Morning headlines: Tuesday 25th February 2020

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

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Ministry to consider funding implications for Finns Party Youth ‘fascist’ video

The Ministry of Education and Culture tells News Now Finland a video by a senior Finns Party Youth Group leader, where he declares himself a fascist, “will be examined and considered by the government officials in the department of youth and sport policy.” The move could have further funding implications for the right-wing populist organisation which already had its full 2019 grant allocation reclaimed by the ministry, and saw it’s 2020 funding cut by 15% as a result of racists posts on social media. A second breach of the rules for receiving state funding could end up with a total cut in official support for the organisation. “The Youth Act clearly states, that the Ministry of Education and Culture may withdraw eligibility for state aid if the organisation, if its activities, in two consecutive years, fail to meet the criteria for state aid pursuant to this Act or other regulations issued hereunder” the ministry says. Read more at our original story here.

Employment rate and unemployment rate up in January

Finland’s employment rate and unemployment rate rose in January, compared with a year before. The government’s target of 75% employment looks a step closer as new Statistics Finland data released on Tuesday shows the employment rate trend is 73.4% with the number of employed people 46,000 higher than January 2019. However there were also 15,000 more unemployed job seekers this January pushing the unemployment rate to 6.8%.

‘Woodsman’ in Appeal Court for fourth murder today

A convicted killer known as the ‘Woodsman’ is appearing at the Court of Appeal today, after previously being convicted of murdering a crime boss. The District Court already sentenced Veli Matti Huohvanainen to life in prison for murdering Raimo Andersson during prison leave. The men were close friends and had known each other for 20 years when prosecutors say Huohvanainen intentionally, and repeatedly, hit and kicked Andersson to death. This was the fourth murder conviction for the ‘Woodsman’ who had already been convicted at the start of the 2000s for a triple murder including a man who was shot in the head while his 7-year old daughter watched.

More European Championship tickets going on sale Wednesday

For any fans of Finnish football who missed out on the initial ticket allocation for this summer’s European Championship – where the national team qualified for the first time – there is a glimmer of hope. UEFA will open the re-sale of tickets tomorrow, for fans who bought too many tickets and now want to off-load them. The sale begins at 15:00 on Wednesday afternoon.

Shrove Tuesday divides the country: jam or almond paste? 

Finns celebrate Shrove Tuesday today – known as Laskiainen in Finnish. It’s the culmination of late winter, and the start of the Easter period, and blends official church religious doctrines and pagan traditions as well. In Finland some of those traditions involve going sledging, but the most important tradition is to eat laskiaispulla: buns filled with whipped cream and either strawberry jam or almond paste. The dilemma over jam or almond filling in the laskiaispulla is a conversation topic at this time of year, and while one bakery in Helsinki said they sell more strawberry buns than almond, often people will buy one of each to take with them. We hit the streets in Helsinki to ask people which they prefer: jam or almond paste. WATCH our original video here.

Tuesday morning weather

There’s bright sunshine blanketing pretty much the whole country on Tuesday morning. And for northern areas that means very cold temperatures in Lapland ranging from -8°C around Rovaniemi to -26°C in the northeast towards Kilpisjärvi. Elsewhere temps start the day around -6°C for Vaasa, Ostrobothnia, into Central Finland, Jyväskylä and down the eastern border – the only place where there’s any real cloud cover. The temperatures stay a few degrees below freezing as well for the capital city region and the southwest as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 25th February 2020 / Credit: FMI