Morning Headlines: Thursday 18th January 2018

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

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President Niinistö Speaks To News Now Finland

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö says he doesn’t see Russia as a threat to Finland, and that the country should only consider joining NATO when the time is right. Niinistö is far ahead of the other seven candidates in the latest opinion polls, and if he wins the election he will become Finland’s oldest president, but in a Wednesday morning interview with News Now Finland and MTV Uutiset, Niinistö said he doesn’t think there should be a specific retirement age for politicians – and that the voters decide when someone should retire. Niinistö and his wife are expecting a baby in the coming weeks, and he says like millions of other people he will be juggling a busy working life and his role as a new father. You can see the interview again on our website and social media during the morning.

Two Pandas From China Arrive In Finland

Diplomatic gifts from China arrive in Finland today. Two giant pandas – their Finnish names are Pyry and Lumi – land at Helsinki airport and after being checked by veterinarians, will be transported by road to their new home at Ähtäri Wildlife Park. Finland’s Minister of Agriculture and the Chinese Ambassador will both be at the airport this morning part of the official welcoming delegation.

Deadly Lojha Crash Details

There’s new details this morning about a deadly crash that killed two young children on Wednesday evening. Police say a three-year-old girl and a boy aged under two died in the collision with another car on Highway 25 near Lohja. It happened just after 17:00 and emergency crews were still on the scene more than three hours later. Two adults, including the children’s father, were also injured in the crash and taken to hospital. The father had to be cut from the wreckage of the car and is said to have serious injuries. Police say both drivers were wearing seatbelts, and the road conditions were very slick at the time of the incident.

Sports Awards Tonight

It’s a glittering night for Finland’s sports stars, as the annual sports awards are given out. There are award nominations in 71 categories and some of the country’s best-known athletes are nominated, like cross-country skier Iivo Niskanen; NBA star Lauri Markkanen; tennis ace Henri Kontinen; and F1 racer Valtteri Bottas.

Thursday Morning Weather

It’s a cold start to Thursday morning across the whole country, according to the Finnish Meteorological Institute FMI. In Lapland, expect temperatures between -8C and -15C. Moving south into Central Finland, the temperatures don’t warm up very much, and stay around -6C; while in the south in the capital city region early temperatures won’t rise above -3C. Snow is forecast throughout the whole country this morning, with challenging driving conditions as well.