Overnight fire in Lahti shopping mall
A huge fire is still burning at a Lahti shopping centre this morning as fire fighters try to bring the blaze under control. At least a third of the Mukkula mall in Ritaniemenkatu has been destroyed so far, with other parts suffering from smoke and water damage. Emergency crews say smoke has spread to downtown Lahti, and the nearby Mukkula school is closed today because there’s so much smoke in the area. Officials say nobody was in the mall at the time the fire started and there are no injuries reported.
Frozen Sámi legislation reveals divisions with state, community
When the politicians in Inari voted against new draft legislation this week, they decided not to approve amendments to the existing Sámi Parliament Act. The breakdown in the legislative process means the Finnish Supreme Administrative Court still has the final say on important and highly sensitive issues of identity for Sámi people. The vote has also brought back to the surface lingering divisions within Finland’s small Sámi population about who is a ‘true’ Sámi and who can be considered members of the tight-knit community. “It is definitely important because the Sámi Parliament would not have the credibility to represent our people” if they can’t have the final say in Sámi matters, says Tuomas Aslak Juuso, the parliament’s Second Vice-Chair. Read more in our original story.
Latest political opinion polls show SDP lead
A new political opinion poll out this morning from Alma Media shows Antti Rinne’s Social Democrats still leading the other parties with 22.2% support, that’s up a full two percentage points since the same poll was carried out in June. The National Coalition Party is in second place at 19.9% while Prime Minister Juha Sipilä‘s Centre Party is in a distant third with 15.1%. The Greens have also slipped, their previous ‘green wave’ of growing support continues to fall, now down almost 1 percentage point to 12.3%.
Friday morning weather
It’s a less stormy morning with much lower wind speeds than we’ve had in the last few days. Temperatures in parts of Lapland are down to -5°C and it’s not too much better across the rest of the country, a high of +5°in the eastern border area and +6°C in the south. It might be chilly but there’s a good deal of sunshine around across central Finland especially, but cloudy in the southern half of the country at the start of the weekend.