Morning headlines: Monday 21st January 2019

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

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No love for female conscripts from armed forces chief 

The Commander of the Defence Forces Jarmo Lindberg says he doesn’t see a need for female conscripts to the military, on equality grounds, when the current system of male conscripts plus some female volunteers suits Finland’s military needs just fine. Lindberg made the comments in a speech this morning at the opening of the new defence course. Lindberg says that obliging women to serve a compulsory period of military conscription as well as men would require a change in legislation and an increase in budge costs. At the same event, Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö (Blue) also gave a speech to the incoming class for the 228th defence course, saying that the Defence Forces are in their best position since the end of the Cold War. He cited rapid deployment forces, new international defence cooperation, and upcoming strategic projects like replacing the country’s main fighter jets.

New record low temp for this winter

It’s going to feel extremely cold no matter where in Finland you are this morning! Overnight a new record low temperature for this winter was recorded at Salla, with the mercury dropping down to -36.6°C. Across Lapland temperatures range from -29°C to -34°C. Down into Central Finland it only warms up to about -25°C, and it’s the same story down the eastern border as well. Around Turku and the capital city region it’s about -16°C at the beginning of the week. Expect heavy snow in Kilpisjärvi, and more snow forecast for Tampere and around Joensuu as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 21st January 2019 / Credit: FMI

Foreign Minister in Brussels

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is in Brussels today for meetings with EU counterparts and also delegations from Asia. On the agenda are global challenges such as climate change, security cooperation, counter-terrorism, cyber security and crime. Before that, Finland hosts a breakfast attended by the EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and about half of the EU foreign ministers to discuss mediation, something the Finns consider themselves experts at. A former finance minister Jutta Urpilainen (SDP) will also be at the breakfast in her role as Finnish Special Representative for Peace Mediation.

Monday is a busy day for school meals 

Today is the most popular day for pupils to eat school meals, according to a story in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper. Food service managers in six large cities all report the same thing, that pupils eat more on a Monday. In Oulu for example, some schools serve up to 20% more food on Mondays than other days of the week. Teachers and food service providers think the reasons are clear, according to HS, that some children go without enough food during the weekend, especially if they take part in activities where meals are replaced with snacks. So when it comes to Monday, children fill up on a hot meal at school.