Morning headlines: Thursday 24th October 2019

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

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Incoming EU President visits Helsinki for talks

The incoming President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen is in Helsinki today to meet with Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) at his official residence Kesäranta. On the agenda: EU affairs and the Commission’s future agenda. There will be a press conference around 12:00 and we’ll have all the news from that as it happens.

New biography of the Prime Minister out today 

There’s a new biography of Prime Minister Rinne published this morning. It’s unusual in Finnish politics to have a biography published while a PM is still in office, but this new book has been written by the same authors who published a biography of President Niinistö recently. The new book details his political options to join a government with the Centre Party at the expense of the National Coalition Party, after a secret meeting in Pori with former PM Juha Sipilä; and details of his health crisis at the end of last year and into the spring election campaign. The PM is speaking about the book this morning and we’ll have a full report out later.

Trial begins for Jehovah’s Witness arson suspect

The trial begins today at the District Court for South West Finland of a man suspected of an arson attack at the Jehovah’s Witness Hall in Pöyty. The fire happened in August, and police say the 41-year old suspect had tried unsuccessfully the week before to burn down the same hall. Police report that the man has confessed to his actions during questioning.

Another new capital area shopping centre opens today

The capital city region gets another new shopping centre on Thursday. Tapiola’s Aino Centre becomes the latest new addition with the Espoo mall opening the doors to its latest expansion phase – now with 100 shops and restaurants, and municipal services. Ainoa is also a transport hub with the metro station opened two years ago, and a new bus station which opened earlier this year now fully integrated into the rest of the complex.

Lauri Markkanen off to a flying start in new NBA season

Finnish NBA star Lauri Markkanen is off to a flying start in the first game of the new basketball season in North America – even if his team lost their opening game. The Finn scored 35 points as his Chicago Bulls side lost 125-126 against the Charlotte Hornets. This is the start of Markkanen’s third season at the NBA, with Chicago picking up his contract option for next year as well. In the 2020-2021 season the Finn will get a pay increase as well, earning $5,300,400 this season and $6,731,508 the following year.

Thursday morning weather

It’s chilly across Lapland, but a mild start across the rest of the country with temperatures already hitting double digits in the capital city region. The best of the sunshine will be in the south as well, while there’s widespread cloud cover everywhere else. Temperatures in Lapland are between -3°C and -6°C; +2°C in Oulu; +6°C in Central Finland; +8°C in Vaasa, and up to +11°C in the far south.

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