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Plucky air guitarists chase stringless glory at world titles in Finland

HELSINKI: Air guitar enthusiasts gathered in the Finnish city of Oulu on Friday to shred and strum their imaginary instruments in pursuit of the world championship of the bizarre dance form. Under gray, wet skies, this year’s 15 finalists appeared on the open air stage on Oulu’s central square, twanging, jangling, riffing, screeching and plucking the air. This year’s title was taken by Japan’s Nanami Nagura, who performed under the artist name Seven Seas in the contest’s 23rd edition. Read More: Lynyrd Skynyrd…

Finland jails asylum seeker for life over first terror attack

HELSINKI: A Finnish court on Friday sentenced a Moroccan asylum seeker to life in prison over what was described as the nation's first terror attack after he killed two women and injured eight others in a stabbing spree last year. The district court of Southwestern Finland found Abderrahman Bouanane guilty of two murders and eight attempted murders "with terrorist intent" in the southern Finnish city of Turku on the afternoon of August 18, 2017. The court said in its verdict that the 23-year-old swore allegiance to the…

Pakistan ranks ahead India among world’s happiest countries

Pakistan has been ranked as the 75th happiest nation in the world, according to a new UN report released on Wednesday. The World Happiness Report, a landmark survey of the state of global happiness, ranks 156 countries by their happiness levels, and 117 countries by the happiness of their immigrants. India is ranked far lower at 134 nestled between the African nations of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Niger. Bangladesh has been ranked at 115, Sri Lanka 116, Bhutan 97, while war-ravaged Afghanistan is placed at…

Finland invests $1 billion in Nokia to boost national influence

HELSINKI: Finland’s government investment arm has spent about 844 million euros ($1.04 billion) on building a 3.3 percent stake in Nokia to strengthen national influence over the telecom network gear maker. Nokia ruled the global mobile phone market a decade ago and the collapse of that business was a major cause of a decade of economic stagnation from which Finland is only just recovering. Nokia, which employs 6,300 people in Finland in a global workforce of around 102,800, is now focused on the telecom network…

“Angry Birds” maker Rovio plans IPO to boost growth

HELSINKI: The maker of hit mobile phone game “Angry Birds” is planning an initial public offering to raise around 30 million euros ($36 million) and potentially use its shares to make acquisitions. Finland’s Rovio Entertainment Ltd said on Tuesday that existing shareholders, which include the uncle of the company’s co-founder as well as venture capital firms Accel Partners and Atomico, would also sell some shares, though it gave no details. It declined too to put an estimated value on the company, which some traders have…

Finland confirm identity of main suspect in knife attack

HELSINKI (FINLAND): The main suspect in the stabbing attack that killed two and injured eight others this month in the Finnish city of Turku has been identified as Abderrahman Bouanane, a 22-year-old Moroccan national, authorities said on Monday. The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) informed the Turku court on August 28 that "the real name of the suspect is Abderrahman Bouanane" and that his date of birth is October 25, 1994, the court said in an e-mail to AFP. After the August 18 stabbing spree, which is being…

Second man arrested after Buckingham Palace sword attack

LONDON: British police investigating on Friday's sword attack outside Buckingham Palace in London arrested a second man on Sunday, as authorities in Belgium, Finland and Spain probed their own terror attacks. "The man was arrested on suspicion of being involved in the commission, preparation or instigation of terrorism at 10:15hrs (0915 GMT) today and he has been taken into custody," a police statement said. It came hours after Islamic State claimed Friday's knife attack on patrolling soldiers in Brussels and as…