Morning headlines: Thursday 18th September 2019

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

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Navy ship contracts move forward today

A major project to purchase and build four new warships for the Finnish Navy is taking another step forward today as the procurement contract is being discussed in the Council of State. The Fleet 2020 project will replace seven decommissioned vessels with four new multi-purpose Pohjanmaa-class ships. For security reasons the ships themselves will be built in Finland, but the combat systems on board are being procured from foreign suppliers. The expected cost of the project is €1.2 billion, with the entire new fleet expected to be in service by 2028.

Ex-Defence Forces Chief facing possible charges 

The former Chief of the Finnish Defence Forces Jarmo Lindberg is facing misdemeanor service charges over a controversial incident at a training course. Although Lindberg did not attend the Air Force off-site training event in Lemmenjoki in September 2017, Lännen Media reports today that he could still face a service charge relating to the incident. The former commander of Karelian Air Command was already found guilty of insulting other Air Force officers with homophobic slurs; and also insulting the mayor of the local town in a drunken rant. Another senior officer has already been convicted of delaying the initial investigation into the incident, which caused widespread embarrassment for the Air Force, with Lindberg having to inform President Niinistö about what happened. Jarmo Lindberg denies any crime took place, Lännen Media reports. He retired from his role earlier this summer.

India’s Foreign Minister visits for talks, statue unveiling

The Foreign Minister of India starts a three-day visit to Finland, with one of the highlights coming when he unveils a new statue of Mahatma Gandhi. The Foreign Minister will meet with President Niinistö, PM Antti Rinne (Centre), and his Foreign Minister counterpart Pekka Haavisto (Green). “India’s global role is growing all the time, and the country is expected to increase its participation in the global burden-sharing. We are very happy that the Minister managed to arrange the visit to Finland considering that India is very active in the conduct of its diplomatic relations” says Haavisto in a statement. The new statue will be unveiled on Friday afternoon in Allotrianpuisto in Helsinki.

President Niinistö to meet President Trump

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is going to the USA at the beginning of October for a meeting with US President Donald Trump. The meeting is set to take place in Washington DC on 2nd October. According to the President’s office, the pair will be discussing cooperation between the two countries, including European and Arctic security. They’ll also discuss ways “to advanced shared interests in commercial and technological cooperation”. After the discussions and working lunch, the two Presidents will hold a joint press conference. The meeting takes place during the 100th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Finland and the USA.

Love & Anarchy Film Festival begins

Lights, cameras, action! The 32nd annual Helsinki International Film Festival Love & Anarchy is starts today. This year’s event runs for ten days and showcases Finnish films and Nordic talent as well as international stars among 159 feature films being shown during the 10 day event. This year Love & Anarchy has a special focus on gender equality in the film industry and is signing up to an initiative that commits the festival to promote gender equality in its programme and organisation, and to be transparent in releasing the data. Other film festivals that have signed up to the initiative include Cannes, Berlin and Gothenburg.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a chilly start to Thursday morning across many parts of the country, with temperatures dipping down below freezing in Lapland where temperatures start the day at -4°C in some areas. There’s also plenty of sunshine in western parts of Lapland, and through south east Finland in Lappeenranta, Uusimaa, Turku, Tampere and up the west coast through Pori and Rauma. There’s rain in the forecast for northern Ostrobothnia this morning, and cloudy in Central Finland. Temperatures range from +7°C in Åland and Vaasa to -3°C down the eastern border and +1°C in the capital city region. Wrap up warmly this morning!

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 19th September 2019 / Credit: FMI