Morning headlines: Monday 21st October 2019

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

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Disinformation discussion ‘beyond the grasp’ of Finns Party politicians

Finns Party politicians at the European Parliament have voted repeatedly this month to block efforts to fight disinformation and interference by foreign governments in elections in European Union countries. The move effectively makes Laura Huhtasaari and Teuvo Hakkarainen ‘useful idiots’ for Vladimir Putin, with Kremlin-backed news outlets regularly targeting EU countries including Finland with fake news and disinformation, and Russia accused of meddling in a number of European elections in recent years. In a damning comment, a senior Finnish MEP calls the discussion over disinformation in society ‘beyond the grasp’ of Huhtasaari and Hakkarainen. Read more at our original story here.

One-in-four young people has tried electronic tobacco 

Around a quarter of young people have tried electronic tobacco products, like vaping, but only a few use them regularly. That’s the findings of a new study by the National Institute for Health and Welfare THL released on Monday which shows about 1-on-4 young people aged 12 to 18 has tried these type of products – with the older age group experimenting more than youngsters. However, only about 2% of Finnish adults use electronic tobacco products on a daily basis. In young people it’s more common in boys – with around 18% of 18-year olds using electronic tobacco daily.

President Niinistö in Japan for coronation 

President Sauli Niinistö and First Lady Jenny Haukio started a visit to Japan today. The couple are there for the coronation of Emperor Naruhito which takes place on Tuesday. Leaders from 170 countries are expected to attend Naruhito’s accession to the Chrysanthemum Throne, in celebrations that were supposed to include a procession through the streets, however officials scaled back some of the lavish elements of the day in the wake of last week’s deadly Typhoon Hagibis. During the visit to Japan the Finnish first couple will also have a bilateral programme. President Niinistö met for talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe already on Monday, while Mrs Haukio will be visiting Moomin World attraction which opened near Tokyo earlier this year.

Ministry of Justice introduces Sámi branding 

The Ministry of Justice is unveiling a new Sámi-language logo today. The new logo has the ministry’s title in all three Sámi languaged used in Finland: Northern Sámi, Inari Sámi and Skolt Sámi. The ministry will use the logo when dealing with Sámi region issues and in their Sámi-language communication materials. In accordance with the Sámi Language Act, Finnish state authorities must also use the Sámi language when communicating to the public. For example, announcements must be made in the Sámi language when they mainly concern the Sámi or are of particular importance to Sámi people.

Mister Muscles: Finland’s strongest man goes for global gold 

Espoo strongman Paavo Paaso has been Finnish Champion and European Champion, now he’s going for gold at World Championship events on two different continents in the coming weeks. Strongman competitions were wildly popular throughout the 1980s and 90s in Europe, with televised spectacles and arena events attracting audiences to watch musclemen pulling tractors or trucks, hoisting rocks and lifting logs in feats of strength and endurance. Now they’re having a renaissance and Paaso will have to compete against the top strongman athletes from the USA and England to get near the medals. Read more about the feats of strength and endurance involved in being a strongman champion at our original story here.

Monday morning weather

It’s a very cold start to the week across Lapland where temperatures are between -3°C and -12°C. Further south the temperatures creep above zero but only by a few degrees and there’s plenty of cloud cover around so don’t expect much bright autumn sunshine – the best chances of sun peeking out behind the clouds is in the capital city region and in Jyväskylä. The rain has moved off to the east and as the day goes on will move out of the country completely leaving everywhere fine and dry.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday 21st October 2019 / Credit: FMI