Morning headlines: Friday 15th March 2019

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

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Thousands of school students expected at climate change rallies

Thousands of Finnish school pupils are expected to go on strike today, and join rallies demanding more action from politicians to tackle climate change. It’s part of a global day of action inspired by 16-year old Swedish student Greta Thunberg, which is happening in 112 countries around the world. Here in Finland the main protest is taking place in Helsinki, with a march leaving Senate Square, and heading to Parliament where students will stage a rally outside the building to attract the attention of politicians inside. Watch our live coverage on Facebook starting at 10:30 this morning.

Lännen Media: IS children already returned to Finland

A new report by Lännen Media this morning says that children of Finnish parents who joined the Islamic State terror group, have already returned to the country from Syria. The news agency spoke to Helsinki’s head of social protection who says the number returning is small, but the number could change because IS is collapsing. Finland’s Security Police Supo estimate more than 80 Finns traveled from conflict zones in Syria and Iraq to Finland – roughly 20 adult women and 30 children; and there are also likely to be children with ties to Finland still in the conflict zone.

More Finns moving to ‘growth triangle’ by 2040

Every other Finn will be living in the so-called ‘growth triangle’ area of the country by 2040: Uusimaa, southwest Finland, Pirkanmma or Kanta-Häme. That’s the estimate of a new forecast prepared by the Regional Development Consultancy Office MDI. According to the forecast, between 2017 and 2040 the only parts of the country that will have a population increase are Uusimaa, Pirkanmaa, south west Finland and Åland. The population will grow by 328,000 and 89% of that will be in Uusimaa. In the other 15 provinces of Finland the population is forecast to fall by about 238,000 people.

Finland’s best cycling initiatives awarded

The country’s top bike initiatives for 2018 have been named this morning by the Cycling Network Association which found winners in small villages as well as a big city. The organisation was looking for new and bold ways to promote cycling during last year, and the selection criteria included effectiveness, fun, ingenuity and publicity. The first prize goes to Sattula village for introducing a brand new cycling and pedestrian-friendly traffic solution. Second prize goes to a year-round bike share scheme in Turku. And third prize is awarded to Kone Cranes’s employee bike share scheme linking their local office with the railway station in Hyvinkää.

Friday morning weather 

Things warmed up quite a lot in the last 48 hours! Temperatures at the start of the weekend hover just around freezing – a few degrees above, a few degrees below – depending on which part of the country you’re in. Across Lapland the temperature is around -2C with snow forecast in the north east and north west. There’s snow too for Kemi, and Central Finland around Jyvaskyla. But in other areas with temperatures a few degrees above freezing expect rain or sleet: Tampere, Lappeenranta and Helsinki and the capital city region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 15th March 2019 / Credit: FMI