Morning headlines: Wednesday 13th February 2019

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Global architects get on board Tallinn tunnel project

Internationally renowned firm Zaha Hadid Architects is positioning itself to be a leading partner in the tunnel linking Helsinki and Tallinn which is being spearheaded by serial entrepreneur Peter Vesterbacka. Added to strong interest from local real estate developers, the Estonian government, Chinese engineering experts and Middle Eastern financiers, it’s another sign the so-far privately financed tunnel project is being taken more seriously outside of Finland, and moving forward at a brisk pace. Zaha Hadid Architects gave a detailed presentation of some of their other major design briefs, including transport hubs in northern Europe, and showed how their design plans for Tallinn’s harbour district would be put into practice as well. Read more at our original story here.

Report: Odd business deal to return Iraqis back home

Helsingin Sanomat newspaper reports this morning on a strange business proposal that would have seen Iraqi asylum seekers who received a negative decision, returned to their home country. The proposed 2017 deal involved an Iraqi general, Finnish businessman Peter Fryckman and millionaire businessman, reality TV host & politician Hjallis Harkimo and could have cost Finland more than €100 million. Under the terms of the deal according to Helsingin Sanomat, Iraq would have acquired military equipment from Sweden, paid for by Finland. In return, Iraq would have been willing to take back asylum returnees who had been refused by Finland. HS says Finnish ministers decided not to look too deeply into the business proposal.

VR to stop selling tickets for cash on long haul trains

VR says it will stop selling tickets for cash on long distance trains from September. According to the train company passengers rarely pay for cash, with 99% of people either buying their tickets in advance, or with a card payment on board. VR says they’ll introduce new sales equipment on trains later this year and it will only be possible to make a card payment, but the long notification period gives people time to adjust. The company stopped accepting cash payments for tickets on short distance train services already back in summer 2017.

Horse rescued by quad bike from frozen lake

Rescue crews in Etelä-Savo managed to pull a horse that was sinking through the ice into a lake. The incident happened late Tuesday night in Hirvensalmi and six rescue workers toiled for three hours to free the animal safely from the lake. It had escaped earlier in the day and wandered onto the ice, which was not strong enough to take its weight. During the rescue operation a quad bike was used to pull the horse free.

ICYMI: Arctic trek as policeman raises thousands for cancer charity

A policeman from Scotland has completed a three day, 70km trek in Lapland to raise money for a cancer charity. Sgt Don Sutherland was inspired to make the trip to help a local charity after first his sister died from pancreatic cancer in 2011, and less than a year later his wife died from cervical cancer. “To say I was devastated would be an understatement. I was lost for a while” he says. With slightly warmer conditions in Lapland over the last few days that Don had expected which made the snow even more difficult to walk through. Read more about his journey at our original story here.

Wednesday morning weather 

It’s a mixed weather picture for the start of Wednesday morning. In the south west the temperature might not drop below freezing, and there’s some snow in the forecast. There’s more snow likely in the capital region where the temperatures is colder at -6°C. The best chance of sunshine first thing is in Lappeenranta in the south east. That snow extends up into Central Finland but there will be some fog patches as well to watch out for. Further north the temperature in Oulu is down to -13°C with snow forecast across much of Lapland as well.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 13th February 2019 / Credit: FMI