Euro party delegates vote in Helsinki today
Delegates at the European People’s Party congress in Helsinki will decide today whether to choose German MEP Manfred Weber or ex-Finnish Prime Minister Alex Stubb (NCP) as their candidate to be ‘President of Europe’. The European People’s Party EPP is an umbrella group of mostly centre-right political parties from more than two dozen European countries with broadly similar values. In Finland, the National Coalition Party and Christian Democrats are members of the EPP group. Whoever wins today will be the EPP’s nominee for Europe’s top job if its parties get the lion’s share of seats at the European Parliament elections in spring 2019. The results of the vote should be known around 13:00 Helsinki time, but join us live on Facebook at 11:00 for conversation and interviews leading up to the vote.
Prime Minister Sipilä hosts more EU leaders
Finnish Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) is hosting a few more EU leaders for talks today. On Wednesday he met with seven heads of government and senior EU officials for talks about Brexit, Finland’s upcoming EU presidency and rule of law. Today he’s meeting with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Bulgaria’s Prime Minister Boyko Borisov.
More young women trying snus
The latest figures from the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL show a rise in the number of 18-year old girl who have experimented with snus over the last few decades. Back in 1981 just 5% of young women had tried the tobacco product, but now 24% have tried using it. There’s been a similar rise for 18-year old boys: 47% have tried snus today, whereas back in 1981 just 21% said they had tried it. During that time there’s also been a big rise in the amount of snus being seized by customs. Last year 1370kg of snus was seized by officers but by the end of September this year, 5118kg had already been impounded. It’s not illegal to posses or to use snus in Finland, but it is not possible to buy it in shops or import it.
ICYMI: Broadcaster YLE under fire over ‘racist’ subtitles
Finnish state broadcaster YLE has come under fire from a black Finnish viewer over subtitles used in a recent episode of the popular television show Doctor Who. Helsinki resident Maija Baijukya took to Twitter to register her concerns over the way the word ‘negro’ – used three times in the programme about civil rights activist Rosa Parks – was translated to Finnish as ‘neekeri’ which is widely, but not universally, considered as a racial slur. YLE has defended its use of the word given the historical context and to get across the feeling of the word to audiences. Read more at our original story here.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a pretty miserable start to Thursday morning weather: no sign of sunshine anywhere in Finland, lots of cloud cover, foggy conditions in the south east, and temperatures ranging from -4°C in the north of Lapland to +8°C in Åland. It’s going to get cooler on the weekend with east winds lowering the temperature by Sunday.