Morning headlines: Tuesday 18th February 2020

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

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Finland charts the middle ground in crucial EU budget talks

Months of EU budget negotiations come to a climax in Brussels this week as leaders from the 27-nation block try to find agreement on the region’s financial framework for the next seven years. Finland’s Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen was involved in much of the heavy lifting during the country’s EU Presidency in the second half of 2019 and now charts a course between the countries who give more to the EU’s budget than they receive, and who want to keep budget increases to a minimum; and countries who, broadly, take more money than they contribute who are worried about cuts to their funding. Tuppurainen tells News Now Finland that a middle ground between those positions has to be found but that it comes with conditions: countries that want more aid money like Poland or Hungary have to stick to the EU’s rules and values. Read more in our original story here.

Three seriously injured in Kerava car crash

Three people have been injured in a car crash in Kerava – one of them seriously – with the underage driver of one vehicle found by police after fleeing the scene. It happened just before midnight on Monday near Kerava prison and involved two vehicles: one car had stopped in the lane and was trying to make a turn when a van hit it from behind and shunted it to the side. A 17-year old male, suspected of being the van driver, fled the scene and police found him several kilometers away at 03:00 after searching with police dog, Border Guard helicopter and other search personnel. It is believed the young man was still intoxicated when he was caught. Police are investigating the incident as a drunk driving crime, and also as a serious danger to road safety.

Final jets arrive in Pirkkala for ‘Top Gun’ tests

The last of the international contenders to replace Finland’s ageing fleet of Hornet jets should be arriving at Pirkkala Air Base today. Boeing is sending two Super Hornets and one Growler variant of the aircraft to take part in intensive testing and evaluations, which flew via Iceland with refueling tanker support. Planes from Saab, Lockheed Martin, Eurofighter and Dassault have already been in Finland over the last six weeks for their evaluations. The Air Force is weighing up the pros and cons of each aircraft to determine which company will win the €10 million contract.

High school and vocational applications open today. 

The joint system to apply for high school or vocational school places opens today. Students can make their application at the www.opintopolku.fi website. This spring there are more than 80,600 places available and the process is intended for applicants completing basic education, and those without a qualification yet. Previous graduates can apply for vocational school places through continuous training programmes. The current application period runs until 10th March with schools expected to make their results of student selection by 11th June at the earliest.

Michelin stars shine for Finnish restaurants

The annual Michelin Awards for the Nordic region were revealed in Trondheim, Norway, on Monday evening. They’re perhaps the most coveted awards in the culinary world, rewarding kitchen creativity, flavours and sustainability. This year a new Michelin Star was given to Helsinki’s Restaurant Inari on Albertinkatu, run by Chefs Kim Mikkola and  Johan Borgari. Five other restaurants – all in Helsinki – retained their one Michelin stars, while one other capital city eatery was rewarded for its innovative take on zero-waste food sustainability. Read more at our story here.

Tuesday morning weather

It’s another mixed weather start to the day. Mild air across central and southern areas brings temperatures up to +5°C and the best of the sunshine on Tuesday morning is in Tampere and on the Ostrobothnia coast around Vaasa. Rain creeps in further north but then winter conditions return to Lapland with some snow in the forecast for Enontekiö and temperatures ranging from zero degrees in Rovaniemi to -15°C up towards Kilpisjärvi in the northwest.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 18th February 2020 / Credit: FMI