Morning headlines: Thursday 17th January 2019

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

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Overnight snow blizzard

An overnight snow blizzard didn’t hit the capital city area with as much for as anticipated, and instead impacted slightly further east. But still it caused a lot of problems this morning. Finnair has preemptively canceled more than 40 flights at Helsinki Airport. It’s a mix of domestic flights and international flights with destinations like Beijing, Moscow, Stockholm, Copenhagen, Berlin, Shanghai and London. Read the full list of affected flights here. Meanwhile the Finnish Meteorological Institute warns of dangerous driving conditions in southwest Finland, Uusimaa, Kanta-Häme, Päijät-Häme, Kymenlaakso, South Karelia and Åland, so be extra careful on the roads, reduce your speed, and allow more time to get to your destination.

Finns Party’s Halla-aho banned on Twitter 

Finns Party leader Jussi Halla-aho has been partially banned by Twitter, a process known informally as ‘shadow banning’. It means that he can’t post or comment to the social media site, and his profile is more difficult for users to find. However, this type of banning is usually only for a certain amount of time, and his account hasn’t been deleted completely. Halla-aho writes on Facebook that it’s not the first time it happened to him. Twitter says they don’t ‘shadow ban’ people as a rule, and “we certainly don’t shadow ban based on political viewpoints or ideology”. However, a recent post about the subject, a senior company executive says they do rank search results low for “tweets from bad-faith actors who intend to manipulate or divide the conversation”. Halla-aho’s supporters including other politicians from his own party are crying foul, saying it’s political censorship ahead of the upcoming general election, and likened it to Soviet Union political censorship.

New Norway search for bodies of Finnish skiers

Authorities in northern Norway will begin a new search today for the bodies of three Finnish men and their Swedish companion who died in an avalanche as they attempted to reach the top of the 1440 metre high Blåbärfjellet near Tromsø at new year. The skiers are Mikael Sten (29), Niklas Nyman (36), André Stenfors (32) and Disa Bäckström (29) from Sweden. Rescue crews say they’ve pinpointed roughly the location of the bodies but so far efforts to recover them have been hampered by bad weather on the mountain.

Fazer bakers walk off the job 

Up to 30 employees at Fazer’s Oulu bakery have begun a one day strike to oppose plans to close the factory. The strike protest started at midnight. Earlier this week, Fazer announced a round of redundancy talks for all 83 employees at the Oulu bakery, considering closing the whole plant and transferring the operations to other bakeries around the country. Fazer says consumption of packaged bread products has decreased while the popularity of other baked goods has increased, so they need to switch up their production strategies.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a snowy start pretty much everywhere in the country this morning except for the capital city region. Temperatures get down really low, expect -23°C around Kemi and southern Lapland, and -21°C around Lieksa on the eastern border. Elsewhere it’s slightly less brutal, -14°C in northern Lapland, -10°C in Central Finland, and just -2°C in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday 17th January 2019 / Credit: FMI