Morning headlines: Monday 16th September 2019

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

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Protesters continue their fight as Malmi Airport gets closer to closure

The capital region’s second airport is due to cease flight operations at the end of this year, as the City of Helsinki gets ready to put into place a plan that’s been in the works for decades, to build thousands of homes on a large area which includes the airport facilities. City officials say there’s an urgent need for housing as the capital’s population grows in the coming years, but campaigners are trying every trick in the book from online petitions to court appeals in a bid to stop the building on the airport – which has been in continuous use since the 1930s. Read more at our original story here.

Fewer students opting to learn foreign languages

Finnish high school students are increasingly choosing to learn more maths over foreign languages as they prepare for university entrance exams which favour candidates with stronger math skills. A story in Helsingin Sanomat for Monday morning says that in some schools the number of students learning a foreign language has dropped by half, and they’re combining classes with nearby schools to make up the numbers.

Big fall in the number of children being baptised

There’s been a dramatic drop in the number of children being baptised. According to new statistics from the Population Register Centre and the Church. At the turn of the millennium about 90% of children were baptised in the religious ceremony, but that number has fallen rapidly. In the Oulu diocese which includes Lapland more than 80% of children born last year were baptised but in Helsinki only around around 40% of babies were baptised into the church.

Africa power stone heading home from Helsinki

A piece of stone imbued with mystical powers is to be returned from the National Museum of Finland in Helsinki to Namibia, where it was appropriated by Finnish missionaries more than a hundred years ago. The power stone was taken by Martti Rautanen, who opened the first Lutheran mission in Ovamboland in the 1800s. It’s been in Finland for decades but will be returned to Namibia next year due to its historical and cultural significance for the local people. “Some of the kingdoms have been without a king for decades, one for a hundred years. But all these kingdoms have a power stone, and this particular piece of stone is for the Kingdom of Ondonga” explains Martti Eerola a diplomat with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs who spent his childhood in northern Namibia, where his father worked as a missionary. Read more at our original story here.

Autumn insects gallery

After a few last days of sunshine and warm weather that made it feel like summer again, autumn seems to have arrived across the whole country. As the seasons change, so do the plants, birds, animals and insects. But if you look closely enough you can still see some flashes of autumn colour on Finnish dragonflies and even some late butterflies. Scroll through our gallery of Finland’s autumn insects, as seen through the lens of Espoo-based wildlife photographer Paul Stevens.

Monday morning weather 

The descent deep into autumn continues with unsettled weather across the whole of Finland for Monday morning. There’s rain in western Lapland, Central Finland, down the eastern border; but sunshine around Kemi, Turku and the capital city region. Temperatures range from just +2°C in parts of Lapland to +12°C in Helsinki at the start of the week.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 16th September 2019 / Credit: FMI