Morning headlines: Thursday 9th July 2020

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

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Justice Minister: Special preparations in place for 2021 elections

Minister of Justice Anna-Maja Henrkisson (SFP) tells Uutissuomalainen newspaper group that there could be special preparations put in place for the 2021 municipal elections, in case they are impacted by another coronavirus crisis. “If the disease situation were to get worse, the advance voting time could be extended or the opening of polling stations could be considered” the minister is quoted as saying. Any such changes would require amendments to the relevant regulations so they would only be considered if other existing measures were not considered sufficient – for example increasing the number of polling stations could be done within the scope of the current rules. Henriksson says the threshold for postponing elections would be high, and that she thinks solutions could be found instead to avoid it. Municipal elections are scheduled for April next year.

Finnish diver dies in Norway accident

A Finnish man has died in a diving accident in northern Norway. The University of Northern Norway says on Twitter that the incident took place in Fiskebøl in Nordland, and a 60-year old man was taken to the hospital, which is in the city of Tromsø, by rescue helicopter “but was unfortunately declared dead on arrival.” The hospital says his relatives have been notified. Norwegian public broadcaster NRK says the incident happened around 14:00 on Wednesday afternoon and that medics on the helicopter tried CPR at the scene before taking the diver to Tromsø. NRK reports that police say the man and the group he was diving with are all Finns.

One injured in Helsinki karaoke bar shooting 

Police in Helsinki made several arrests Wednesday night after a shooting at a restaurant in the city’s Snellmaninkatu. The first reports about the incident came just before 22:00 with a shot fired at a karaoke bar which left one person injured. Officers made several arrests at the scene, and the injured person – reportedly shot in the thigh – was taken to hospital for treatment. Police say they got the gun involved in the shooting, and also want to speak to a group of 4-5 people who left the scene. By 22:35 police reported there was no danger to anyone else, and that things had returned to normal on Snellmaninkatu. Read more here.

Hoax invoice warning during remote working time

The Central Chamber of Commerce is warning about a fake invoice scam, which has been increasing during the coronavirus crisis when more people are working from home. The organisation says that summer is a particularly good moment for opportune scammers taking advantage not only of remote working practices, but also temporary summer workers who might not be fully trained and able to spot such scams. The con works when people working in financial management are sent an email on behalf of the company’s CEO asking for a bank account balance and trying to issue a payment order to an account. The email seems credible at first but comes from a fake email address – or a genuine address obtained through an email phishing scam. The Chamber of Commerce reminds employers that it’s their responsibility to make sure staff are properly trained in information security issues.

Museums hope for July visitor boom 

After months of lockdown and coronavirus restrictions, Finland’s museums are hoping for for a visitor boom in July. There’s already been a rise in the number of people visiting museums and using the Museum Card to get free access. Last summer there was already a record-setting 213,000 museum visits in July 2019 paid for with a Museum Card – which gives access to more than 300 museums and is valid for one year. However Seppo Honkanen from Museum Card says already this summer, visits are about 20% higher than they were a year ago, and have been growing since the beginning of June when Finland’s museums were allowed to open up again to visitors after a period of lockdown. “According to our forecast, there will be at least 250,000 Museum Card visits in July” says Honkanen.

Thursday morning weather

Temperatures start the day on the cooler side, with single digits in the north and into the low teens across the rest of the country but as the day goes on things will warm up to between +15°C and +20°C. There’s plenty of sunshine around on Thursday morning, even if it is peeking out from behind the clouds in some areas – but we can also expect scattered showers and even some thunder rumbling around during the day. Looking ahead – a severe summer storm is heading for Finland on the weekend with the worst of the weather expected Saturday night.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Thursday morning 9th July 2020 / Credit: FMI