Morning Headlines: Thursday 3rd May 2018

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

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Hotel Evacuated After Fat Fire

Two hundred hotel guests were evacuated during the night after a fire. Rescue crews were called to the Caribia Hotel in Turku just before midnight, when fat in a fryer in the hotel’s kitchen caught alight. Firefighters put out the blaze quickly, and guests were able to return to their rooms after about an hour. Officials say the evacuation was done calmly, and lead by hotel staff. This morning, the hotel is fully operational, as fire damage was limited to the kitchen. Nobody was injured in the fire.

Charged Officer Due In Court

Helsinki Court of Appeals is hearing from Laase Aapio, the city’s police chief today, in the ongoing legal process for Jari Aarnio. Aarnio, the former head of Helsinki police drugs squad, is appealing convictions which landed him in prison for 10 years in connection with drugs and corruption offenses. Aapio was deputy head of Helsinki Police while Aarnio was working there, and this morning Aapio will give evidence about that time. Separately, Aapio has been charged by prosecutors for not giving proper supervision, and turning a blind eye to the way disgraced ex-cop Aarnio handled confidential informants. That case will be handled in a separate court case later.

SDP And NCP Top Latest Political Poll

The latest political poll by state-funded broadcaster YLE shows the Social Democrats and National Coalition Party neck-and-neck with voter support. NCP gets 20.2% while SDP gets 20% in the new survey which asked more than 2400 people during April. NCP sees the biggest drop in the poll, down 1.3% after a month where MP Hjallis Harkimo quit the party; MP Elina Lepomäki said she’ll vote against the party in social healthcare reform; and the party leadership was accused of poaching an MP from a coalition partner. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s Centre Party is in third place in the new poll, up 0.7% to 17%. The Greens and Left Alliance are also up 0.7% each in fourth and fifth places. The survey’s margin of error is 2.1%.

Column: Headscarves Are Not Finland’s Biggest Problem

Politicians from the Finns Party recently signed a letter calling for a ban on headscarves for Muslim children in Finnish kindergartens. Party vice chair, and former presidential candidate, Lauri Huhtasaari spearheaded the effort. But in her latest column for News Now Finland, Habiba Ali says that children should be allowed to experiment on their own, noting that only a tiny number of kindergarten-age Muslim girls in Finland actually wear a headscarf anyway. “Politicizing this non-existent phenomenon is a provocation which will lead to more fracture in our society and alienate young Finnish Muslims” says Ali, a Social Democrat who sits on Espoo city council. Ali says there are bigger problems to solve in Finland, and that the Finns Party MPs are just trying to grab more populist votes. Read her full column at this link.

Thursday Morning Weather

There’s cloud, sunshine, rain and even the chance of snow in the forecast this morning, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Temperatures won’t rise into double digits anywhere this morning. There’s cloud cover pretty much everywhere except in the south west, along the coast from Turku towards Rauma. Central Finland might see glimpses too. Meanwhile the eastern border could see some rain, and there’s snow flurries forecast in eastern Lapland. A new front is approaching, and that means rain is coming to south and central parts as the day goes on.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning, 3rd May 2018 / Credit: FMI