Morning headlines: Friday 21st September 2018

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New supermarket fights food poverty & food waste

More than 400 million kilos of edible food is thrown away every year in Finland, even as campaigners say there’s still too much food poverty among low income Finns. Now a new supermarket – the first of its kind in the country – has opened in Helsinki, to sell surplus food at discount prices, aiming to help people who struggle to pay for their own groceries. At the same time it’s fighting food waste and helping reduce its impact on the environment. Staffed mainly by volunteers, the WeFood store opened this week in the new Redi shopping centre in Kalasatama district. Based on a Danish model, it’s jointly run with Finn Church Aid, and as well as tackling food poverty it has ambitious sustainable development goals. And the food can be 30% to 50% cheaper than you’d find in regular supermarkets. Read more about the WeFood store in our original story here.

Timo Soini faces parliament showdown over abortion stance

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is facing a no-confidence vote in parliament this afternoon. The motion has been brought by opposition parties after numerous controversial comments that Soini has made about abortion. Soini says his views are private, but this week the Chancellor of Justice issued a report which says Soini it’s “problematic” when Soini is on official business and attends any anti-abortion events, as he did in Canada earlier this year. While Soini’s party – and Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) – have been supporting him, many female MPs have taken to social media to criticise Soini’s original actions, and his appearance in parliament this week where he refused to apologise for them. Several mostly female MPs from Soini’s coalition partners in National Coalition Party and the Centre Party could vote against him but analysts think Soini will ultimately survive the vote.

Defamation trial for women against singer in social media case

The trial begins today in Helsinki of four women accused of gross defamation, over comments they posted about singer Tomi Metsäketo on social media. The youngest woman is 22 and the oldest is 56. According to the charges, the women wrote false and degrading information in a closed Facebook group last October. One of the women wrote her comments on Twitter. While the accused women acknowledge they wrote the posts, they are contesting the charges, saying the were just participating in a debate about the singer. Metsäketo was fired from a TV show after accusations of harassment, and admits his own behaviour could have been better.

Friday morning weather

It’s a split start to the weekend across the country on Friday morning. In the northern half of the country, expect plenty of sunshine with temperatures in low double digits except in the far north of Lapland where there’s increased cloud cover as well. The sun is shining from behind those clouds south into central Finland, the west coast and eastern border areas too. In the capital city region it’s going to be wet this morning, but it will feel warmer at +13°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 21st September 2018 / Credit: FMI