Morning headlines: Friday 9th August 2019

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

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Flow Festival flexes its muscle with drag, opera and art

If you haven’t been to Flow Festival recently, things have changed. The three day event has expanded from its core offerings of eclectic music and quality food to include opera, art, and this year queer culture. A Saturday night event called My Neck My Back introduces Finnish drag artists, DJs and a voguing competition. “We wanted something unapologetically black and queer that shows that there is so much non-white LGBTQ+ talent in this city and country if you just bother to look” says Ervin Latimer, the creator of the show. The Aalto University fashion design student will also be taking to the stage as his drag alter ego Anna Konda in an event that doesn’t always go to plan – so expect surprises. Read more about this year’s Flow Festival, and its trip into racialised queer culture at our original story here.

Maternity leave ministerial swap 

Finland gets a new Minister of Science and Culture today as Annika Saarikko (Centre) starts her maternity leave. While she is gone, Hanna Kosonen (Centre) becomes the new minister and continues in the role until August 2020. The formal ceremony will take place at the presidential summer residence in Kultaranta, with President Sauli Niinistö swearing in Kosonen. After that, a session of the Council of State will be held where Kosonen will swear her oath.

Finland to take five more rescued asylum seekers 

The Finnish government says it will offer a temporary new home to five asylum seekers rescued in the Mediterranean Sea. They were rescued by the Alan Kurdi vessel and the Maltese navy, and their applications for asylum will be processed in Finland as normal: which means they could be accepted to live here permanently, or they might have their applications rejected for a variety of reasons. The majority of the rescued asylum seekers were from Sudan, Somalia and South Sudan according to a government press release. The Finnish government wants to see more permanent procedure put in place to make sure all EU countries are pulling their weight when it comes to helping out with rescued asylum seekers.

Popularity contest for NCP leadership 

Who would make the best leader of the National Coalition Party? Rural Future magazine has a new poll out today asking more than a thousand people their ideas. Just 17% of all Finns want current chairman Petteri Orpo to continue in his job when the party holds its summer conference next year. Two other MPs Elina Lepomäki and Antti Häkkänen polled higher at 19%. Among NCP supporters, 39% want Orpo to continue on as party leader for another term.

Oulu neighbourhood named district of the year 

Tuira neighbourhood, two kilometres from the centre of Oulu, has been named District of the Year but the Finnish Local Heritage Federation Suomen Kotiseutuliitto. The area, with around 7000 residents has been described as interesting and lively. “Tuira shows diversity and in a very constructive light: cultural diversity, inclusion, children and young people. There is a big block party and much more, with an active residents association at the heart of everything” says Tuula Salo, Chairperson of the Local Heritage Federation. Oulu has had a lot of bad press in the last year with a spate of child sex crimes involving immigrant men keeping the city in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Friday morning weather 

It’s a mixed weather picture across the country for the start of the weekend. While there’s a fair amount of cloud cover in the far north, capital region, western coast and eastern border the sun does shine through in places. There’s sunshine in southern Lapland as well but the brightest sunshine can be found in Central and eastern Finland. Temperatures range from +7C around Inari to +18C in Lapland this morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Friday morning 9th August 2019 / Credit: FMI