Morning Headlines: Monday 3rd September 2018

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

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Election Battle Heats Up As Parliament Returns

Members of Parliament get back to work this week after the summer recess, but parties are already sharpening their knives ahead of a general election expected in April 2018. With just eight months still to go until the next planned national vote, none of the parties in parliament are making any attempts to hide their election preparations: picking future candidates, stocking up their war chests for campaign battles, and using social media to score points against their rivals. It’s politics as usual for Finland, which means major legislative hurdles could still cause the government to stumble. Read more in our original story here about how some of the biggest parties are preparing for electoral battle.

Big Increase In Job Vacancies

There’s been a large increase in the number of vacant job positions compared to the number of unemployed people. New statistics from the Ministry of Employment and Economy released this morning show that in July, the average number of vacancies per unemployed person was 0.17%. There are varying reasons for increased job vacancies in different parts of the country. In the capital city region, there are many jobs available in the service sectors and construction industry, while in other parts of the country with manufacturing industries, jobs there have grown as demand increases for exports. There are also reasons why the jobs can’t be filled: in some areas there’s a lack of available housing for the new workers, while there’s a lack of local skills to match the jobs in other parts of the country.

Air Pollution Linked To Sudden Infant Death

A new study carried out by the University of Oulu finds that air pollution can have an effect on cases of sudden infant death. According to the research, the risk of ‘cot death’ was about 15% higher on days when pollution was worse than normal. Researchers say these results are in line with previous scientific research about the effects of tobacco smoke on infant health and mortality; or studies which show higher rates of sudden infant death in cities versus rural areas.

Foreign Minister In Croatia

Finnish foreign minister Timo Soini is in Croatia today, meeting with his foreign ministry counterpart and the Croatian Prime Minister. The two countries have to work together in cooperation with Romania as part of Finnish preparations to take over the EU Presidency next July. According to a Foreign Ministry press release, the EU Presidency might also offer other opportunities for collaboration between Finland and Croatia, for example with economic cooperation and investments.

ICYMI: Susijengi Beats Latvia

On Wednesday the Finnish men’s basketball team Susijengi takes on Lithuania in a qualifier match for the World Championships. And they’ll go into the Espoo encounter on something of a high, after beating Latvia on Friday for the first time in the previous four games. We caught up with team captain Jamar Wilson to get his thoughts on the team of relative newcomers was able to step up their game and win. Watch the video here.

Monday Morning Weather

Summer weather continue this week with temperatures over +20°C in many parts of the country. Mornings might be foggy due to warm and humid air – but the days will generally be sunny. The temperature in Lapland for example is forecast to be 2 to 3 degrees warmer than average. On Monday morning, expect to see that fog in the south east and into central Finland. There’s cloud cover at first across Lapland but sunshine in other places with a temperature high on the south coast of +15°C as Monday morning begins.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 3rd September 2018 / Credit: FMI