Morning Headlines: Tuesday 27th March 2018

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

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Fire At Mikkeli Wood Plant

Firefighters in Mikkeli have brought an overnight fire at a wood processing plant under control. Rescue crews received an alarm call in the Pursiala industrial area early this morning and arrived to find the fire burning, and heavy smoke. Officials advised people to avoid moving around the area due to the smoke risk. There were no injuries in the blaze, and the cause of the fire is not yet clear say fire fighters.

Isolation Linked To Heart Health Problems 

A new study by University of Helsinki researchers found that social isolation increases the chance of heart attacks. Nearly 480,000 people were studied in Britain, aged 40 to 69. Their health was monitored for an average of seven years and during that time they provided detailed information on education, income levels, symptoms of depression and lifestyle. They were also asked to evaluate their loneliness and social contacts. Almost 10% of respondents reported they were socially isolated; and 6% said they were lonely. In the University of Helsinki study, both these groups were more likely to have some long-term health problems than others, and they also smoked more often. The degree of social isolation was about 40% higher in people who suffered their first heart attack.

Finn Arrested In Switzerland On Drug Smuggling Charges

A 43-year old Finnish man has been arrested at Zurich Airport in Switzerland according to local police. The arrest took place on Sunday and 46kg of the drug khat was found in his suitcases. Police say the man had arrived in Switzerland from Kenya, via Dubai. He’s now been handed over to prosecutors and is facing drug smuggling charges. Khat is a plant that is chewed as a drug, and popular in parts of east Africa. The World Health Organisation classes it as an addictive drug. Khat is illegal in countries across Europe, including Finland.

Finnish MPs Sign Letter Supporting Arrested Ex-Catalan Leader

A group of 16 Finnish MPs have signed a letter of support for Carles Puigdemont, the former Catalan president who was arrested in Germany on Sunday. Puigdemont had been hosted by MPs in Helsinki on Thursday and Friday last week, and gave a lecture at Helsinki University as well, but slipped out of the country before Finnish police could act on a Spanish arrest warrant for him. The open letter, signed by MPs from six different political parties, calls on Germany not to extradite Puigdemont to Spain, where they say he faces “decades” in prison. “The extradition request sent by Spain is strongly political in nature” says the text of the letter.

Record Lapland Tourist Numbers

The number of tourists who have visited Lapland during winter is on the rise. According to new figures from Statistics Finland, the number of nights spent by foreign tourists in Lapland increased by almost 6% to a quarter of a million in January: despite Chinese New Year falling in February this year, which reduced the number of Chinese tourists coming to Lapland in January, compared to previous years. Some of the reasons for the increase in tourist growth include more direct scheduled flights to the region, as well as more seasonal charter flights.

Finland Wins! 

The 2018 football World Cup is happening in just a few months next door in Russia, but the Finnish team won’t be taking part. Still, they can console themselves with a 5-0 win over Malta last night in Turkey. Teemu Pukki scored two of Finland’s goals, while Kalle Taimi, Fredrik Jensen and Pyry Soiri scored one each. The win extends a run of positive matches for the Finns, starting with a victory over Iceland last September.

Tuesday Morning Weather

It’s forecast to be fairly bright and sunny on Tuesday, but the temperatures dropped again across the country according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. Starting in Lapland temperatures drop as low as -15°C with some snow expected in the far north. In Central Finland the temperatures range from -10°C to -15°C but there will be bright sunny weather and blue skies this morning. There’s some snow forecast in the east, with temperatures down to -16°C. While the bright sunshine in the south, south west and capital city region won’t distract too much from -10°C temperatures.