Morning headlines: Thursday 22nd October 2020

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

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Handling China: Lessons to learn as Finland stands up to China 

Finland and China are marking 70 years of diplomatic relations this month, but the anniversary comes with a diplomatic bump in the road, as Europe considers the balance of its relationship with the Asian economic powerhouse around issues like human rights and democracy. A recent move by Finland to suspend a Hong Kong extradition treaty over democracy and rights issues lead to a sharp rebuke by Beijing. Finnish diplomats say they were perfectly within their rights to take the action. The dispute is the latest Chinese foreign policy action which has seen it escalate arguments with other Western countries especially Canada and Australia, whose citizens have been detained by China on trumped-up charges. Experts say however that Finns in China or Hong Kong are unlikely to be arbitrarily held by Chinese authorities. Read more analysis at our original story here.

Far-right activist no longer suspect in political attempted homicide

The National Bureau of Investigation says it no longer considers far-right activist Tero Ala-Tuuhonen a suspect in the attempted homicide of Finns Party local councilor Pekka Kataja. Kataja was attacked at his home in July and police detained Ala-Tuuhonen and  former Finns Party local politician Teemu Torssonen during the pre-trial investigation. Ala-Tuuhonen has been released, while Torssonen is still in custody. Ala-Tuuhonen is reportedly one of the leaders of the far-right Soldiers of Odin vigilante group, and also connected to the banned neo-Nazi Nordic Resistance Movement. He’s furthermore involved with the far-right Alliance of Nationalists organisation, which has garnered some support from Finns Party MPs. In the aftermath of the attack on Kataja, Finns Party politicians pushed the idea that he’d been badly beaten by foreign immigrants, based on an initial interview that Kataja himself gave. Although Kataja later walked back those comments, other Finns Party MPs were not so quick to retract their remarks regarding foreign suspects, and have been fairly quiet when suspects connected to the far-right were detained instead.

State loses out on €12 million speed camera revenue

The state is losing at least €12 million this year because a large part of the country’s automatic speed camera network was out of action over the summer months. Uutissuomalainen newspaper group looked at the issue and found that the reduced capacity is linked to problems with the police’s new traffic fine payment system. Uutissuomalainen estimates that from May to August about 80,000 fines were not imposed because of ongoing problems with the technology.

Hat-trick: Finland’s most reputable brand 

An annual survey has revealed that Finland’s most brand is forest machinery manufacturer Ponsse – for the third year in a row. The company came out on top of the trust and reputation study compiled by T-Media. In second place is gaming company Supercell. Meanwhile companies in the retail and food sector have boosted their reputation the most over the last year, with Fazer moving into third place on the list. Supermarket duopolies S-Group and K-Group also make the top ten.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a wet weather picture across most of the country for Thursday. In central and southern areas the precipitation falls as rain, but across Lapland expect wet snow conditions. Temperatures in the north start the day as low as -6°C but further south it’s much more mild reaching +11°C already this morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 22nd October 2020 / Credit: FMI