Dozens Evacuated In Sokos Hotel Fire
Dozens of people have been safely evacuated from a Sokos hotel near Kuopio after a fire broke out in the kitchen. The blaze started early this morning, and staff sounded the alarm. More than 50 guests were evacuated from their rooms and taken to the hotel’s spa area for safety. Firefighters arrived at the scene, and the fire was contained to the kitchen area, although there is smoke damage in some other parts of the hotel.
Finland Votes – But Not Online
The next election takes place at the end of the month, as Finland picks a president. But voters will be doing it in a low-tech way with paper and pen. The Ministry of Justice decided recently that Finns won’t have the option to vote online in municipal, general, European or presidential elections. There are concerns about security and transparency. However it’s a stark contrast to Estonia, where online voting has been popular since 2005 and now up to 30% of Estonians cast their ballots from their computers, and there hasn’t been a single security incident. So why do the two digital-friendly countries just 80km apart take such different approaches to online democracy? Read more in our original story here.
Military Service: New Recruits
Thousands of young Finnish men and women report today at army, navy, air force and border guard depots around the country for the start of compulsory military service. All male Finnish citizens are liable to attend call-ups during the year when they reach the age of 18, and so this year anyone who was born in 1999 got a letter advising them of their military obligations. Despite Finland being a champion of gender equality, it’s not compulsory for women to undertake military service but they can volunteer to do it. Service lengths vary from 165 days to 347 days.
Monday Morning Weather
It’s a bitterly cold start to the week across Lapland, as the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI forecasts temperatures between -18°C and -27°C with snow and foggy conditions. That snow continues down into central and eastern parts of the country this morning, where temperatures will be around -6°C. On the south and southwest cost the temperature will rise just to freezing point on Monday morning, with stronger winds offshore as well.