Morning headlines: Thursday 24th January 2019

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Mixed messages in December unemployment figures  

The latest figures released this morning paint a mixed picture for the unemployment situation. A total of 256,000 unemployed jobseekers were registered at the Employment and Economic Development Offices at the end of December. That’s 39,000 fewer than just one year before – but the number of job seekers was up more than 27,000 people in December compared with one month before in November. The number of long term unemployed people was down 24,800 from the year before. And the number of unemployed jobseekers aged over 50 was down 16,000 from the December 2017 figures.

Nine people in hospital after Espoo car crashes

Nine people were taken to hospital in Espoo after a series of crashed on Turunväylä road. It happened late Wednesday night just before midnight, when the driver of one car noticed another had crashed into a ditch, so he stopped to offer assistance. After that, another car crashed into him. There were five people in the first car, and four in one of the other vehicles and all the occupants were taken to hospital with two people more seriously injured than the others although there were no life threatening injuries according to rescue officials. One of the passengers was a 3-year old child. Rescue crews say the road was slippery at the time of the accident.

Morning delays for metro passengers

There could be some delays this morning on the Helsinki metro due to a shortage of staff. There are problems on the Tapiola to Mellunmäki line according to HSL as some of the shifts won’t be covered. Allow extra time to make your journey during the morning if you’re travelling on the metro in the morning, with traffic expected to return to normal during the day.

Holocaust memorial held today

The national memorial ceremony to mark International Holocaust Remembrance Day will be held today in Helsinki at the House of Estates. Minister of Interior Kai Mykkänen (NCP) will be making a speech, and there will be survivors of concentration camps attending as well. Other attendees include a Roma representative Miranda Vuolasranta, and prominent politician Ben Zyskowicz (NCP) who was the first person with Jewish heritage elected to Finland’s parliament in the 1970s, and whose father survived two concentration camps during World War Two. International Holocaust Remembrance Day is officially commemorated this coming Sunday.

Kontinen through to Australian Open final

Finnish tennis star Henri Kontinen and his Aussie doubles partner John Peers have made it through to the finals of the Australian Open Tennis tournament in Melbourne. They beat an Argentina-Portugal doubles pair 6-1, 7-6 (8-6) in the semi final which took just under 90 minutes. Kontinen and Peers won the Australian Open in 2017 and will be hoping for a repeat of that result.

Thursday morning weather 

It’s another cold start to the day, with temperatures below -20°C all across the country with the exception of coastal areas from Vaasa round through Turku and onto Helsinki where the temperatures range from -7°C to -14°C. Elsewhere especially the eastern border things are very cold indeed with temperatures dropping down to -30°C. There’s snow forecast today for the capital city region, Lappeenranta, Turku and the southwest and along the eastern border as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 24th January 2019 / Credit: FMI