Morning headlines: Tuesday 29th October 2019

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

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Out in sport: ‘Locker room gay trash talk is so normalised, but it’s not cool’

An ice hockey player has sparked a national debate about sexuality in men’s sport, after he came out as gay. He’s one of the few examples of elite Finnish male athletes who are open about their homosexuality. A decade ago Oulu rugby player Tuomo Jaakkonen came out very publicly to his team mates when he was featured in a documentary about his rugby club that was shown at international film festivals. Jaakkonen says he never had any problems direct problems at his club but one problem area is ‘homottelu’ – or homophobic banter in locker rooms. “It’s just so standardised, normal talk in the locker room to use that word, gay, as meaning something inferior. Even if they don’t think of it that way. Even if they are absolutely non-homophobic guys, good guys, in the locker room they might say ‘oh you’re so gay’” he says. Read more about Tuomo’s story and being an out gay man in Finnish sport at our original story here.

Winter speed limits come into force

The transition to winter speed limits will begin throughout Finland today. Driving speeds are reduced on most motorways and highways. Winter speeds will come into effect by the weekend, at a rate when contractors are changing their road signs. On highways, speeds are generally reduced to 80 kilometers per hour. The 100km speed limit will remain in place on some low-traffic roads. Motorway speeds are reduced to 100 kilometers per hour. The exception is motorway sections with variable speed limits. Depending on the weather, they may have a speed limit of 120 kilometers during the light season until the end of November.

Stora Enso profit slump 

Finnish-Swedish paper company Stora Enso is reporting a significant decline in operating profits from July-September. The company made €231 million operating profit during the third quarter 2019, compared with €358 million during the same period the year before. Net sales decreased by 7% to approximately €2.4 billion. Stora Enso says it expects growth in demand to be slow, as paper demand in Europe continues to decline. The company has already taken cost-cutting measures in Finland, and says it will take further steps to safeguard its profitability.

Companies rated for good and bad reputations 

Which Finnish companies have a good reputation, and which ones have a poor rep? An annual survey which asked the public’s perception is released today and finds forestry machine company Ponsse on top of the list, followed by elevator and escalator company Kone, with gaming company Supercell in third place. At the other end of the scale are healthcare companies that run elderly care facilities like Attendo and Esperi Care, which have been plagued by scandals over standard of care for old people in the past year.

Tuesday morning weather

It’s a cold start to everywhere on Tuesday morning, with the whole country seeing temperatures below zero except for Åland. The best of the sunshine is across Lapland but that’s where the coldest temperatures are as well, between -6°C and -17°C in the far north west. There’s plenty of sunshine too down the Ostrobothnia coast where temperatures range from -5°C in Oulu to just zero in Vaasa and -4°C down through Pori and into Turku. Everywhere else look for glimpses of sun through the cloud cover this morning with temperatures around -5°C in Lappeenranta; -3°C in Jyväskylä; -1°C in Lahti and -1°C in the capital city region as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 29th October 2019 / Credit: FMI