Morning headlines: Thursday 20th June 2019

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

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Report: Prime Minister was ‘close to death’ in Spain

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) was close to death in hospital in Spain last year. The PM’s health scare is extensively detailed in Helsingin Sanomat newspaper this morning. Rinne fell ill at the end of December, and was put into a medically-induced coma for two weeks while being treated for pneumonia. Spanish doctors tried to revive him several times and a Finnish doctor says if they would have succeeded, Rinne would have died, as the Spanish medical team didn’t realise he was also suffering from coronary artery disease. Rinne got heart surgery in Finland on 12th January after being flown home. The health scare and sick leave came in the middle of the general election campaign, with SDP officials concealing the seriousness of Rinne’s medical condition.

Busiest day for Midsummer drivers 

Thursday is the busiest day on Finland’s roads ahead of the Midsummer holiday – with traffic peaking later in the afternoon between 16:00 and 17:00. According to the Road Traffic Centre congestion is most likely on Route 4 Heinola to Jyväskylä; and on Route 5 Heinola to Mikkeli and Varkaus.

Child drowns in North Savo

A child has drowned at Sonkajärvi lake in North Savo. It happened on Wednesday evening around 21:30, and police say the child was under water for several minutes before being pulled out. Despite recovery efforts, the child was not responsive and died at the scene. This morning, police are continuing to investigate the circumstances of the incident.

‘Movement Now’ decides to become a political party

The Liike Nyt – Movement Now – political movement has decided to become an official political party. In a statement, party officials say they’ve talked to supporters in different parts of the country to determine the best way forward after winning one seat in April’s general election. They concluded that as a movement, with a loose affiliation of independent candidates rather than a fully fledged political party, they were closed out of debates and their candidates didn’t have optimum visibility.

PM to Brussels for his first Euro summit  

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) is in Brussels today for his first EU summit since taking office. The meeting comes as European political groups don’t seem to be finding much common ground on choosing a candidate to replace Jean-Claude Juncker as the Commission President, more than a month after European Parliament elections. Also on the agenda will be Britain’s exit from the European Union which is scheduled to happen at the end of October; expanding the union to include Albania and North Macedonia; and climate change targets where some countries want to set ambitious plans for carbon neutrality, while other countries like Estonia want to set softer goals.

Thursday morning weather 

It’s a mixture of bright sunshine, and sunshine with clouds at the start of Thursday morning, depending where you are in the country. Temperatures range from +9C in northern Lapland to +20C down the eastern border and in Åland at the start of the day. The best of the sunshine is in Oulu, Central Finland, Uusimaa and the south west. For Friday look out for warmer temperatures but widespread summer rain as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 20th June 2019 / Credit: FMI