Morning Headlines: Friday 26th January 2018

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

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Nils Torvalds Interview

Swedish People’s Party candidate Nils Torvalds says he thinks it’s still good value for money to vote for him in the presidential election, despite polling the lowest numbers of any candidate. The MEP and former journalist says it’s important for his candidate to field a candidate in the presidential election, because it helps keep their profile high going into local, European and future general elections. During this campaign, Torvalds has been the only strong supporter of joining NATO among the 8 politicians running for president, and in his Friday morning English-language interview with News Now Finland and MTV Uutiset, he said it made sense for Finland to be part of NATO, so that the EU didn’t have to build parallel security structures to include non-NATO countries. Torvalds also talked about immigration, and how finding ways to better integrate people, to make them feel welcome in Finland, would cut down on social exclusions which can potentially lead to radicalization and security problems. You can see the full interview again on our website and social media channels during the morning.

Latest Polls Explained

Two recent opinion polls paint slightly different pictures of how the various presidential candidates are doing. Both of the polls by state-funded broadcaster YLE and national newspaper Helsingin Sanomat show incumbent President Sauli Niinistö (NCP, CD) strongly in the lead (albeit with a 10% variance in the two polls). However the battle for 2nd, 3rd and 4th place is still going on, with candidates making a final push for votes ahead of Sunday’s ballot. If you don’t have time to digest the latest poll numbers, don’t worry, we’ve done it for you. Read more about the most up-to-date opinion polls at our story here.

Civil War Memorial Today

Members of parliament are remembering the Finnish civil war, which started one hundred years ago. All MPs will take part in the memorial service which begins at 11:00. The event’s programme includes a minute of silence, as well as musical and religious components. The brief but bloody civil war claimed an estimated 38,000 lives. Tomorrow marks the actual 100th anniversary of the date that war broke out.

Finnish School Children Getting Worse At Sports

The latest studies into physical fitness of Finnish school children show that kids are less active than just one year ago. The Ministry of Health study was carried out for the second time and recorded 50,000 fifth grade, and 10,000 eighth grade students across the country. Compared with Autumn 2016’s results, both boys and girls scored weaker in 20 metre sprint, throwing and catching, and upper body lifting. The results rank Finnish school pupils as “average” compared with other countries involved in similar studies, according to the Ministry.

Friday Morning Weather

The country sees a divide between bitterly cold, and surprisingly mild today, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. In the south, south west, along the coast and inland as far as Central Finland, expect temperatures up to +4°C. But going further north, the weather takes a sharp turn below freezing, with parts of Lapland dropping down to -18°C at the start of the day.