Morning headlines: Wednesday 12th December 2018

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

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Plastic bag use drops in supermarkets

Shoppers at Finland’s biggest supermarket chains are getting the message about using fewer plastic bags to carry their groceries. Both S-Group and Kesko say that customers are moving away from plastic to paper bags, bringing their own cotton bags, or using so-called ‘bags for life’ that supermarkets sell. “There’s a small, a few percent, drop in sales of plastic bags. Sales of reusable bags has a 20% increase and paper bags 40% increase. Customers are increasingly using their own shopping bags while running their errands” says Matti Kalervo, K Group Vice President for Corporate Responsibility. The news comes as the government launches a new website aimed at helping people in Finland calculate how they can cut their own carbon footprint.

Finnish students narrowly miss Strasbourg shooting

A group of students from Espoo has narrowly avoided being caught up in a shooting attack in the French city of Strasbourg that left three people dead, and a dozen others wounded. The 19 students and a teacher from Olari High School are currently visiting Strasbourg as part of a class trip. According to their teacher who spoke to Ilta-Sanomat newspaper, the 15 and 16-year olds were in the area where the shooting happened shortly before the attack, and could hear the shots when they were in their hotel room. This morning, French police say they’re still searching for the gunman but have named a local man in connection with the attack at a Christmas market.

One dead in Lapland level crossing incident

One man is dead this morning after an incident at a level crossing in Kemijärvi, Lapland. It happened around 05:00 when rescue crews were alerted that a freight train and a truck had crashed on the level crossing. Train services between Rovaniemi and Kemijärvi – the last stop on the railway line – have been suspended as a clearing operation and investigation are carried out, and trains have been replaced with a bus service on that route.

Aktia Bank lowers economic outlook

Finland’s Aktia Bank says it is re-evaluating its outlook for the economy. Previously, the bank said it expected Finland’s economy to grow around 2.2% during 2019, but it’s not revising that downwards to 1.8%. The bank stresses that this is just a slowing down of growth, not a collapse of the economy and says that there are many uncertainties in the global economy that affect their outlook for Finland. “Especially the worsening economic situation in Europe affects Finland’s forecast, as Europe is important to Finland’s foreign trade” says Aktia Chief Economist Heidi Schauman.

Finland’s most popular Google searches

What are Finns searching for on Google? According to the new statistics for 2018 relased by the internet giant this morning, among the top hits are the presidential election, measles, Airison Helmi, and the new Oodi library in Helsinki. Google says most people are searching on their mobile devices for these subjects and this summer there was a spike in searches for ways to cool down homes and cope with sunburn!

Wednesday morning weather

It’s a much colder start to Wednesday morning than we’ve seen recently. Temperatures in Lapland are down as low as -18°C to -22°C. Across the rest of the country expect temperatures between freezing and -6°C, and while it’s cloudy everywhere there’s snow forecast for central Finland and the Jyväskylä region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 12th December 2018 / Credit: FMI