Morning Headlines: Tuesday 20th March 2018


North Korea Talks Begin

Talks get underway at a secret location in Finland today between representatives from North Korea, South Korea and the USA. There’s believed to be six participants from each country taking part: a mix of former officials, current administration representatives and academic. Finland is not taking part in the discussions, just facilitating them, but this morning, Foreign Minister Timo Soini said there had been quite a lot of inaccurate speculation about the topics up for discussion at the Helsinki meeting, although he stressed that all confidence-building measures between the three sides were good. Read more about the North Korea talks in Finland at our original story here.

Turku Terror Trial Proceedings Begins

Trial proceedings begin in Turku today, for an asylum seeker accused of going on a stabbing rampage last August in the city. The preparatory phase of the trial – which starts properly in April – examines the allegations, and hears from lawyers on both sides. Ten people were stabbed during last summer’s knife attack and two died from their injuries. The suspect, who is from Morocco and gave a false name on his asylum application, is charged with terror-related offenses.

Chamber Of Commerce Highlights CEO Turnover, Hiring

The Central Chamber of Commerce says only 19% of new CEOs at Finnish listed companies were hired from inside the company, and highlights the relatively short tenure at the top of major Finnish companies. In a new report out this morning, the Chamber says Finland recruits “an internationally low” number of CEOs from within it’s big companies, and says this could be bad for continuity. The Chamber also notes that Finnish CEOs at big companies spend an average of just 5.1 years in the job. By contrast, the average term of CEOs in the top 100 companies of the Harvard Business Review is 17 years.

Overnight Fires In Tampere, Kemi

Fifteen people were rescued after a fire broke out in a Tampere apartment building. Rescue crews say the fire broke out in the attic of a block of flats in the city and 24 rescue units were called to the scene early this morning. Police say drivers should avoid Tampere city centre around Tuomiokirkonkatu while rescue crews continue their work to put out the fire. Meanwhile in Kemi, a fire broke out at the Metsä pulp factor inside the chipper conveyor belt system. Workers discovered the smoke and alerted fire crews. The factory’s own sprinkler system was activated but didn’t fully put out the fire, so rescue crews became involves as well in fighting the blaze.

Overnight Car Crashes in Vantaa, Joensuu

The Central Uusimaa Rescue Department says a five-car collision on the Hämeenlinna road in Vantaa will continue to disrupt traffic for several hours this morning. One lane is closed off while the crashed vehicles are removed from the scene. Rescue crews say visibility is poor on that stretch of road due to snowfall, and road surfaces are slippery. And in Joensuu, two people were taken to hospital after a crash in the early hours of the morning. The vehicles collided at a junction, and both cars were damaged in the crash.

Justice Minister Meets Controversial Counterpart In America

Finland’s Justice Minister Antti Häkkänen (Centre) meets with his controversial American counterpart Jeff Sessions in Washington today. On the agenda are hybrid threats, election security, intelligence matters, counter-terrorism and issues related to data protection. Jeff Sessions has been at the centre of ongoing turmoil in the Trump administration over a Special Prosecutor investigation into possible Russian influence in the 2016 presidential election. Minister Häkkänen will also meet with representatives in Congress, and with the FBI while he’s in Washington, according to a government press release.

Tuesday Morning Weather

The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI warns of strong snow blizzards causing traffic problems in Uusimaa and Pirkanmaa regions this morning. Snow is expected to move east towards South Karelia by the middle of the day. Expect temperatures in these parts of the country between -3°C and -6°C. In Central Finland there’s more sunshine, with temperatures down to -13°C. In Lapland, expect bright blue skies and lots of sun but bitter cold temperatures dropping to -19°C in the north of the country.