Morning headlines: Thursday 11th July 2019

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

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Customs seize thousands of Subutex tablets 

Customs agents have seized more than 4000 Subutex tablets that were smuggled from France and Hungary via Estonia into Finland. Details of the May drug bust are only now being revealed, and Customs says they were hidden in packets of breakfast cereal and porridge. Two men are suspected of bringing the drugs to Finland, which have a street value of €160,000. They’re also thought to have smuggled in another shipment earlier in 2019 with a street value of €80,000. Two men are being held in custody as the legal case proceeds. One is Romanian and the other from Hungary. The case is expected to go to the prosecutor’s office in Helsinki later this month when the pre-trial investigation is completed.

EU environment ministers meeting in Helsinki 

Environment ministers from 28 EU countries are meeting in Helsinki on Thursday and Friday, during Finland’s six-month Presidency of the Council of Europe. Finland has put the climate crisis at the heart of its presidency programme, and wants to secure a deal for EU countries to agree to be carbon neutral by 2050. However, four central and eastern countries including neighbouring Estonia don’t want to sign up to that date and are likely hoping for financial incentives to support sectors of the economy the think will be worst hit – like mining – if they have to cut their carbon emissions. The meetings are taking place at Finlandia Hall.

Rinne noticed Merkel’s shaking 

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) has told Finnish broadcaster MTV Uutiset that he noticed German Chancellor Angela Merkel shaking, as she stood beside him watching a military band in Berlin on Wednesday. This was the third time Merkel has been seen shaking in public, she previously said it was due to dehydration in hot weather. Merkel met Rinne on his first visit to Berlin as PM. Read more at our story here.

New type of speed cameras in operation today 

A new type of speed camera is being introduced today, bringing more effective technology to Finnish roads. The cameras, developed in Sweden, use radar technology to take more accurate pictures of vehicles – it means they won’t just know the speed of cars, but also if someone inside is not wearing their seatbelt, or if the driver is using their mobile phone. The first cameras will go on the road near Kouvola, with plans to introduce them more widely.

Seinäjoki tango contest heats up

The popular annual Seinäjoko tango market is back this year for the 35th time, and action  is heating up as competitors head towards Saturday’s final. Today, the audience gets to have their say about the best performers, picking three men and three men to go forward to the final where the winners will be crowned Tango King and Tango Queen. The tango competition is enjoyed by thousands of spectators every year and has become one of the most anticipated events in Finland every summer.

Podkäst – Episode #2

Have you subscribed to our new podcast? This week we’re joined in the studio by Ilta Sanomat journalist Johannes Kotkavirta and Keskusta Special Adviser Eeva Kärkkäinen to talk about the Tallinn tunnel project; Saimaa seals; a proposed sugar tax; being a journalist in America; and Finland’s EU climate change focus. Plus Marietta Kuivanen from The Helsinki Distilling Company talks about the re-birth of the distillery in east Helsinki and we sample their new rhubarb gin. Subscribe and listen here: https://soundcloud.com/news-now-finland/podkast-episode-2

Thursday morning weather

The far north east of Lapland has the best of the bright sunshine this morning, but the worst of the temperatures – just +7C around Inari on Thursday morning. There’s sunshine too in the capital city region and (thankfully) some higher temperatures as well, around +14C. There’s more cloud cover across the rest of the country, and heavy rain in the far north west of Lapland around Kilpisjärvi. But in general temperatures range from +11C in Oulu, Central Finland and down the eastern border; to +13C in Vaasa, and +16C in the south west.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 11th July 2019 / Credit: FMI