all the main parties have named their candidates, election campaigning has stepped up a gear.

At the moment, the National Coalition’s candidate, Sauli Niinistö, is way out ahead of the rest, consistently chalking up opinion poll ratings in excess of 40 per cent, and that’s with around a fifth of Finns still undecided as to whom to vote for. Niinistö’s closest rivals are the Centre’s Paavo Väyrynen, the Social Democrats’ Paavo Lipponen and Timo Soini of Perussuomalaiset (a.k.a. the Finns Party).