Morning headlines: Friday 1st March 2019

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

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Changes coming to postal service from today

If you’re posting a letter to someone else in Finland, from it’s going to take longer to get there. New changes to Posti’s consumer service from today means a letter will take four business days to reach its destination: previously it was delivered within 2-3 working days. It’s part of a shake-up in the way Posti does business, after several years of change to try and keep up profits as the use of traditional mail systems to deliver mail decreases, with people switching to electronic communication instead. There’s no decision yet on whether to scrap the traditional Poste restante service. It’s one of the changes Posti wants to make but an outcry means they’re rethinking the position.

Antti Rinne back to parliament

Social Democrat chairman Antti Rinne has returned to work at parliament this morning. The 56-year old has been off sick since the new year, when he and his wife fell ill on holiday in Spain. At that time, doctors wouldn’t let him fly back to Finland while he was recovering. However, he picked up an infection while in Spain and that kept him off work during February as well. During Rinne’s sick leave one of his deputies Sanna Marin has been most visible filling in at election debate panels and party campaign events. Rinne’s absence doesn’t seem to have done too much damage to the party’s election fortunes, they’ve been at the top of opinion polls for many months.

Another Blue MP jumps ship ahead of election

Another member of parliament from the Blue Reform political party ahead of April’s elections. Ari Jalonen, from Pori, will remain part of the Blue’s parliamentary group until the election, but as resigned his party membership. Instead he’ll be attached to the National Coalition Party list for the general election. It’s the second defection from the Blues in recent weeks. Back in January former Speaker of Parliament Maria Lohela announced she was joining the Liike Nyt movement, although Lohela is standing down anyway and not contesting the election. Since splitting from the Finns Party, but staying in the coalition government, Blue Reform has struggled to get more than 1% or 2% in opinion polls.

Compensation claims for restaurant poisoning victims

A court is hearing compensation claims against the owners of an Indian restaurant in Kouvola, after five people got food poisoning during the first week after it opened. The incidents happened in autumn 2017, and when health inspectors went to the premises they found food stored in broken refrigerators and at room temperature; cooked food stored with raw ingredients; and staff still serving contaminated food to customers. The prosecution is demanding jail time for the restaurant’s owners, who worked as a waiter and a chef at the location, and compensation could be up to €220 per person who got food poisoning as a result of their bad hygiene practices.

Road dust can cause problems earlier than usual

The seasonal hazard of road dust in Finland is likely to begin earlier than usual as warmer weather melts snow and ice across large swathes of the country. The dust is produced when winter tyres grind up grit that has been put down on roads during the winter months. The National Institute for Health and Welfare THL says that road dust can cause 60 premature deaths every year in Finland. Local authorities usually treat the dust by spraying roads and paths with a binding saline solution, and then wash off the accumulated grit.

Friday morning weather

It’s a bright and sunny day across much of Finland to start the weekend, but quite cold as well. Temperatures range from -17C in Lapland to -4C in Åland. There’s some snow flurries in the forecast for Kilpisjärvi, and along the eastern border around Joensuu.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 1st March 2019 / Credit: FMI