Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

Finnish forest engineer Inna Salminen uses an application on her smartphone to control forests, to plan the maintenance work and to make sure that the protected areas in Finland are respected. (AFP)
Updated 19 November 2018
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Rake news: Social media ablaze on Trump’s forest remarks for Finland

  • US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors
  • Raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation

HELSINKI: Social media in Finland was ablaze with bemused comments on Monday after US President Donald Trump claimed the forest-covered nation prevents wildfires by raking its forest floors.
Speaking to reporters during the weekend while in California to see the impact of devastating forest fires, the US president again blamed forest management, but said Finland had the answer.
Trump cited the Finnish president as telling him Finns “spend a lot of time on raking and cleaning and doing things (in the forest), and they don’t have any problem.”
However the Nordic country’s president, Sauli Niinisto, told the Ilta-Sanomat newspaper on Sunday that he had no recollection of raking being mentioned when the pair met in Paris a week ago.
“I told him that Finland is a country covered in forests, but we also have a good warning system and network,” the president said.
Finnish social media users were quick to pile in, describing Trump’s comments as “rake news” and posting pictures of themselves brandishing the garden implement.
By late Sunday, raking-related terms were among the most popular Twitter hashtags and Google searches in the Nordic nation which is 72 percent covered by forests, predominantly of pine, birch and fir.
Meanwhile Yrjo Niskanen, head of emergency preparedness at Finland’s national forest center, said the US president may have been referring to the practice of removing branches and loose material left in the forest after logging.
But he pointed out that this is not done with a rake — and the wood is collected for energy production.
“I’ve never thought before that it could be removed because of the fire risk, that’s not mentioned in any forestry manuals. It’s taken away purely for business reasons,” Niskanen told the Iltalehti newspaper.


Donald Trump, ‘Holmes & Watson’ win Razzie worst film awards

Updated 23 February 2019
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Donald Trump, ‘Holmes & Watson’ win Razzie worst film awards

  • The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood’s Oscars
  • Winners are announced before the Academy Awards ceremony — the highest honors in the movie industry

LOS ANGELES: US President Donald Trump and a comedic movie take on Sherlock Holmes on Saturday topped the annual Razzie awards for the worst performances and films of 2018.
“Holmes & Watson,” starring Will Ferrell and John. C. Reilly, was the biggest “winner,” taking four trophies including worst film and “worst rip-off.” Reilly also was named worst supporting actor in what Razzie founder John Wilson called the “clueless parody” of the classic British detective tale.
The tongue-in-cheek Razzies, created in 1980, serve as an antidote to Hollywood’s Oscars. Winners were announced a day before Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony — the highest honors in the movie industry.
Trump won two worst actor Razzies for appearing as himself in the 2018 documentaries “Death of a Nation,” from conservative film maker Dinesh D’Souza, and liberal Michael Moore’s “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
White House aide Kellyanne Conway was voted worst supporting actress for her archival footage in “Fahrenheit 11/9.”
In an unusual twist, Melissa McCarthy was deemed worst actress, for her puppet comedy “The Happytime Murders,” as well as getting the Razzie Redeemer Award for her Oscar-nominated role in literary drama “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
“Gotti,” about late New York Mafia boss John Gotti, escaped with no “wins” despite getting six nominations, including worst picture, actor and “worst screen combo” for stars John Travolta and his wife, Kelly Preston.
Nominees and winners of the Razzies are voted for online by around 1,000 Razzie members from 24 countries, who sign up online and pay a $40 membership fee.