Morning headlines: Thursday 29th November 2018

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Slush preview: more money, more investors, more startups

One of the most hyped events in Finland is back next week, as 20,000 people descend on Helsinki for the annual Slush startup and tech event. The focus as always is on startups, but big international brands have been playing an increasing role in recent years. But there’s 3000 startups registered for Slush, more than ever before. There’s hundreds of side events, and a continued global outreach especially to Asia that continues throughout the year. Slush CEO Andreas Saari says it seems to be getting easier to attract people to Helsinki during the most grim part of the year, especially investors, with a record number attending Messukeskus for two days next week. “I think the main driver for that is just a greater number of Finnish startups, to be honest, that pop out during the year. And then the other thing that drives it for sure is that Slush has somehow become this place to meet, the place to gather”. Read more of the interview with Andreas Saari in our original story here.

Three injured in Highway 5 morning crash

Three people have been injured after a two-vehicle crash in Siilinjärvi. It happened early on Thursday morning on Highway 5 between Kuopio and Iisalmi, and the road is closed northbound as rescue crews clear up the scene. Police say a passenger car went into oncoming traffic and collided with a van, and both vehicles spun off the road in normal winter frost conditions. Three people were taken to a local hospital but their injuries are not serious. Police are investigating the accident, but have already said alcohol was not a contributing factor.

Parliament’s christmas parties today

Political parties hold their Christmas parties in parliament today, and this year they’re coming with some new rules. They’re only allowed to begin after the end of the plenary session, so the parliament’s business must be done before the revelry begins. And the Finns Party have banned booze at their event this year, after one of their MPs Teuvo Hakkarainen got drunk and assaulted National Coalition Party MP Veera Ruoho who was not attending the party at all. After a trial, Hakkarainen was fined more than €3000 and ordered to pay a further €1400 compensation to Ruoho (NCP) after he accosted her in the parliament cafe, grabbed her by the throat, and forcibly kissed her last December. Hakkarainen said he was so drunk at the time he can’t remember the attack. So this year the Finns Party are only serving non-alcoholic refreshments.

Winter tyres deadline approaching

There’s driving warnings in effect today for poor road conditions across much of Lapland. The Finnish Road Safety Council says drivers should already have switched to winter tyres, even though the law says the deadline is 1st December. “The weather is very slippery and icy, and drivers should already have winter tyres even in southern Finland” says Tapio Heiskanen from Liikenneturva. Mechanics say when changing from summer tyres to winter tyres check how many studs are visible; take the opportunity when the wheels are off to get the brakes checked; and don’t forget to add winter windscreen wash as well. For winter car maintenance tips watch our video here.

Thursday morning weather

There’s stormy weather forecast this morning especially in the west – expect high winds up the Ostrobothnia coast, and sleety windy conditions around the Turku area. Elsewhere there’s snow predicted for Kuusamo this morning, and some snow for northern Ostrobothia later this afternoon. Temperatures across the country range from -9°C in north west Lapland to +3°C in Vaasa.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 29th November 2018 / Credit: FMI