Morning headlines: Monday 18th February 2019

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

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Next generation demands more govt action on climate change

Finnish parents, concerned about climate change, are joining with their children to highlight environmental issues. It’s part of a movement growing across Europe that sees young people demanding action in a way they wish the previous generation had done. For three Fridays in a row, 15-year-old Atte Ahokas has skipped school in Jokioinen and gone to the steps of parliament to protest what he says is the government’s insufficient plans to tackle global warming. Ahokas has been organising school strikes in his home area, but tries to get to Helsinki as often as possible – and the protests are inspired by a Swedish teenager. Read more in our original story here.

Soini talk Ukraine, Syria at Foreign Affairs Council

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is in Brussels today, meeting with his EU counterparts at the Foreign Affairs Council. On the agenda are the situation in Ukraine, Syria and the Horn of Africa as well as Venezuela. It’s been five years since Russia invaded eastern Ukraine and illegally annexed Crimea and this week the EU is trying to demonstrate its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty. The Ukrainian Foreign Minister will join EU ministers for part of the discussions.

Police campaign to crack down on distracted drivers 

Police throughout the country are launching a new campaign this week to crack down on distracted drivers. It starts today, and continues right through next weekend as well. The objective is to improve road safety and transport crime, and in particular police will be on the look-out for anyone driving while using their phone, tablets or even laptops behind the wheel.

More than 250 animals dead in barn fire 

More than 250 pigs have been killed in a fire at a farm in Merikarvia, north of Pori. The blaze broke out on Sunday afternoon, and when firefighters arrived on the scene they found a 1000 square metre barn already burning. That building was completely destroyed in the blaze, and the pigs inside were killed. A second enclosure with about 400 pigs was saved by rescue crews, who stayed at the farm until the evening clearing up.

Winter holidays begin today in the south and west

The traditional ‘Ski Week’ winter holidays begin today, with kids in the capital city region and Turku the first to be off school. Usually, winter holidays are staggered across a three week period around the country from the end of February to the beginning of March. Next week for example, schools in Central Finland, Hämeenlinna, Tampere, Mikkel, Kotka and Lahti will be on holiday. After that, it’s the turn of students in eastern and northern Finland, Kuopio, Kajaani, and Rovaniemi districts to take their ski week holiday.

Monday morning weather

The mini-heatwave from the weekend is over, for now. Temperatures dropped again in most places, down to -18°C along the eastern border where there will be the best of the sunshine at the start of the week. It’s back down to -14°C in parts of Lapland as well, with snow forecast in western Lapland this morning. In Central Finland expect temperatures around -8°C; but along coastal areas from Vaasa to Porvoo expect temperatures just around freezing and even up to +2°C in Åland this morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday 18th February 2019 / Credit: FMI