12,000 new recruits start military service
Some 12,000 new recruits are starting their military conscription today, and this year the coronavirus crisis brings some changes to their training. Most of the conscripts are going to the army (9,200) with the rest divided among Border Guard, Navy and Air Force. The largest number of trainees are going to Kainuu, Karelia and Pori Brigades. The first six weeks of conscription will see some changes this year due to the coronavirus epidemic. They new arrivals will be divided into three division with a week of combined training then into rotations which sees staggered time for training and time off. In March the Defence Forces moved to a new pattern of training for conscripts during the epidemic with four weeks training and two weeks off.
Tampere police investigate possible homicide
Police in Tampere say they’re investigating a homicide, attempted homicide and aggravated assault following an incident in the city’s Haapalinna neighbourhood on Saturday morning. One man born in 1979 was killed, and another man born in 1977 was seriously injured. The suspects are two women born in 2003 and 1984 who are related to each other, and who were guests in the victim’s apartment. In a tersely-worded statement police say they were interviewing the people involved over the weekend and say that “securing a pre-trial investigation in the case of a homicide is of paramount important.” They criticise some sections of the media over their reporting of the incident this weekend. Police say they won’t give any further information about the case.
Report: 25 young asylum seekers arriving from Mediterranean this week
Public broadcaster Yle reports that 25 children and young people from refugee camps in the Mediterranean will likely arrive in Finland this week. They will initially be quarantined for two weeks due to the coronavirus epidemic as a health precaution. The Finnish government decided in February to take 175 asylum seekers – with 100 of them coming from camps in Greece, but others will arrive from Cyprus and Malta as well. The main criteria is that the children must be “from especially dangerous countries and likely to be in need of international protection” and their asylum applications will be processed as normal after they arrive, and are placed in specialist units dealing with young people.
Flags are flying for poet Eino Leino
Flags are flying in Finland today to celebrate summer, and for revered Finnish poet Eino Leino. The young poet published his first works age 12, and by 18 had already published a collection of his poetry. He graduated from secondary school in Hämeenlinna and went on to study at the University of Helsinki where he mingled in literary and journalism circles. During his life he published more than 70 books of poetry and stories which draw extensively on Finnish folklore in the style of the national epic Kalevala, and he’s considered one of the most influential Finnish writers who helped shaped the concept of national romanticism, which characterise the works of other young talented Finnish artists of the time like composer Jean Sibelius, artist Akseli Gallen-Kallela and architect Eliel Saarinen. However after independence and the Finnish Civil War, he lost faith in national unity and his influence as a writer, critic and journalist faded. He died in 1926 aged just 47-years old.
Valtteri Bottas wins Austria Grand Prix
The Formula One season got into gear again on Sunday, with the first race of the re-arranged schedule taking place in Austria. Finnish driver Valtteri Bottas claimed the top podium spot, adding to his wins last season in USA, Australia, Azerbaijan and Japan. This was his eighth win overall. The race saw a number of incidents on the track including the safety cars on the track and a collision between reigning world champion Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Alex Albon which cost Hamilton a five second penalty and he ended up in fourth place. “I managed to keep it together and control the race from my side and it’s a good start to the season” Bottas told reporters. Before the race 14 of the 20 drivers – including Bottas, but not the other Finnish driver Kimi Räikkönen – knelt on the starting grid wearing ‘End Racism’ t-shirts. Read more here.
Monday morning weather
It’s a windy and unstable start to the week across the whole country, with mixed temperatures, rain and cloud. Across northern Lapland there’s temperatures in single digits on Monday morning while it stays cool through to central areas where temps rise into the mid-teens for the southern half of the country as well. There’s scattered showers around Inari, and on the west coast and Northern Ostrobothnia too. The best of the sunshine is in Turku, Tampere, Jyväskylä and for Uusimaa and into Lappeenranta but the strong gusts of wind blowing along the coasts might make it feel cooler than +16°C for coastal areas.