Right wing court verdict due today
The verdict is due today for two right wing provocateurs accused of a campaign of harassment against a journalist. Johan Bäckman is a pro-Kremlin mouthpiece, while Ilja Janitskin founded the far right MV-Lehti online newspaper. They’re accused of stalking Jessikka Aro, aggravated defamation and inciting other people to attack her online. The abuse started after award-winning journalist Aro exposed the operations of a Russian propaganda operation in St. Petersburg. The prosecutor in the case is seeking prison sentences and a financial penalty for both men if they are found guilty.
PM in Brussels for more EU talks
Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) continues talks with other EU leaders in Brussels today. They’ve moved on from Brexit discussions for now after making no progress last night. Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May offered no new solutions for the problems at the heart of the Brexit dispute, including the Northern Ireland border with the Republic of Ireland. But Sipilä struck a doggedly optimistic note by posting a rare tweet in English “There is no need to speculate no-deal. We keep on negotiating constructively to reach withdrawal agreement with UK”.
Blow for Alex Stubb’s ‘Euro President’ dreams
Former Prime Minister Alex Stubb (NCP) has been dealt a serious blow in his bid to become the next ‘President of Europe’. Stubb launched his election campaign earlier this month, to get enough support from his European Peoples Party EPP group to be their sole candidate for the job. Now, the leading EU heads of government who belong to the same EPP group have said they’re endorsing Stubb’s rival candidate Manfred Weber who is an MEP. Webber also has the tacit backing of Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. EPP politicians will decide who is their candidate for Europe’s top job at a congress in Helsinki early next month.
Most Finns want year-round time
The majority of Finns want to stop moving the clocks back and forward twice per year. That’s the finding of a new online poll run by the Ministry of Transport and Communications open to members of the public which attracted 677,000 replies. Some 52% of people want to stick with one standard time all year round, while 48% are in favour of changing the clocks in summer and winter. There was also a question about which time zone Finland should be in, with 49% saying they feel it’s important that the time difference between Finland and Scandinavia or Central Europe would not be greater than the current one hour. If Finland wants to change its time zone or keep one standard time the whole year, it needs approval from the EU which is looking at the issue.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a mild start for much of the country on Thursday morning, with temperatures in double digits from the south all the way through central Finland. It gets quite cool in the north but still temperatures across Lapland are above freezing. The best of the early sunshine can be found in the capital city region, foggy in the south east, raining in the south west.