Morning Headlines: Thursday 31st May 2018

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Finnwatch Worker’s Thailand Conviction Dropped

A British man working for Finnish human rights organisation Finnwatch has had his conviction quashed by the Thailand Court of Appeal. Andy Hall was sentenced to a prison term and fines back in 2016, after a lawsuit was filed when he raised concerns about conditions for workers at a Natural Fruit pineapple mill. Finnwatch writes on Twitter this morning that “researching working conditions and reporting on human rights violations is not a crime”. Finnwatch, which was founded in 2002, is a non-governmental organisation investigating the global impact of Finnish business.

Parliament Committee Still Preparing Sote Statement

The Constitutional Law Committee in parliament is still working today on its opinion paper about the new social and welfare reform bill – known as Sote – being presented by the government. The Committee had hoped to publish its own report into the reforms either today or tomorrow, but now says work might continue over the weekend. Politicians are waiting for the committees report, because it should give some more clarity on the timetable and overall aims of the Sote reform laws. Parliament should be voting on whether to approve the laws – proposed by Juha Sipilä’s centre right government – or not. Sipilä has a narrow majority in parliament with his three-party coalition, and has been losing the support of several of his coalition MPs who say they will vote against the reforms.

New Trams For Helsinki

Helsinki City Council has approved funding to buy new trams for the city’s network. The council gave a green light to buy up to ten 28-metre trams at a total cost of €30 million. The new trams will be low-floor models – the council say they considered renovating existing high-floor models, but it would not be cost effective, and wouldn’t meet the accessibility needs of passengers. The new carriages will be added to Helsinki’s tram route extension, which will soon see new services running to neighbourhoods like Jätkäsaari, Hernesaari and Ilmala.

Thursday Morning Weather

It’s another warm and mainly sunny start to the day on Thursday across most of the country although there will be cloud cover in some parts of northern Lapland where the temperature will feel cool first thing. Temperatures start a little cooler on Thursday morning than they have been recently, but will climb into the mid-20s in the hottest part of the afternoon.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 31st May 2018 / Credit: FMI