Morning headlines: Tuesday 24th March 2020

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

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President Ahtisaari diagnosed with coronavirus

Former President Martti Ahtisaari has been confirmed with Covid-19. The announcement came from the office of the president on Tuesday morning. Ahtisaari, aged 82, served as President of Finland from 1994 to 2000 and was diagnosed with coronavirus on Monday. He is said to be doing well. is said to be doing well “given the circumstances.” His wife, Eeva Ahtisaari was confirmed to have caught coronavirus on Saturday.

Political party leaders meet to discuss coronavirus measures

All political party leaders – from inside and outside government – have been invited to discuss more measures to slow the spread of coronavirus in Finland. The Finnish News Agency STT is reporting the meeting will take place at 10:00 at the House of the Estates in Helsinki. Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) has previously said that it’s likely new measures will be taken to restrict travel, particularly from Uusimaa region, and to close bars and restaurants.

Employment situation strengthened in February

Finland’s employment situation strengthened in February compared with the year before. New figures published on Tuesday morning from Statistics Finland show that the number of people employed in February 2020 was 20,000 higher than the year before. The trend of the unemployment rate is 73.4% and the unemployment rate trend was 6.6%. However, these figures come before the impact of the coronavirus pandemic can be seen yet on employment and unemployment, with tens of thousands of workers facing at least temporary lay-offs which have been announced by a number of companies.

Wildlife cameras open for viewers

WWF Finland has opened up its spring webcams to the public where viewers can observe snakes basking on rocks in the sunshine, and nesting ospreys. The ospreys in particular are a hit with viewers because they form lifelong relationships and return to the same nesting site year after year. They are expected to arrive in March and viewers can most likely follow the same pair as last year. In 2019 the ospreys were viewed more than 2.4 million times in just over four months. In Finland the osprey is considered ‘under threat’ which is just one step away from being on the endangered list.

Tuesday morning weather

Warm air flows into Finland from the southwest so expect some more mild temperatures at the start of the day up to around +4°C and sunshine as well in the south and capital city region. There’s cloud cover in central areas but the sun will still find a way out from behind the clouds this morning, and then colder temperatures too across Lapland but not so chilly, just a degree or two below zero.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 24th March 2020 / Credit: FMI