Morning headlines: Thursday 16th May 2019

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

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Council of Europe causes transport headaches in Helsinki 

Authorities are warning of widespread transport problems in the capital city on Thursday and Friday. The reason? Up to 30 foreign ministerial delegations arriving for the 70th anniversary of the Council of Europe celebrations at Finlandia Hall on Thursday evening, followed by a day-long conference on Friday. Police say it means there will be road closures and traffic jams in the centre of Helsinki and urge travellers to allow extra time to move around in the city where police estimate traffic stoppages could last up to 20 minutes at a time while VIP delegations are whisked through. The main route from the airport to Helsinki city centre will be particularly impacted. Police are encouraging people to use public transport.

Court of Appeal rules on Porvoo child murder case 

The Helsinki Court of Appeal will rule today on the case of a French man who stabbed his 3-year old daughter to death in Porvoo. The man was already convicted of murder in the East Uusimaa District Court last summer, in a case that shocked the country with its brutality. The man stabbed his daughter three times in a play park outside a school. The child was airlifted to hospital but died from her injuries. The defence argues that the murder was not particularly brutal or cruel, and not premeditated: criteria that have to be met before the more serious conviction of murder is handed down, which carries a mandatory life sentence in prison under Finnish law.

HS: Government plans three high speed rail links 

Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reports this morning that the future government is planning to build three high speed rail links from Helsinki to Turk, to Tampere, and to eastern Finland – possibly via Porvoo and Kouvola. Negotiations are still ongoing between the Social Democrats and four other political parties trying to form the next coalition government, and the new rail links are one of the policies being discussed. The construction is estimated to take a decade and costs billions of euros, but the cost would be shared between the Finnish state, municipalities and the European Union.

Finland takes on Denmark in World Champs tonight 

The Finnish men’s ice hockey team are facing Denmark tonight in their next Group A match at the World Championships in Slovakia. The Finns already notched up two wins against the hosts, and against Canada, but suffered an overtime defeat when they played USA. But don’t expect an easy game – in last year’s World Championships Denmark beat Finland 3-2.

Last sunset in Lapland 

The season of white nights has officially begun for parts of northern Lapland. While the sun rose in the early hours of this morning, it won’t set again until the middle of July.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a generally bright and sunny start to the day although there’s some cloud cover in the far north of Lapland. The rest of the country sees temperatures from +4C in the north to +10C in Oulu; +13C down the eastern border; +12C for Hanko; +11C for Turku and the south west; and +13C in inland Uusimaa as well this morning. Forecasters are saying the temperature could climb to +20C in many parts of the country on the weekend.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 16th May 2019 / Credit: FMI