Morning headlines: Thursday 28th February 2019

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

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One month until Brexit: a practical guide for Brits in Finland

There’s only one month to go until the planned exit of Britain from the European Union, known as Brexit, but still there’s no clear idea of what exactly is going to happen. Britain could leave without or without a deal on 29th March. Or perhaps the Brexit date will be extended by mutual agreement. Many of these (frankly, huge) issues won’t even be addressed by the British parliament until the middle of next month, leaving just two weeks at that point until the date Brexit is supposed to happen. Despite the uncertainty, there are some concrete steps that Brits in Finland can take ahead of Brexit date. We gathered up the most important practical advice, and lots of web links, into a useful guide. Read more in our original story here.

School bus crash this morning

A school bus with 10 children on board has crashed in Varkaus. It happened around 07:00 this morning and police say the bus was not speeding at the time, but slid off the road, into a ditch, and ended up on its side. None of the children on board was injured, but they had to be rescued from the bus through a skylight.

Change of Childrens’ Ombudsman

A new Childrens’ Ombudsman will be appointed today, and the current incumbent Tuomas Kurttila writes on Facebook that he’s been informed he won’t be getting the job for a second five year term. Kurttila will leave the role at the end of April. The Ombdusman’s role is to promote the rights of children, and Kurttila’s term is coming to an end. Although he’d applied for the job again, he is also running as a Social Democrat candidate at the parliamentary elections in April. At the end of 2018 Kurttila’s travel arrangements were called into question, when it was revealed he had spent €5000 on taxi trips in just three months during autumn.

Celebrating Kalevala Day

Flags are flying in Finland today to celebrate Kalevala, the national epic literary work written by author Elias Lönnrot in 1835. Today is also known as Finnish Culture Day. Kalevala is based on folk poems that Lönnrot collected in the 19th century. In the early 1800s he made many poetry tours in Finland, across the eastern border and to residential areas to gather together folk story histories and preserve them together in his Kalevala work.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a very mixed weather picture today depending where in Finland you are. In the far north of Lapland expect snow this morning, and temperatures down to -20C. Meanwhile in central Lapland there’s lots of bright sunshine and temperatures around -11C. There’s snow too in Ostrobothnia but down in Central Finland the temperatures heat up and the snow turns to sleet and rain around Jyväskylä and along the eastern border. Expect bright sunshine in Helsinki and the capital city region at the start of the day, the same for Turku and the south west of the country. There’s a warning in place for slippery road conditions in Satakunta, Pirkanmaa, Central Finland and South Savo, as well as the northern regions. And there’s a storm warning in place for sea areas (except the Gulf of Finland) with wind speeds forecast up to 21 metres per second.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 28th February 2019 / Credit: FMI