Morning headlines: Thursday 2nd May 2019

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

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Baby kidnapped from Kokkola hospital 

Police in Central Ostrobothnia confirm that a day-and-a-half old baby was kidnapped from a hospital in Kokkola. It happened on 17th April, and police were notified by staff at the hospital when the baby was taken from the hospital’s maternity ward without the consent of the mother. The father and his sister are suspected of taking the child, who was found the next day more than 100km away in a private home. After being checked by social services, the baby boy was returned to his mother in Kokkola. The suspects, from North Ostrobothnia, are being investigated by police for their role in the kidnapping.

Appeals Court trial starts for senior Air Force commander

The Helsinki Court of Appeal will hear the case today against the former commander of the Karelia Air Force base Markus Päiviö. He was accused of misuse of managerial positions, service offenses and defamation. The charges are related to an exercise held in Inari in September 2017. According to the Prosecutor General’s office before his initial trial began, Päiviö had denied committing the crimes, which involved accusations harassment. The case has become a major embarrassment for the Finnish Defence Forces since the accusations first came to light and even President Sauli Niinistö has been briefed on the accusations and the charges in court. The appea for another commander who is suspected of delaying the investigation into these allegations, Sampo Eskelinen, will begin next week.

US Secretary of State confirms Rovaniemi visit 

The American Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has confirmed that he’ll be in Finland next week for a meeting of the Arctic Council. Pompeo gets to Rovaniemi on Monday for the conference, which hopes to bring together all the other foreign ministers from the Arctic countries including Russia, Canada, Sweden and Norway plus the inclusion of indigenous representatives from the Arctic region. While in Finland, Pompeo is scheduled to give a speech on US Arctic policy.

HSL tests scooters as public transport option

Public transport network HSL is testing 300 electric and traditional scooters in eastern Helsinki, to see whether they’re sustainable and durable enough to be introduced on a wider scale. The summer pilot scheme, with docking stations and repair facilities, is being rolled out just months after two private companies introduced their own scooters to the capital’s streets. Swedish Voi and German Teir have become common sights in Helsinki but critics say the scooters are too disposable, not good for the environment and without docking stations just end up being left around on the streets. Read more at our original story here.

Gallery: Celebrating Vappu

How did you celebrate the May Day holiday? For many people in Finland the Vappu festivities herald the start of spring, with picnics, balloons and the chance to catch up with old school friends. Here’s a gallery of pictures from one of the country’s largest gatherings at Kaivopuisto park in Helsinki.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a return to winter for some parts of the country this morning, with sleet and snow in parts of Lapland, Kainuu and Ostrobothnia. The temperatures in Lapland start the morning at -4C. There’s a lot of rain around central and southern Finland, with widespread cloud cover and just a hint of sunshine in Turku and the south west. The temperatures range from freezing in Jyväskylä to +5C in the capital city region on Thursday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 2nd May 2019 / Credit: FMI