Morning headlines: Thursday 16th January 2020

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

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World Jewish Congress criticizes Left Alliance MP

The World Jewish Congress has criticized Anna Kontula (Left) for her protest against Israel’s blockade of Gaza – calling it a double standard, and anti-Semitic because she only complained about Israel and not about Egypt’s actions as well. The US-based organised says they’re expressing “extreme consternation” about Kontula’s protest “while completely absolving Egypt of any responsibility.” The group acknowledges that criticism against Israeli is legitimate but they say “holding Israeli to a double standard not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation is never legitimate, and in fact constitutes an expression of antisemitism.”

Nordic Defence Ministers use crisis hotline

Nordic Defence Ministers have used a special crisis hotline for the first time, to discuss the situation in the Middle East. The video conference link allows the ministers to speak securely. “We discussed the security situation in Iraq and the preconditions for a coalition against ISIS” Defence Minister Antti Kaikkonen (Centre) says in a statement. “There is a shared desire that cooperation against terrorism could continue in the region, in cooperation with the Iraqi administration” he adds.

Electricity unions threaten strike action

The Electricity Union has issued a new warning about a one-month strike which could start at the end of January. It would involve the same 12 member organisations which took part in industrial action on 5th December, and continued on 3rd January. According to the union, the new strike will involve electrical and technology workers from companies working under the collective agreement of the technology industry and involve workers at Meyer’s Turku shipyard and Valmet Automotive’s factory in Uusikaupunki, among others.

Helsinki discusses measures to protect Havis Amanda

Helsinki City Council is discussing measures to protect the Havis Amanda statue in the city centre. It’s become a popular place to celebrate sporting success, with revelers climbing onto the statue. But there have been warnings that it might not be able to handle the stresses and strains of too much partying. Local councilor Fatim Diarra (Green) has now tabled an initiative during major celebrations at the capital city’s Market Square. She would like the original statue to be relocated, or for it to be reinforced in some way to protect it against partiers.

Athlete of the Year to be announced

Finland’s Athlete of the Year prize, awarded since 1947, will be announced on Thursday evening at an event in Helsinki. The Sports Gala gives out various sporting prizes but all eye will be on who wins the most prestigious award of the evening. The top favourite is Norwich City striker Teemu Pukki who lead the Finnish men’s football team Huuhkajat to the Euro 2020 finals, the first time the men have ever qualified for a major international tournament. The only other footballers to ever have won top awards were Jari Litmanen in 1995 and Sami Hyppiä in 2001 – both men scooped the Team Player of the Year award.

Thursday morning weather

Mild weather continues across the country for Thursday, although January’s high temperature record hasn’t yet been broken. Temperatures across Lapland are well below zero meaning anything that falls from the sky will land as snow. But elsewhere in the country – especially around Tampere – there will be sleet or rain in the forecast this morning. Otherwise cloudy skies in most places but southern Ostrobothnia and the capital city region should have some clear breaks in the clouds.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 16th January 2020 / Credit: FMI