Morning headlines: Monday 12th August 2019

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

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Anti-Semitic vandalism prompts diplomatic protest & Jewish community concern

A spate of vandalism attacks targeting the Israeli embassy in Helsinki has prompted an official protest from the Israeli government, and caused a diplomatic rift that 15 incidents of vandalism from neo-Nazi and far right groups in the last 18 months have gone unsolved. “When I see this, with my background as an Israeli and a Jew […] this is the first time in my life where I had to witness anti-Semitic attacks” says Ambassador Dov Dov Segev-Steinberg, whose parents survived the Holocaust, but who lost many other family members. Meanwhile acts of vandalism from groups like the Nordic Resistance Movement which threaten members of the local Jewish community have become so routine that they’re no longer reported to the police. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Helsinki Police say they’re doing what they can but so far no arrests have been made. Read more at our original story here.

Appeals Court hears berry picker trafficking case today 

The Court of Appeals in Vaasa begins hearing a case today of an entrepreneur from Central Finland who was convicted in 2016 of trafficking workers from Thailand to pick berries. The business owner was convicted of forcing them to work 12 to 15 hours per day in tough conditions and stay in cramped and unclean accommodation, and was originally sentenced to a suspended prison sentence and a business ban. However both the individual who was convicted and the prosecution have appealed against this sentence – one thinks it’s too tough, the other thinks it’s not tough enough. Today the Appeals Court will begin with an on-site inspection of the place the Thai workers were living and working in Hankasalmi.

No crime suspected in maternity hospital fire 

Police investigating Sunday evening fire at Helsinki Women’s Clinic say they don’t suspect arson as the cause of the blaze. The fire broke out in a trash chute of the building and was quickly extinguished within an hour. However dozens of people including newborn babies were evacuated from the facility as a precaution as the smoke spread to several floors of the building. Nobody was injured in the fire. Those who were evacuated were transferred to other medical facilities in the capital.

Sustainable food on the menu at Flow Festival 

ICYMI: One of Finland’s biggest cultural events Flow Festival took place on the weekend with the food as much of an attraction as the music. This year there were 40 different food vendors to choose from, including some of the country’s hottest restaurant brands, a Michelin-starred chef, and trucks showcasing the latest foodie trends. Vendors also had to serve at least one dish that was prepared in accordance with Flow’s own sustainability guidelines, and restaurants rose to the occasion with innovations in cooking, sourcing and serving. Read more at our original story here.

Monday morning weather

It’s a mild start to the week across most of the country with temperatures ranging from +13C in Lapland to +19C in Hanko. However there’s plenty of cloud cover as well with the best of the sunshine around Turku and the south west. There’s rain in the forecast as well on the west coast from Kemi down to Vaasa and inland Ostrobothnia and expect it to spread as the day goes on across many other areas with meteorologists forecasting plenty of rain in the next 24 hours.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 12th August 2019 / Credit: FMI