The Finn teaching Americans how to vote
America goes to the polls this week, in midterm elections that have traditionally been seen as an opportunity for voters to pass judgement on the president, and let him know if they think he’s doing a good or bad job. This year, a Finn is helping teach Americans how to register to vote, and cast their ballots. One of the hallmarks of midterm elections throughout American history has been the low voter turnout, with only about 40% of registered voters actually doing so. This election year, Joonas Virtanen is trying to fix that, as he works on two online campaigns to teach Americans about their civic rights, tell them how to register to vote, and get them out on or before polling day. Read more about Tuesday’s midterm elections, and the Finnish involvement, at our original story here.
Morning accident leaves one dead, road closed
An early morning accident in Central Finland has left one person dead, another seriously injured and the road closed. It crash happened just before 07:30 this morning on Highway 4 from Jyväskylä to Oulu at Pihtipudas. Rescue crews say two vehicles were involved, and the dead person and the injured person were in different cars. Road conditions were said to be slippery at the time of the crash, which closed the road in both directions for a while, but one lane later opened.
Paavo Väyrynen uncertain over career
Veteran politician Paavo Väyrynen says he’s uncertain about his political future after revealing his wife is suffering from cancer. Väyrynen has been struggling to find enough signatures to get his political movement registered as an official party in recent months, and he had warned before that time was running out to be organised enough to contest the upcoming parliamentary elections. Väyrynen says his wife Vuokko had been ill for several weeks before the cancer was diagnosed, and in the coming weeks and months she will need care and support as she receives treatment at Helsinki’s Mielahti hospital so his plans to run for the parliament and European Parliament elections are on hold for now. This afternoon, a Helsinki court is expected to rule on a dispute that Väyrynen has had with his previous political party.
Finn conquers e-sport World Championship title
Finnish gamer Joona Sotala has been crowned StarCraft II World Champion at a tournament in California, and netted a prize pot of $280,000. Sotala plays for the Finnish ENCE e-sports team, and becomes the first player from outside South Korea to win the StarCraft II World Championship title. He had to beat 15 of the best players in the world at the tournament, to secure his win at the military science fiction strategy game. Read more here.
Monday morning weather
It’s a relatively mild start to Monday morning weather, with temperatures (just) above freezing across most of the country. The high is in Åland this morning at +8°C and the low is in Kilpisjärvi at 0°C. The best of the sunshine can be found along the eastern border and in central Finland. Otherwise plenty of cloud cover with rain across parts of Lapland.