Morning headlines: Tuesday 20th November 2018

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

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October drop in unemployed jobseekers

The latest statistics released this morning show another fall in unemployed jobseekers during October. The Employment and Economic Development offices showed 230,100 people looking for work, which is a drop of 42,400 from the year before – and down 1900 from the previous month. The new statistics show the number of long-term unemployed has also been decreasing uninterrupted for the past year; while the number of job vacancies is rising as well. Statistics Finland this morning puts the country’s unemployment rate at 6.3%.

Estonian snuff smugglers busted

Finnish Customs say they’ve busted an Estonian snuff smuggling operation that imported some 5000kg of snuff to Finland in 2018. The illegal imports avoided excise duty of €2.2 million. The main suspect, from Estonia, is suspected of organising the smuggling from Sweden via border entries at Naantali, Turku, Tornio and Ylitornio into Finland. In total Customs suspects 11 people were part of the crime gang, and they’ve got four people in custody already.

Autumn exam results due today

Tens of thousands of Finnish students will find out today the results of their autumn matriculation exams. The results will be given to high schools around 09:00 this morning, and then passed on to pupils who get the results at their own school. This year, almost 38,000 Finnish students took the exam and for the last time there was a paper component. In the future, all the tests will be carried out digitally. Other subject had already gone digital but maths was the last remaining subject to make the switch.

No flags yet for children’s rights day 

Today Finland is marking the International Day of the Rights of the Child – but you won’t see flags flying everywhere. At least not yet. While the Interior Ministry suggests that flags be hoisted for today, the date won’t become an official flag day in Finland until 2020. The day celebrates the adoption of the United Nations Convention of the Rights of the Child which has been in force in Finland since 1991.

ICYMI – Forest management: Finland doesn’t rake

US President Donald Trump said this weekend that raking forests had helped Finland reduce its risk of wildfires. But one after another, Finnish experts poured cold water on that claim saying Finns have never raked their forests, not as part of woodland management or for other reasons either! “No. It’s definitely not true” says Henrik Lindberg, a forestry expert and principal lecturer at Häme University of Applied Sciences HAMK. “About 200 years ago in central Europe there was a practice called ‘litter raking’, to collect leaves for animal husbandry and bedding, but it was never done in Finland” he explains. Experts at the Interior Ministry and Finland’s state owned forestry corporation Metsähallitus all agree that the forests have never been ‘raked’. They do say some logging residue like branches is collected, but for fuel, not as fire prevention. Read more in our original story here.

Tuesday morning weather

It’s another cooler start to Tuesday morning with some snow expected in the Jyväskylä region so pay extra attention on the roads. Lapland has temperatures a few degrees above and below freezing, and that’s the same situation across the rest of the country too, where it’s a mostly cloudy start to the day. It’s -4°C in Lahti and along eastern border areas. In Turku and the south west +2°C, and a similar weather picture for Helsinki and the capital city region. In Vaasa Tuesday begins right on zero degrees.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 20th November 2018 / Credit: FMI