Morning headlines: Monday 25th May 2020

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


Children from low-income families impacted most by coronavirus crisis

Many children from low-income families are facing fears about the coronavirus crisis, and are concerned about their family’s livelihood. That’s according to a new survey from Save the Children. Overall more than 1-in-4 children said they felt their mental well-being during the crisis was poor, while this number rose to 40% in children from low income families. In the survey children from low-income families were also more likely to report difficulties in attending school. Save the Children asked more than 3,000 children during April about the effects of the coronavirus epidemic on their everyday life and schooling.

Finnair begins layoff talks today

Finnair is starting additional layoff talks today involving more than 6,000 staff. Although the national carrier has announced a return to around 30% of its services from July – and operate 70% of flights from the end of the year – there is not going to be enough work for all its staff. The airline previously announced temporary layoffs and these will now be extended to include more staff. “Considering the uncertainties caused by travel restrictions and the coronavirus situation in general, the return to normal will take a considerable time. That is why the temporary layoffs we now start negotiations on unfortunately seem to be inevitable” says Johanna Karppi, Finnair’s Senior Vice President for People & Culture.

PM forced to hand over coronavirus decision documents

Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has been forced to order the release of papers that show how an expert committee handled coronavirus deliberations, after being accused of unnecessarily keeping them secret. The non-confidential papers were used by the government’s Coronavirus Coordination Group which was set up in February and headed by Marin’s State Secretary Mikko Koskinen – a former Social Democratic Party staffer – and his counterparts from ministries. The Coordination Group has been discussing a wide range of issues around the pandemic and the government’s response to it, but argued that a 1999 law on government openness didn’t apply to them, when Finnish News Agency STT asked to see all the relevant documents. Now the PM says that “in principle all background material and calculations on which coronavirus decision-making was based should be published in accordance with the principles of open science and research.” Read more here.

Opera star Karita Mattila on her coronavirus life

Finnish opera star Karita Mattila has been spending her extended coronavirus stay in Finland, and using the time to connect with an online community of fans and admirers who enjoy the two-time Grammy Award winner’s light flirty banter, pictures of afternoon cocktails and posing at the piano, and emoji-laden insights into her life. The soprano’s season was canceled when theatres and festivals closed during the coronavirus crisis but she’s looking forward to getting back on the road. “Twitter is so bubbly and so welcome, and when I have some lonely moments it’s cheering me up, and I’m wholeheartedly enjoying it, especially these days when you can’t meet anyone. You always find somebody to have a conversation.” Mattila is looking forward to being able to perform again, and should be on stage in Finland again later this year. “There are so many people who have been following me from my early years and it’s very moving and very touching how they are so loyal, and it is such a beautiful relationship […] I want to come back as long as they want me” she says. Read more at our original story here.

Åland chef wins Swedish reality TV show

A chef from Åland has become the winner of a top-rated reality TV show in Sweden. Michael “Micke” Björklund was crowned the winner of ‘Robinson’ on Sunday night, a local version of the ‘Survivor’ show. Björklund had to overcome challenges and 22 other cast members during the series to be crowned the winner after the 10-week competition. “This is so great for me and for the whole of Åland. It’s great that a Finn beats the Swedish Robinson!” he says in a statement. Björklund is well known to Finnish audiences as a TV chef for five years on the TV show Strömsö, has written several cookery books and taken part in other television cooking shows. He also owns several restaurants in Åland and on the mainland.

Monday morning weather

It’s a mild and sunny start to the day across the whole country today, and temperatures this week are forecast to hit +20°C in some places. Already on Monday morning there’s +14°C in Inari in the far north of Lapland, +12°C in Oulu, +10°C in Vaasa and down the west coast, +13°C across Central Finland and further south through Uusimaa and the capital city region and around the same temperatures with lots of sunshine for the east coast. Åland has the chillest start to the morning at just +5°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 25th May 2020 / Credit: FMI