Morning headlines: Monday 26th October 2020

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


Minister: Vastaamo cyber attack “serious, outrageous and cowardly”

Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green) says a cyber attack on Vastaamo psychotherapy centre computer systems, which may have resulted in as many as 40,000 patient records being held for ransom, is “a serious, outrageous and cowardly attack.” Details of the data breach were first made public last Wednesday, and since then 10GB of private patient data is said to have been uploaded to the dark web, with hundreds of Vastaamo patients receiving ransom demands to pay €200 to €500 in bitcoins if they want to have their private data permanently deleted. “This wasn’t the first time and it definitely won’t be the last time, unfortunately” Ohisalo  told News Now Finland in a Sunday night phone call. “I think we’ve been prepared, but we need to be more prepared, and we need to train all kinds of different hazards – maybe where many different kinds of risks come together at the same time” she added. Meanwhile stories from people who received ransom demands have started to emerge with one well-known Finnish personality sharing their experience on Instagram, writing defiantly “I’m stronger than ever today, you picked the wrong opponent.” Read more at our original story here.

Report: Finland’s arms exports are not transparent

Problems with Finland’s international arms exports bureaucracy mean the system is not very transparent. That’s according to the SaferGlobe think tank which released its annual report on Finland’s weapons exports on Monday. They say that because several different authorities are responsible for processing arms export licenses, the system operates in different ways, and to different standards, depending on whether the Ministry of Defence, Ministry of Foreign Affairs or Police Board handles an export license application. The new report highlights that Finland exported more than €200 million in weapons in 2018, the majority of it military or police sales, with countries with poor human rights records like Turkey, Oman, United Arab Emirates and Uzbekistan spending millions on weapons from Finland. SaferGlobe wants to see the export license system tightened up by bringing the whole process under one central authority.

Stay at home: Mass coronavirus exposure at Jyväskylä school

More than 170 teachers and staff at a school in Jyväskylä have been told to quarantine this week after a possible coronavirus mass exposure incident. It happened at Keski-Paloka school, with parents getting a message late Sunday evening advising them about the quarantine measures for students in 1st, 4th, 5th and 6th grades. The school is closed this week for all 550 pupils who switch to distance learning as a precaution, but only 171 students and staff are supposed to quarantine. “The purpose of quarantine is to limit the possible spread of the virus by breaking a possible chain of infection” the City of Jyväskylä says in a statement. “Quarantining does not automatically mean that you are infected. This is a precautionary measure that restricts movement until it is known whether exposure to the virus has caused the infection. Thus, there may be a situation in the family where only one member is quarantined.”

THL advises people to get flu vaccine

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL is advising that it’s more important that people get the seasonal flu show now, during the coronavirus epidemic. Some municipalities have already started offering the influenza vaccines, but in most places the vaccine programme will begin in November. “Having influenza and Covid-19 at the same time is a bad combination for anyone but especially for the risk groups. That is why it is especially important to get vaccinated against influenza this year. The vaccine prevents the spread of influenza and protects your health and your family and friends” says Hanna Nohynek, THL’s Chief Physician. The vaccine will be free to anyone for whom influenza is a health risk, or those who receive significant health benefits from getting vaccinated, including (but not limited to) people over 65; children aged 6 months to 6 years; pregnant women; men and women starting military service; social and health care, and pharmaceutical services personnel.

Valtteri Bottas can’t catch team mate Lewis Hamilton at Lisbon Grand Prix

Finnish Formula 1 driver Valtteri Bottas took second place a the Portuguese Grand Prix on Sunday, in a race that was overshadowed by his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton. The British driver broke the all-time F1 wins record previously held by Michael Schumacher by claiming his 92nd Grand Prix victory. Although Bottas lead Hamilton for much of the early part of the race, by lap 20 Hamilton overtook the Finn and continued to out-pace him for the remainder of the race eventually taking the chequered flag 25 second ahead of Bottas. “The opening lap was pretty good, some cars behind with the soft tyres had the upper-hand but I was really pleased I could get the lead but after that” Bottas told reporters after the race. “I just had no pace today. I don’t understand why” he added.” Read more at our story here.

Monday morning weather

It’s a mild start to the week across the southern half of the country with Monday morning temperatures already in double digits for the west coast from Vaasa down to Turku and Hanko in the south, and for Åland and Uusimaa as well. Further north there’s more chance of rain, sleet and some wet snow as temperatures cool as well into single digits. The best of the sunshine for Monday morning is in the far north of Lapland Inari and Kilpisjärvi; also in Jyväskylä, Tampere and the capital city region.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 26th October 2020 / Credit: FMI