Morning Headlines: Monday 12th February 2018

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

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Olympic Update: Another Medal For Finland

Finnish snowboard racer Enni Rukajärvi has snatched a bronze medal in the slopestyle event at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Gold went to the USA, and silver went to Canada. But Rukajärvi’s score of 75.38 points was enough to secure a bronze podium place to add to her silver medal from Sochi four years ago. Slopestyle snowboarders have to tackle obstacles like rails, jumps and other tricky terrain on a downhill course.

Legalising Cannabis in Finland

The youth groups of Finnish political parties are taking the lead on drugs policy discussions, and broadly agree on the issue of decriminalising cannabis possession. It’s a rare example of cross-party agreement and highlights the lack of public debate in Finland about the subject of cannabis use. Fears over addiction, crime rates and whether marijuana is a gateway drug mean the issue is not at the forefront of political discussion. But new evidence from the USA shows some surprising results – and highlight in particular that Finland could be collecting tens of millions of euros in marijuana tax money every year. Read more about this subject in our original story here.

Disclosing Security Secrets

The disclosure of security secrets is more stringently regulated in Finnish law than in many other countries. STT Finnish News agency found that in Sweden, Norway, Estonia, Denmark and Germany the minimum penalty for disclosing classified information is a fine, while in Finland the minimum penalty is four months in prison. Authorities are determining whether to bring charges against a Helsingin Sanomat journalist for publishing 10-year-old documents about Finland’s intelligence-gathering capabilities. Police searched the journalist’s home in December, and confiscated a hard drive which they say was connected to the case, and which they allege she tried to destroy. The newspaper says it stands by the story and doesn’t believe its journalists broke any laws by publishing the documents.

Government Discusses Family Leave Reform

The heads of the three government coalition parties are set to discuss possible reform of family leave laws today. Over the weekend, Prime Minister Juha Sipilä Tweeted that he would meet with Petteri Orpo (NCP) and Sampo Terho (Blue) about the subject today. The move comes after another Centre Party minister said reforms would not go ahead due to lack of funds, but after the NCP and Blue leaders expressed disapproval, discussions were revived. The Blues want to see father’s leave extended to 100 days. NCP says the issue of reform is too important to just let it fail.

Monday Morning Weather

It’s yet another cold start to the day across the whole country, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Lapland has the coldest temperatures, down to -14C and snow forecast as well. The snow continues into Central Finland, the west coast and eastern border regions. Only the south, southwest, and capital city areas are spare snowfall on Monday morning. Temperatures south of Lapland range from -4C to -10C this morning.