Morning Headlines Thursday 8th February 2018

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

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Winter Olympics Gets Underway

The Winter Olympics opening ceremony takes place in Pyeongchang South Korea this evening. But competition has already begun for some Finnish athletes. In the curling competition, Oona Kauste and Tomi Rantamäki have lost to South Korea 9-4. The hosts took the lead after the first end with three points. The Finns fought back winning a few ends of their own but there was no catching the Koreans. Kauste and Rantamäki take on Switzerland in the next round which starts today 13:05 Finnish time.

Political Poll

The latest political opinion poll puts the National Coalition Party still at the top of the pack with 20.8% support. That’s up one percentage point from the last equivalent poll. The Social Democrats hold steady in second place with 18.7% and the Centre Party have slipped slightly down to 17.4% in third place. The Greens are in fourth with 14% support. The survey was carried out by Taloustutkimus on behalf of state-funded broadcaster YLE, and 2500 people responded, between the end of December and 6th February. The margin of error is 1.6%.

Soini Joins US Prayer Breakfast

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is taking part in the annual prayer breakfast at the White House in Washington DC today. The event brings together faith leaders and political leaders. This is Soini’s third time attending – he is a Roman Catholic – and the breakfast is part of his visit programme this week in the USA.

Archbishop Elections

The first round of voting to choose a new Archbishop for Finland takes place today. There are five candidates. If one of those candidates received more than half the votes in the first round of voting, the archbishopric job search is resolved. Otherwise, a run-off election between the two highest scoring clerics takes place on Thursday 1st March. The current Archbishop, Kari Mäkinen, has been in office since 2010 and announced that he will retire in early June.

Nearly 20% of Local Politicians Faced Sexual Harassment

A story from the Lännen Media Group this morning claims almost one-in-five municipal or city councilors in Finland have experienced sexual harassment when handling their official duties. Harassment included verbal and direct sexual acts, inappropriate comments or physical touching. Lännen Media polled more than 2000 people all over Finland and received 765 responses. Of the respondents, 111 women and 16 men reported experiencing sexual harassment.

Thursday Morning Weather

Snow is forecast across the whole country today, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. And that comes with more extreme cold weather for Lapland where temperatures drop down to -20C at the start of Thursday. In Central Finland it doesn’t really get much warmer, expect temperatures between -12C and -14C. Meanwhile in the capital city region there’s a lot of snow expected, even as temperatures rise to just below freezing. So watch out if it turns slushy on roads and pavements at some point.