Morning headlines: Thursday 4th June 2020

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

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Record high amphetamine levels in capital wastewater

Researchers have found record high levels of amphetamines in capital region wastewater – which has continued to grow even during coronavirus lockdown restrictions. A survey of wastewater at water treatment facilities in Helsinki showed a 15% rise in amphetamine levels in March and April compared with previous six months. “The use of amphteamines has tripled since 2013, and no clear decline has been detected in any of the drugs analysed in the wastewater study despite restrictive measures related to coronavirus” says Teemu Gunnar Head of the Forensic Toxicology Unit at THL. The latest figures come as police reveal the number of all drug-related offenses increased by 40% between January and April, with the number of drug-impaired driving cases exceeding the number of alcohol-impaired driving increases, as police say the availability of drugs has not decreased during the coronavirus epidemic.

MP faces disciplinary action over racist tweet

Finns Party MP Ano Turtiainen is facing sanctions from his own party after he tweeted a racist image of George Floyd, the African-American man who died in police custody and whose death has sparked nine days and nights of riots in cities across America. Turtiainen deleted the tweet after a wave of criticism, and Finns Party Parliamentary Group leader Ville Tavio said the tweet was unacceptable, however it is just one of several racist memes or misinformation that have been shared by Finns Party politicians and party activists in the wake of events in the USA.

THL to give coronavirus update

Senior physicians from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare THL will give a Thursday morning briefing about the state of coronavirus in Finland. Over the last few weeks the number of people in hospital, and the number of patients receiving intensive care treatment have fallen, however there are still new cases of coronavirus being reported, up by two dozen yesterday compared with the day before. One new death was also reported yesterday, an increase of one bringing the total of coronavirus-related deaths in Finland o far to 321 people.

Flags are flying for Defence Forces day

Flags have been run up the flag pole around the country to mark Defence Forces Day. The date marks the birthday of Carl Gustaf Emil Mannerheim, former President of Finland and commander of the armed forces. The first parade was celebrated in Helsinki back in 1952, and this year marks the 101st anniversary of general military service in Finland. While there are usually parades and other events to commemorate Armed Forced Day, coronavirus restrictions mean that events move online this year. The day began earlier on Thursday with President Sauli Niinistö raising a flag at his official residence Mäntyniemi in Helsinki accompanied by a small military brass band. The Air Force has organised flyovers in the skies above a number of cities during the morning.

Thursday morning weather

It’s a cooler start to the day across the whole country than it has been in the last few days, but still sunny in most parts of Finland. As the day goes on, scattered showers arrive from the southeast to southern and central areas and there’s also rainfall in the north over parts of Lapland.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 4th June 2020 / Credit: FMI