Finnish Marriages Up & Divorces Decrease
The number of people getting married in Finland is increasing, while divorces are decreasing. Last year around 26,500 marriages were registered in the country, that’s up slightly from the year before, according to the latest figures released this morning by Statistics Finland. More than 550 same sex marriages were performed as well, since they were allowed in March 2017. The average age of couples getting married also continues to rise. For women, the average to walk down the aisle is 32, while it’s 34 for men.
Military Service Exemptions
Most members of parliament’s Defence Committee would scrap a law that gives an exemption to Jehovah’s Witnesses from doing armed military and civilian service. That’s according to a new story by the Uutissuomalainen newspaper group this morning, after they polled 14 out of 16 Defence Committee members. Ten of those MPs said they would remove the special rights, on equality grounds. A task force at the Ministry of Defence is currently considering whether changes are necessary that would withdraw the special exemption enjoyed by Jehovah’s Witnesses to get out of military service. They are currently allowed to get out of having to serve on the grounds of their religious convictions.
New Trilateral Military Deal
Finland’s Defence Minister Jussi Niinistö (Blue) and his Swedish counterpart Peter Hultqvist are in Washington today to sign a trilateral defence deal with America. They’ll meet with US Defence Secretary James ‘Mad Dog’ Mattis, and the deal is supposed to continue and deepen defence cooperation between the three countries. Separately, Finland and Sweden have had their own bilateral agreements with the USA since 2016. The new agreement takes it one step further.
Eurovision Semi Final
Finland’s Saara Aalto is singing in the Eurovision Song Contest semi final tonight. Aalto takes to the stage in Lisbon hoping to be one of the top ten tunes that advances to Saturday’s grand final. Her song ‘Monsters’ is a high energy number and she’ll be looking to wow audiences across Europe, in the hope that they vote for her. Finland hasn’t made it past the semi final stage for the last three years, but Saara Aalto has some name recognition thanks to her run to second place in the UK’s popular X Factor talent competition. She performs 5th last out of 19 countries tonight. Read more about Finland’s quest for Eurovision glory in our original story here.
Lions Take On Norway
The Finnish men’s ice hockey team are back in action on ice later this evening, as the Lions take on Norway at the World Championships in Denmark. The latest match sees the Finns hoping to extend their lead at the top of pool B where two big 8-1 wins over South Korea and Latvia gave them a goal difference cushion over rivals USA and Canada. So far, the games have been attracting some big audience numbers, with 1.3 million people watching the South Korea game, and 1.2 million people tuning in for the Latvia match up. The game starts at 21:15 Finnish time. Read more about the struggles that one Finnish ice hockey had to stay afloat in our original story here.
Friday Morning Weather
It’s another bright start to the day on Tuesday with sunshine spreading across the whole country. The Finnish Meteorological Institute forecasts one of the first days this year where all parts of Finland will see temperatures above zero! In the far north it’ll be just +3C this morning, but it will get up to +13C on the south coast.