Morning headlines: Friday 3rd January 2020

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

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Baltic Herring Movement: ‘Most Finns are against the alt-right’

A grassroots Finnish movement that wants to rally people against hate speech and racism; and stands up for human rights, rule of law and the fight against climate change has attracted tens of thousands of followers online since it launched on Boxing Day 2019. The Silakkaliike – Baltic Herring Movement – has its roots in Italy’s anti-fascist Sardines political organisation, but with a distinctly Finnish flavour. And they’re strongly against taking a political stance. “You can establish these movements that are outside the existing political system and you can make a difference bringing people together from various different party backgrounds” says Katriina Valli, one of the group’s organisers. However they’ve been under attack from the Finnish right wing, even as they organise their first “fish mob” for 1st February. Read more in our original story here.

Fire deaths remain at record low 

The number of people killed in fires last year remained at a record low according to preliminary data from the Rescue Institute. During 2019 there were 49 people killed in fires, which translates to nine deaths per million inhabitants. This is a new record, with the previous low number of people killed in fires was 51 people in 2018. Fire deaths have fallen by more than half since 2007 when 109 people died. According to officials the number of fire deaths has been reduced through legislation, stricter use of smoke alarms, and better safety communication during rescue operations. Smoke alarms became mandatory in every home at the beginning of 1999.

U20 men books semi-final berth, but women’s U18 team miss out on medals

Finnish junior ice hockey teams are having mixed fortunes at their respective World Championship tournaments at the moment. The men’s U20 team booked a berth in the semi finals with third period victory over the USA. The goal came from Joonas Oden, assisted by Kristian Tanus. The Finns are the current reigning World Champions, and looking for back-to-back golds. They’ll face Canada in the semi final on Saturday night. But it was a different story for the U18 women who missed out on a medal after losing their bronze match 6-1 against Russia. Read more hockey news at our story here.

Search for two missing people continues. 

Police are searching for two young people in their early 20s who were last seen in Iisalmi on New Year’s Eve. Searching on nearby terrain are taking place today as police as the public if they met Markus Heikkilä, who is doing his conscription service at Kainuu Brigade, or Salla-Mari Tuorilainen. The pair was last seen on the corner of Savonkatu and Pohjolankatu in Iisalmi but it’s unclear what happened to them after that. Both of their mobile phones were switched off on 1st January and police have been looking at security camera footage in Iisalmi to try and track their movements.

Friday morning weather

It’s a very mild end to the first week of 2020 as we head into the weekend, with most parts of the country basking in temperatures above freezing. There’s lots of cloud cover around and rain in central and eastern areas: from Tampere and Pirkanmaa through into Jyväskylä and Central Finland, and parts of the eastern border as well. Temperatures range from +3°C in Inari to +6°C in Vaasa on Friday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 3rd January 2020 / Credit: FMI