Morning headlines: Friday 22nd February 2019

News Now Finland morning news headlines and weather first, every weekday at 09:00

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Finland beats France in basketball thriller

The Finnish men’s basketball team Susijengi scored a famous victory over France in Espoo last night, beating the world ranked #3 team 76-69 in a World Cup qualifying match. Now, Finland travels to Perm to face Russia on Sunday and if they win that game, they will go through to China later this year to play in the World Cup. The start of the team was Jamar Wilson who scored 29 points – his highest tally ever for the national team – to secure the win. Before the game, Wilson said Finland were the underdogs, a position that rallied the team to victory. Read more at our story here.

Darude’s final Eurovision song revealed

Producer Darude and singer Sebastian Rejman have released the last of their tracks in contention to become Finland’s Eurovision Song Contest entry for Tel Aviv in May. The new song is called ‘Look Away’ and after a slow start builds up with Darude’s signature production values.Watch the video for ‘Look Away’ at this link. Next weekend, a live show in Turku will decided which of the three tracks represents Finland. It will be chosen by a combination of public voting and jury votes.

Timo Soini receiving Estonian honour today

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is in Estonia today for talks, and to receive an award from the Estonian state. Veteran politician Soini is being given the decoration of the II class of the Order of the Cross of Terra Mariana by the President of the Republic of Estonia on the eve of the country’s Independence Day. “The decoration is naturally a big honour. The relations between Finland and Estonia have become stronger in the recent years. Estonia is a very important neighbour and partner for us” Soini says in a statement. The minister will also hold bilateral discussion with Estonian President Kersti Kaljulaid and his counterpart Sven Mikser while he is in Tallinn.

ICYMI: Investigation highlights Neste’s reasons to classify biofuel as waste

When politicians decided in February to hike the share of biofuels on Finnish roads, they pumped a controversial ingredient into cars: a palm oil-based product that has already been reclassified due to environmental concerns in Sweden, Norway, UK and France. Finland’s state-owned oil company Neste stands to make potentially huge sums of money based on the careful legal definition of a product called PFAD. With a near monopoly on the production of renewable diesel, it’s in state-owned Neste’s best economic interests to keep PFAD designated as a waste product, since that entitles the company to huge tax reductions and hides the true cost, in emissions, of palm oil production. Read our full investigation here.

Friday morning weather

It’s a very cold – but very sunny – start to the weekend as Friday morning sees temperatures range from -21C in Lapland, to -27C in eastern Finland to -12C in the capital city region. There’s some snow in the forecast for Jyväskylä and Central Finland where the temperatures is down to -18C, and some snow flurries in Oulu as well but expect brilliant sunshine and mostly blue skies everywhere.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 22nd February 2019 / Credit: FMI