Barack Obama visits Helsinki
Former US President Barack Obama is paying a brief visit to Helsinki today, where he’ll speak at the Nordic Business Forum. Obama already gave a speech at a business event in Oslo on Wednesday where he declared Norway was his favourite Nordic country. The speech had a strong focus on the environment. It’s the first time Obama has visited Finland. During his eight years in the White House he visited Estonia, Sweden, Norway and Denmark but never made it to Finland.
Storm winds cause electricity outages
More than 10,000 households are waking up without electricity this morning, after strong winds in the west and central Finland. The worst affected areas are in Pori and parts of Pirkanmaa as well as the central parts of the country. High winds caused trees to topple onto power lines, with rescue and repair crews working through the night to repair the damage. The Finnish Meteorological Institute has a ‘dangerous’ weather warning in place for much of the country due to continued high winds and storm activities on Thursday. Those winds abate by Friday.
Foreign minister speculates on his career
Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue), currently in New York for the United Nations General Assembly, says he’ll decide over Christmas what the next steps in his political career might be. There has been speculation in Finland about what the embattled politician politician might do next: stay in domestic politics for the spring general election, with his party Blue Reform currently polling less than 2%; or perhaps run for election at the European Parliament. Soini told journalists in New York that he could consider a job at an international organisation. “It’s actually a really difficult decision” he is quoted as saying.
Pink ribbon day raises cancer funds
Finland’s annual ‘Roosa Ribbon’ event is being held today. The charity fundraising drive aims to raise €2m for breast cancer research. Organisers hope to see many people buying and wearing pink ribbons ahead of October which is international breast cancer awareness month. Breast cancer is the most common cancer for Finnish women, and each year 5000 Finns are diagnosed.
Thursday morning weather
It’s a stormy and windy start to the day if you’re anywhere near the coast, with winds blowing in excess of 20 meters per second along parts of the Ostrobothnia coast near Vaasa; and expect similar wind speeds in the northern part of the Gulf of Bothnia as well around Oulu. There’s a band of rain stretching from Lapland down into central Finland, and more rain in the Lappeenranta area as well. Expect sunshine in the south west and capital city region but the temperatures across the almost whole country start the day in single digits. Just +2°C in north west Lapland and, and +10°C just in the southern tip of the country this morning.