Morning headlines: Monday 6th January 2020

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


Reports: Crime gangs decide to call it quits

The United Brotherhood crime gang has decided to stop its operations. That’s according to Helsingin Sanomat and MTV Uutiset on Monday. The decision comes ahead of a court case set to begin on Wednesday where the Police Board calls for the United Brotherhood, and one of its affiliated gangs Bad Union to be banned on legal grounds. In a statement to the two media outlets, the United Brotherhood said “It has been alleged in the media that the United Brotherhood and Bad Union were set up for the purpose of committing crimes and are thus a threat to public security in a democratic society. This is not the case, and such views are unfounded.”

Thousands of conscripts report for training today

Around 12,000 new recruits begin their military service on Monday. The majority of them, 10,000, will be going into the Army with the rest divided among the Air Force, Navy and Border Guard units. The biggest number of recruits go to Kainuu, Karelia and Pori Brigades. Depending on the training, the conscription time lasts 165, 225, or 347 days. The length of civilian service, an option for people who don’t want to go to the military, lasts the same amount of time as the longest conscription service. In the past year almost 24,000 people have started their military service in Finland, 1000 of them women.

Monday is Epiphany holiday

Monday marks Epiphany, a public holiday in Finland. But it doesn’t mean everything is closed. While most businesses, banks and government offices are closed today, many public services are still operating but with restricted services. In the capital city region HSL operates at Sunday service levels for public transport. VR also runs a Sunday service today for its long distance train services. While lots of shops will be closed today, many supermarkets remain open, but perhaps with shorter hours.

Junior ice hockey teams leave World Champs empty handed 

It was a disappointing end to two World Championship campaigns over the weekend, with both the women’s U18 ice hockey team, and the men’s U20 team – who were the reigning World Champions – leaving their respective tournaments empty handed. Both teams played in the bronze medal decider matches, but the women lost 6-1 against Russia; while the men lost 3-2 against Sweden on Sunday night.

WATCH: Lux Festival lights up the winter darkness

Helsinki’s annual arts festival Lux is back again for 2020, lighting up the capital city during the darkest days of winter. This year sees Lux visitors taking a new route around the city, starting at Senate Square and going through Kaisaniemi Park to Tokoinranta shore. There’s nine main installations including colourful images projected onto the facade of the Lutheran Cathedral, and the popular avenue of lanterns strung between trees or nestled on the ground in Hakkaniemi Park. One of the most remarkable installations this is called ‘Large Fire Tornado’ designed by Dutch artist and engineer Ivo Schoofs, and whips a 16m tall flame into a rapidly rotating tornado using fans. WATCH our video from Lux here.

Monday morning weather

There’s a lot of cloud cover across the country to start the week, but it should lighten up as the day goes on. Snow will gradually move east, and there’s colder temperatures than recently across Lapland in particular, between -5°C and -12°C. Expect temperatures above freezing down the Ostrobothnia coast, in Åland, the southwest, capital city region and inland to Lahti. In the south east where the temperatures creep above freezing look out for rain in the forecast but elsewhere on the eastern border expect some more snow.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 6th January 2020 / Credit: FMI