Morning Headlines: Monday 26th February 2018

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

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Extreme Cold Weather Warning

The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI has issued a severe cold weather warning for much of the country this week. Temperatures cold feel as low as -30°C this week and remain below minus 20 until the beginning of March. It’s all to do with a special atmospheric weather event high in the stratosphere above the North Pole which results in cold air from Siberia pushing towards Finland. So how do you copy with the cold like a Finn? From advice on how to dress smartly, how to walk safely on icy roads, how to look out for others and how your moisturiser could be dangerous, read more about how to survive Finland’s coldest days of winter in our original story here.

Olympic Athletes Get Presidential Welcome

Finland’s Olympic athletes fly back from South Korea today and get a party with the President on arrival. The Olympic Team arrivals includes medalists Krista Pärmäköski and Iivo Niskanen who received their 30km silver and 50km gold cross-country medals, respectively, in front of a packed Pyeongchang stadium at the Winter Olympic closing ceremony on Sunday. They’re scheduled to be at Helsinki Airport by 14:00. Their arrival celebrations will be attended by President Sauli Niinistö and Minister of Sport Sampo Terho (Blue).

Busy Week For Strike Threat Mediations

The office of the National Conciliator Minna Helle is busy this week trying to solve industrial disputes before more strike action takes place. Mediation continues today in real estate services and the financial sector. The service industry trade union PAM has issued several strike calls, including for cleaners and caretakers. The first of them would begin on Thursday. However, a resolution was found on Sunday to the dispute in the hospitality and catering industry, averting any possible industrial action for restaurants and hotels. Also today there are conciliation talks to resolve labour disputes in the private education sector which is threatening to disrupt some Helsinki area vocational schools later in March. Read more about Finland’s recent spate of workplace unrest and the growing number of strike threats in our original story here.

Panda Politics

A new poll this morning for Lännen Media asks politicians their thoughts on the newly arrived pandas from China at Ähtäri Zoo. One hundred and one MPs responded to the survey between the end of January and the middle of February. More than 90% of MPs from the government coalition parties said they consider the pandas to be at least somewhat positive to Finland, hoping they’ll boost tourism to the zoo and possibly improve trade links with China. The Centre Party MPs of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä were most enthusiastic about the bears. But almost 60% of opposition MPs thought think the pandas’ arrival was somewhat negative – citing concerns about taking endangered pandas from their natural habitat and using them as global bargaining chips.