Morning headlines: Wednesday 13th January 2021

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

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Southern snow storm continues, as temperatures drop

A snowstorm that swept through southern Finland in the last 36 hours continues on Wednesday, although snow will ease off as the day continues. There were dozens of accidents reported on Tuesday as driving conditions deteriorated and police urged motorists to slow their speeds and keep more distance with the vehicle in front. Rescue crews in Central Finland report that a bus carrying school children ran off the road into a ditch on Wednesday morning. The incident happened after 09:00 and no injuries are reported. Temperatures will drop from Wednesday with many parts of the country seeing -20°C to -25°C although it will be colder still in remote areas. Meteorologists say by Wednesday morning there was 61cm of snow measured at Helsinki Airport; and 56cm of snow in Nuuksio in Espoo, making Uusimaa the snowiest part of Finland.

Restaurant industry calls for more compensation 

The restaurant industry association MaRa is calling for more lenient restrictions when it comes to closing businesses during the coronavirus crisis. Parliament is discussing possible new restrictions which would see local authorities gain the powers to force businesses, including restaurants and bars, to close when the levels of coronavirus cases reach a certain threshold – even if no cases of Covid-19 have been traced to an individual business. MaRa says this new measure would be “neither proportionate nor necessary” especially when so many bars, restaurants and other businesses are in such a difficult financial situation caused by the pandemic. “The coronavirus vaccine must be distributed as efficiently as possible in order to avoid corporate bankruptcies and rising unemployment” says MaRa CEO Timo Lappi who also calls for more compensation for businesses impacted by these new proposed stricter measures, something he says is not already included in the amendments to the Infectious Diseases Act under discussion.

Police investigating parliament attack on former PM

Police in Helsinki are investigating an attack on former Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) which took place outside parliament last Thursday during the day. Sipilä confirmed that he was involved in the incident which left him bruised. “I came from a meeting, and I was attacked with fists” Sipilä told MTV News. Other politicians have spoken out to condemn the incident, with Prime Minister Sanna Marin (SDP) calling it a “very serious act” not just against Sipilä as an individual but against the entire parliament. “All physical violence is always reprehensible” said Marin, who took the opportunity to apologise to Sipilä for critical comments she made on social media in 2017, saying that she regretted the remarks and that people should consider more carefully their words online. Sipilä said he had already forgotten the incident.

Exercise advice for clearing snow

Helsingin Sanomat offers advice for anyone who’s clearing snow from their home or garden in the coming days – noting that it can be a real workout! The paper says that shoveling snow burns as many calories in an hour as swimming or skiing. However there are risks associated with snow work, as with any type of exercise and Hesari has some tips which include warming up before starting; wearing the right kind of shoes; choosing the right kind of tool, at the right length, for doing the work – and not twisting your body too much. “When lifting snow, do it with a straight back. Be sure to flex your hips and knees and do lifting work with your leg muscles. Bring the snow load as close to your body as possible” the newspaper’s expert advises.

Wednesday morning weather

There’s more snow in the forecast for Wednesday, and some bitter cold temperatures. The chilliest weather is found in north and east Lapland where the day starts as low as -32°C and it will be in the -20c across the whole of Lapland. There’s -19°C for Oulu, -18°C through central and eastern areas, but more more mild at -10°C in Vaasa and up to zero in Åland. There’s snow forecast for Jyväskylä, Tampere, Turku, Uusimaa and Lappeenranta on Wednesday morning although it eases off as the day goes on.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 13th January 2021 / Credit: FMI