Morning headlines: Monday 8th April 2019

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

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Immigrant journalists retrain for work in Finland

A group of twenty students has started their studies at an innovative university course which takes immigrants who already have a background in journalism, and updates their skills to match the needs of potential new Finnish employers. It’s thought to be the first course of its kind in Finland, and attracted criticism from some quarters who thought that immigrants might be getting special treatment not available to Finns. “Normally, in my home country, it is very hard and difficult to be a journalist, partly because of the politics. In Finland the freedom of speech appears more acknowledged” says Secan Alkan, a student from Turkey. Read more about the course, and the students, at our original story here.

Winter weather returns

There’s warnings of dangerous driving conditions in some parts of the country today as winter weather returns. The warmer weather of the last week is gone and replaced by a cold front with up to 30cm of snow forecast for Central Finland during the course of the week. Today, expect storm-force winds in the northern and western sea areas, and even on land in Satakunta and Ostrobothnia the wind can gust up to 20 metres per second and potentially cause damage. The Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI is warning of dangerous driving conditions in Pirkanmaa, Central Finland, South Savo, North Savo, North Karelia and South Ostrobothnia with a high risk of accidents.

Soini in Luxembourg, Strasbourg for foreign affairs meetings

Finnish foreign minister Timo Soini (Blue) is visiting Luxembourg and Strasbourg today for foreign affairs meetings. In Luxembourg he’ll meet with other EU foreign ministers where Afghanistan and Venezuela are on the agenda. In Luxembourg he will attend a session of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. Finland is the Council of Europe Chairman until the end of May. Veteran politician Soini is retiring from domestic politics, and won’t be running for re-election on Sunday. However he could still make a bid for a job at the European Parliament as an MEP in May’s Euro elections.

Summer driving speeds for motorways

Although winter weather is back, so are summer driving speeds. During the week, depending on conditions, the top speed of highways will be increased to 120kmph, with motorways increasing to their summer speed of 100kmph maximum. Authorities will check things like weather and road surface conditions before making the switch to summer speeds – so keep a careful watch on road signs while the transition is in progress.

Finland vs Switzerland coming up today

The Finnish Lionesses will take on Switzerland today in their latest match of the ice hockey World Championships in Espoo. The game starts at 16:00. The women are currently third in their group after a heavy loss against reigning champions USA in the opening match of the tournament last Thursday evening. But on Saturday they scored four goals to power past neighbours Russia in a dominant performance, which highlighted the skills of the youngest players on the team especially. Read more at our story here.

Monday morning weather

Here’s a snapshot of how variable the weather is for Monday morning. Bright sunshine and temperatures down to -10C in parts of Lapland. Further south the weather is more variable, with rain and sleet forecast across Central Finland, turning to wet snow in the south west when the temperature drops below zero. There’s strong winds in coastal areas and at sea as well. The best of the weather for Monday morning is along the eastern border.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Monday morning 8th April 2019 / Credit: FMI