Parliament chooses new speakers
With the new government now sworn in, it’s the turn of parliament to elect new speakers today. Former Prime Minister Matti Vanhanen (Centre) has been nominated by his party as their candidate of speaker. Traditionally the second largest party in government fills that role – however the Finns Party has complained that they should have the role as the second largest party in parliament overall. Another former presidential candidate Tuula Haatainen (SDP), and Juho Eerola (Finns) are nominated as the deputy speakers by their respective parties.
Survey: Just 12% of Finns would join NATO right now
A new survey carried out by national defence and reserve forces organisation finds that just 12% of Finns would join NATO right now – but 44% say they would keep it as an option to join the military alliance in the future. The survey also asked respondents about the greatest strengths of Finnish defence, with 69% citing conscription, while 34% said cooperation with other states, and 31% said non-alignment was the country’s greatest military strength.
Crashed truck blocks motorway for several hours
Rescue crews say it could take several hours to move a crashed truck and fully open up a motorway in the south of the country. The accident happened around 06:30 this morning at Lahdenväylä near Mäntsälä. The truck crashed and overturned, leaving the driver slightly injured. He was taken to hospital for treatment. With motorway lanes closed, police officers are on site to divert traffic via a detour. Rescue crews say it could take up to two hours to move the crashed truck out of the motorway lanes and open up the road to normal traffic flows again.
Overnight fire burns Lapland school
An overnight fire at Lapinniemi school in Tervola has burned part of the roof. Rescue crews got the alarm around 02:00 and when they arrived at the scene, found the fire had spread into the roof structure. Firefighters were able to stop the flames going to other parts of the school building and limited the damage to around 20 square metres. Water from the hoses which got into the school was pumped out again by rescue crews. There was nobody inside the building at the time of the fire, and no one was injured. This morning, fire investigators are looking into how the blaze started.
Court ruling for actor accused of harassment
The District Court in Kanta-Häme is set to give a ruling today on accusations of harassment by Finnish actor Aku Hirviniemi. Prosecutors say he harassed two 17-year old girls after inviting them to his home last summer. Before the trial began the actor wrote on his Facebook page that the accusations concerned events at a party at his home, and he denied the charges. The trial began in May, and the prosecution is demanding 50 days’ penalties.
Friday morning weather
Temperatures are already into the +20C range this morning in many parts of the country. Although thtere’s some cloud cover over northern parts of Lapland, the rest of Finland can look forward to bright sunshine today. Temperatures are already hitting +23C in Oulu, +24C in Vaasa, +22C in Jyväskylä, +21C in the capital city region, +19C in Turku and +22C in Lappeenranta. Forecasters say temperatures are likely to reach +30C this afternoon and there’s a warning of localised thunder storms later for some areas.