Morning headlines: Thursday 20th December 2018

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

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Poverty on the rise in Finland

The Children’s Ombudsman is warning that Finland has failed to reduce child poverty. Tuomas Kurttila says that “the percentage of poor children has surpassed the poverty rate of the whole population, which is growing” and that poverty affects other areas of the children’s lives including education. Kurtilla says that more needs to be done to help single parent families in particular. His warning comes as Statistics Finland reveals that the number of low-income families in Finland is also on the rise. New figures show that there were some 654,000 people with low incomes, or 12.1% of the population in 2017. That’s up slightly 0.6% from 2016. So the total number of low-income persons grew by about 31,000 people – or the size of a small town.

Police investigate possible Ostrobothnia murder

Police in Ostrobothnia are investigating a suspected homicide in Jurva. Officers were called on Wednesday evening and when they got to the scene around 21:30, decided that the circumstances of the death warranted a criminal investigation. One person is already in custody and pre-trial investigation begins today.

Peak Christmas traffic days

The busiest days on the roads this festive season happen tomorrow and Saturday. According to Traffic Management Finland the peak for on Friday happens between 13:00 and 19:00 as people leave the cities and head to other parts of the country for Christmas holidays with family. Saturday is also another busy travel day, but there will be fewer cargo trucks on the roads which might help somewhat. After Christmas, next Wednesday is also another busy day especially between 12:00 and 19:00 and in roads leading to the capital city region. By Thursday, people are back at work so commuter traffic adds to the mix if you’re returning from Christmas holidays.

Thursday morning weather

Temperatures have dropped a little since Wednesday morning across most of the country, down to -10°C along the eastern border where there’s snow forecast first thing. The snow continues into central Finland as well, and north into Lapland. It’s going to be overcast everywhere, with the warmest temperatures in Åland at +2°C but there’s a strong wind warning in place for the islands.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 20th December 2012 / Credit: FMI