Council of Europe Ministerial meeting in Helsinki
Delegates from the 47 Council of Europe countries, including 30 ministers and other attendees are at Finlandia Hall today for the Council of Europe Ministerial meeting. It marks the end of Finland’s 6-month CoE presidency, and is overshadowed by a diplomatic fight with Russia over unpaid membership fees and voting rights. Police in the capital are also warning people again today to allow plenty of extra time for journeys that take them through the city centre as there will be road closures and delays, especially later on Friday afternoon, as all the VIPs depart from Finlandia Hall to the airport with their security escorts.
Finns Party activists make hand gesture used by white supremacists
A number of Finns Party activists have been caught on camera using a controversial ‘OK’ hand gesture which has been co-opted by white supremacists. Images from election night broadcasts on 14th April appear to show Finns Party Youth Uusimaa chairman Pyry-lii Soinio looking at the camera and making the symbol. Other images apparently show Finns Party supporters and officials making the same gesture on election night and on the party’s youth group website. Experts say although the hand symbol started off as a way for right wing activists to troll their liberal opponents, it has since been co-opted by ethno-nationalists and white supremacists and has hit the headlines this week when French far right political leader Marine Le Pen made the sign in a Facebook selfie with an Estonian far right politician. Read more at our original story here.
Actor in court on sex harassment charges
Finnish actor Aku Hirviniemi appears at the Kanta-Häme District Court today accused of sexual harassment. The actor wrote on Facebook that the accusations concern events at a party at his home, and that he denies the charges. At the beginning of today’s session the judge will decide how much of the proceedings are open to the public.
Finland takes on Britain at ice hockey World Championships
The Finnish men’s national team takes on some unusual opponents at the ice hockey World Championship in Slovakia – Great Britain. The Brits aren’t known for their modern day ice hockey prowess, but have won Olympic gold way back at the 1936 Winter Olympics (a feat that Finland have never managed!) The Lions are coming off a 3-1 victory over Denmark on Thursday night, and should make easy work of the British side, newly promoted to the top level of world ice hockey.
Friday morning weather
The weather looks good heading into the weekend – although we’re not at the point yet where all parts of the country start the morning in double digit temperatures. Still, there’s a lot of sunshine around for the whole country on Friday morning with the best of it everywhere south of Lapland. Temperatures range from +4C in the far north east to +11C in Oulu; +13C in Vaasa; +11C in Jyvaskyla; +13C in Turku and the south west, and +12C in Helsinki and the capital city region.