Morning headlines: Tuesday 9th July 2019

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

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Chinese state-owned company gets on board Tallinn tunnel project

Plans to build a 100km-long tunnel linking Tallinn Airport with Helsinki Airport take a step forward this week, with the Finest Bay Area Development company set to sign a letter of intent with the world’s largest construction company CREC. Finnish businessman Peter Vesterbacka, who fronts the Finest Bay company, says the Chinese firm specialises in railway projects and large-scale tunneling operations. CREC – China Railway Group Limited – is owned by the Chinese state, and would work alongside Finnish engineering partners who already indicated their interest in the mega-project. Vesterbacka wants the first train to run by Christmas 2024 but the construction is beset with political bickering – including from Helsinki City who are demanding that any tunnel goes via the Central Railway Station, and not via Espoo which is the preferred route.

Overnight fire destroys Central Finland barn

A large barn building in Kannonkoski in Central Finland will be completely destroyed, according to fire fighters, after a blaze broke out in the early hours of the morning. Rescue crews were alerted around 04:00 and when they arrived at the scene they were initially able to put out the flames. However, the fire had spread to an adjacent building and a dozen fire trucks showed up to tackle the flames as they grew more intense. Nobody was injured in the fire, but the barn building has been destroyed. This morning, an investigation gets underway into what started the fire in the first place.

‘Silver Summit’ addresses ageing economy

A two-day ‘Silver Summit’ is taking place this week, organised by the Finnish Government. It brings together politicians, industry and non-governmental organisations to Finland – a country with one of the fastest-growing elderly populations in Europe, and one of the continent’s lowest birth rate. Organisers hope the Silver Economy Forum will help participants share policies, ideas and best practice that “lend value and wellbeing to their senior population”, which they say is an economic sector worth $15 trillion every year, globally. The event takes place at Finlandia Hall.

Helsinki Cup football tournament underway 

Thousands of young footballers are in action during the first full day of play in the Helsinki Cup. The annual event, being held now for the 44th time, was opened on Monday night by Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) and Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP) and sees almost 1200 teams – a record high – taking part in 4500 games across 100 pitches in Helsinki and Espoo this week. The tournament is open to both boys and girls, and this year attracted foreign teams including from Estonia, Switzerland, Russia and Thailand to the capital city region.

WATCH: Huge pile of plastic trash grows in Helsinki

A 10-metre high mountain of plastic waste is both an art project and a statement of environmental activism. The Plastic Mama sculpture features 300kg of plastic trash, and took 1000 volunteers nearly four months to collect – including many local school children. Installed between Parliament and Oodi Central Library the mountain was put together to highlight the issues of plastic waste and the climate emergency, at the start of Finland’s EU Presidency. Watch our original video here.

Tuesday morning weather

There’s cooler temperatures across the whole country this morning. It’s warmest in Lapland, with temperatures reaching +15C on Tuesday morning, but for the rest of the country expect only around +10C to +12C. There’s a blanket of cloud cover over Finland as well, with the best of the sunshine peeking out from behind the clouds in Lapland or down the west coast.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Tuesday morning 9th July 2019 / Credit: FMI