Morning Headlines: Monday 13th August 2018

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

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Overnight Fire Hits Department Store

Firefighters in North Ostrobothnia have been battling a large fire at a department store in Pudasjärvi. The blaze has cause significant damage to the IKH building, and its storage facilities have been completely destroyed. Fireman Marko Hottinen says that some parts of the store could be saved, like the food and clothing departments, but approximately half of the 2000 square metre building has been destroyed by the fire. The alarm was raised around 03:00 this morning, and police and fire fighters will be investigating the cause when it’s safe to go into the building. There were no injuries reported in the fire.

Online Racism Investigations

Finnish police are receiving hundreds of reports of racist crimes online every year. A specialist unit was involved in investigating some 300 separate incidents in its first year of operation from March 2017 to April this year. About 40% of the incidents are recorded as incitement against a specific group of people; while 35% of cases are suspected defamation. The large number of cases can be partly explained by multiple attacks online of a single victim. Other common online crimes include spreading offensive private information and making threats.

Government Sites Hit By Foreign Cyber Attack

Several Finnish Government websites are recovering from a cyber attack knocked them offline on Sunday. The first problems were noticed around 16:00 on Sunday afternoon according to Jukka Käyhkö, an information security specialist at Finland’s National Cyber Security Centre, but soon realised it was a denial of service attack that originated abroad. The attack targeted several ministries, the Defence Forces and the Population Register Centre. The suomi.fi authentication service was affected, and through it you can log on to services like Kela, Vero tax, and health services. Access to these sites was restored again by 20:00 last night. Jukka Käyhkö says there is no evidence to suggest any data was stolen during the cyber attack.

New Books About President Niinistö Published

Two new books about Sauli Niinistö are going on sale this week, ahead of the President’s 70th birthday. The President hasn’t collaborated with either publication, which look at his life story and time in office. According to early details from of of the books, ‘Sauli Niinistö – Mäntyniemi’, written by two Aamulehti journalists, Niinistö argued with Foreign Ministry officials, as well as Foreign Minister Timo Soini and then-National Coalition Party leader Alex Stubb about whether to invite senior Russian politicians to an event in Helsinki, while they were subject to international travel sanctions. Niinistö wanted to invite them to events marking the 40th anniversary of the 1975 CSCE conference in Helsinki, but his ministers strongly disagreed. In the end, the Russians were not invited.

European Championships Disappointment For Finland

Finnish athletes had a disappointing time at the European Championships. The multi-sport events were held in Berlin and Scotland and featured athletics, swimming, cycling, golf and triathlon, and came to a close late Sunday evening. Finland sent more than 80 competitors to the championships but finished joint last in the medals table with a solitary bronze from swimmer Mimosa Jallow in the 50 metre backstroke event.

Monday Morning Weather

It’s a much cooler start to the week than we’ve had recently, with temperatures in parts of Lapland back in single digits, while there’s cloud cover and rain in many parts of the north and central Finland. On the eastern border, through the south coast and south west Finland there’s sunshine this morning however, with temperatures starting Monday highest in Hanko at +17°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 13th August 2018 / Credit: FMI