Morning headlines: Thursday 17th October 2019

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

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PM heads to Brussels for crucial European Council meeting

Prime Minister Antti Rinne is in Brussels today attending a European Council meeting with Britain’s departure from the European Union dominating talks. Negotiators didn’t manage to agree a deal late Wednesday night and there must be an agreement between the two sides by Saturday or UK law compels Boris Johnson to request an extension beyond 31st October so that negotiations can continue. Mr Rinne said this week he thought time had run out to get a deal; as Finns in the UK have been speaking about their continued concerns over the uncertainty of Brexit; and more than a quarter of Finnish companies say that Brexit is going to disrupt their business.

Nordic region’s largest shopping mall opens today 

A new shopping mall opens today in Helsinki’s Pasila neighbourhood. The Mall of Tripla is the largest mall in the Nordic region with more than 250 shops, restaurants and services on offer. The Tripla complex also has offices, a hotel and residential accommodation and becomes the latest large mall to open or expand in the capital city region in recent years after Itis, Iso Omena and others. A new extension to Tapiola’s Ainoa centre opens next week bringing 100 shops and restaurants. While shopping malls are dying out in North America they’re flourishing in Finland where they’re more integrated into the existing communication with transport hubs, local government services and healthcare. Read more at our original story here – or join us on Facebook at 12:00 for a live broadcast from Tripla to learn more.

Poll: Pekka Haavisto most popular choice for next president

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) is the most popular choice to be Finland’s next president if a vote was taken today. In a new poll for Alma Media out Thursday morning, 1500 Finns of voting age were asked who their top choice would be. Haavisto received 33% of the vote; Finns Party chairman Jussi Halla-aho got 10%; National Coalition Party politician – and Helsinki mayor – Jan Vapaavuori got 10%; Li Andersson the Left Alliance chair gets 8% support while Eero Heinäluoma from the Social Democrats gets 7% and his SDP colleague Jutt Urpilainen gets 6%. President Sauli Niinistö ends his term in office in January 2024 and can’t run for another term.

September road deaths increase

The number of people who died in accidents on Finnish roads during September is up from the same month a year ago. New figures released by Statistics Finland on Thursday morning show that 24 people died in road accidents last month. That’s an increase of five from the previous year. About half those killed were in a car or van and 22 out of the 24 fatalities were men. In the first half of 2019, January to June, 168 people were killed in road accidents which is up 9 from the previous year.

Thursday morning weather

If you like it cold then north west Lapland is the place to be on Thursday morning where they’re waking up to temperatures of -14°C. Elsewhere in Lapland it’s a bit warmer but still well below freezing across the region. Further south expect it to warm up but it’s -1°C in Central Finland and -5°C around Joensuu on the eastern border. There’s a chance of rain down the Ostrobothnia coast as temperatures range from +1°C in Vaasa to +6°C in Åland. There’s plenty of cloud cover across the whole country on Thursday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 17th October 2019 / Credit: FMI