Morning headlines: Tuesday 17th December 2019

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

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Government to repatriate al-Hol children

The Finnish government says it has an “unequivocal and common resolve to repatriate children” from the al-Hol refugee camp in Syria “as soon as possible.” The government released guidelines late Monday night about what to do with the estimated 10 Isis-linked women and 30 children at the Kurdish-held camp. The guidelines stress that authorities will seek to act within Finnish and international laws, and within the Constitution – but that repatriation decisions will be taken by Foreign Ministry officials on a case-by-case basis. But there’s already disagreement within the government coalition about what to do with the Finns at the camp. The Left Alliance says children and their mothers could be brought back to Finland; while Centre Party MPs have said any women who chose to live in the so-called Islamic Caliphate are a security risk and shouldn’t be allowed to return. Meanwhile the government faces a debate on Tuesday afternoon into its handling of the whole al-Hol situation.

Foreign suspects arrested in drugs bust

Western Uusimaa Police and the National Bureau of Investigation say they’re investigating a serious drug offense after an operation on Monday. Officers responded to an incident at a chemical storage facility in Espoo on Monday lunchtime. They said masked men had raided the premises. Later, Helsinki Police delayed the departure of a ferry at Olympic Terminal while they searched cabins. It’s understood they arrested five foreign nationals and police say they seized a large amount of drugs as well.

HS: Meteorologist arrested in China 

Helsingin Sanomant newspaper reports that a Chinese PhD student, working at the Finnish Meteorological Institute in Helsinki, has been arrested in China. According to the paper, his arrest in October happened when he went back to his homeland for a visit, and has been reported by human rights groups. It is thought that Wang Zhan may have fallen foul of Chinese authorities by posting links to articles on his Sina Weibo social media site that were critical of the Chinese Communist Party.

Six-car crash in Joensuu on Tuesday morning

A six-car crash in Joensuu early this morning miraculously resulted in no injuries to the occupants of the vehicles. The chain collision happened around 07:50 when one car was turning off from Kajaanintie Road at Lehmo towards Joensuu and the car behind crashed into it. There was a chain involving four more vehicles. Most cars only had a driver, but a couple of them had passengers and luckily nobody was injured. Road conditions were said to be slushy at the time of the accident, after a night of sleet and wet snow in the area.

Tuesday morning weather

Mild, unstable weather continues on Tuesday morning with rain in the south and west moving east as the day goes on. Precipitation falls mostly as rain but in Central Finland expect sleet and turning to snow in Lapland where the temperatures drop to between -3°C and -6°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 17th December 2019 / Credit: FMI