Morning headlines: Monday 28th October 2019

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

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Finland’s weapons exports to Europe, Middle East 

Finland exported weapons and military products worth €205 million to other countries during 2018. That’s according to the latest figures published by the SaferGlobe think tank on Monday morning. According to the number, around €128 million is from military sales, while €77 million came from the export of civilian weapons mainly for hunting and sport shooting purposes. Most of Finland’s arms exports during 2018 were to other EU countries, but the Middle East was second highest. The largest number of civilian weapons were exported to the United States.

Empty city properties, as tens of thousands wait for accommodation

Hundreds of homes in Helsinki which are owned by the city and earmarked for city workers are sitting empty, even as 23,000 people are waiting for housing solutions from the city’s housing authority. Apartments reserved for city employees are significantly cheaper than other rental apartments in Helsinki. For example, a 42 square metre one-bedroom apartment in Etu-Töölö neighbourhood costs €790 per month. For the same price at market rates, renters would get a studio flat, at most. Despite this benefit offered by the city to employees, many rent-controlled flats are still vacant. Deputy Mayor Pia Pakarinen (NCP) says changes are needed to the system. Read more at our story here with Helsingin Uutiset.

Second Nurmijärvi school fire – police investigating

An overnight fire burned Valkjärvi school in Nurmijärvi – the second school in the town to burn down this weekend. Rescue crews were called around 04:30 on Monday morning and when they got to the scene they found the building fully engulfed. Fire fighters say the school has been so badly damaged that pupils cannot attend, and work to fully extinguish the flames will continue into Monday afternoon. It’s the second school fire in the town this weekend. On Saturday morning a fire at Lepsämä school, 9km away, partly damaged the property with the popular ‘afternoon club’ room burned, including the loss of games and other items children used at the centre. Police say that fire was started intentionally. This morning they’re looking into the causes of Valkjärvi school fire as well.

Bottas 3rd in Mexico Grand Prix

Finnish F1 driver Valtteri Bottas claimed 3rd place at the Mexican Grand Prix on Sunday evening. His podium finish denied his Mercedes team mate Lewis Hamilton the World Championship title, even though Hamilton won the race. Bottas had crashed his car during the qualifying laps the previous day. But his team boss said he was very happy with the “confident” way Bottas races, after still managing to claim 3rd spot in the race. There is one more F1 race left this season in Austin Texas, and if Bottas wins while Hamilton finishes 8th or worse, then the Finn can technically still become World Champion.

Pekka Haavisto in Lithuania for talks

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) is in Vilnius today for talks with the government. He’ll meet with Lithuania’s Prime Minister Saulius Skvernelis and Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius. On the agenda are bilateral issues, regional cooperation, and the EU. “I find cooperation in the Baltic Sea region most important. This region holds a key position in Finland’s foreign and security policy and also in terms of trade and economy, and environmental issues” says Haavisto in a statement.

Expanded Espoo mall counting on Stockmann’s success

An Espoo shopping centre, which expanded to 100 shops and restaurants, is counting on the continued financial success of Stockmann to be its ‘anchor’ store. Ainoa shopping centre in Tapiola opened its new phase last Thursday with more than 80% of the premises in the new extension – which integrates public transport and municipal services as well – already leased. “We expect a spike in the number of visitors and sales for the rest of the year, as new is always a novelty” says the centre manager. Read more in our story here with Länsiväylä newspaper.

Monday morning weather

A cold northerly air flow brings a chilly start to the week across the country, with all areas except the south west starting Monday morning with temperatures below zero. In the north of Lapland the low temperature is -20°C and doesn’t get any warmer than -12°C this morning. Further south the temperature ranges from -6°C in Oulu to -3°C in Central Finland and -1°C in the capital city region. Expect snow flurries around Inari, Jyväskylä and Tampere on Monday, with some rain in Turku – while the best of the sunshine is down the eastern border around Joensuu.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 28th October 2019 / Credit: FMI