Morning headlines: Friday 25th October 2019

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

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Lännen Media: military could change decision on diabetics 

The Finnish Defence Forces could be set to reverse an earlier position that stopped people with diabetes taking part in military service. In an interview with Lännen Media, Minister of Defence Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) indicates that he has asked for more information from the Defence Forces General Staff about the situation. Last spring a decision was made that having diabetes was a barrier to military service, based on safety and health risk assessments. Kaikkonen is quoted by Lännen Media as saying that anyone who is assigned to do B-service duties – away from frontline conscription activities – must have meaningful tasks to do.

Overnight fire at South Savo car dealership 

Firefighters have been clearing up after an overnight fire at a car dealership in South Savo. The Lappeenranta dealership’s fire alarm system detected smoke and flames around 01:00 this morning, and alerted a security company who called emergency services. When firefighters arrived on the scene they found that a fire in a car in the repair shop side of the business had spread to the roof of the structure. It took several hours to bring the blaze under control and this morning the clearing up efforts were still ongoing. Nobody was injured during the fire, which luckily didn’t spread to the dealership side of the building where more cars are stored.

Finland’s monthly birth rate rises for first time in four years

More children were born in September this year than in September 2018. According to Statistics Finland 4038 children were born in September compared with 3944 in September the previous year. It’s the first time in nearly four years that the number of children born in a given month was higher than the year before – the last time it happened with November 2015. Finland has one of the EU’s lowest birth rates, a rapidly-ageing population, and looking at labour shortages in the near future as older people retire, but not enough younger people entering the workforce.

Helsinki bores Russian tourists 

A social media survey in Russia has found that 30% of respondents say Helsinki is the most boring city in Europe! The poll was carried out by Aviasales, a Russian flight ticket website,  asking respondents to name their most boring travel destination. Helsinki reportedly has a lack of tourist attractions, bad weather, and is boring during the week. As for the other ‘boring’ cities on the list picked by Russian tourists, Bratislava comes second with 25%; Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic third with 15%; and Munich (10%), Warsaw (7%); Pisa (5%), and Vilnius 4% rounding out the list.

Friday morning weather

It’s a mixed weather picture for Friday morning. In Lapland expect poor road conditions with sleet and wet snow falling across much of the region. Temperatures range from -2°C to +2°C. Further south the weather picture starts to look a little warmer with temperatures up to +8°C but rain in the forecast across the central belt of the country from the Ostrobothnia coast in the west, through Jyväskylä and to Joensuu in the east. There’s rain all the way down the western coast into Turku and the south west. The best of the sunshine is in the capital city region and the south east around Lappeenranta on Friday morning. But an autumn storm is moving in later on Friday with gusty winds and Saturday is forecast to be a stormy day.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 25th October 2019 / Credit: FMI