Morning headlines: Wednesday 17th July 2019

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PM to Strasbourg for European Parliament meeting 

Prime Minister Antti Rinne (SDP) is heading to Strasbourg today, to discuss Finland’s EU Presidency with MEPs and leaders of the different political groups. Rinne will be accompanied by Europe Minister Tytti Tuppurainen (SDP). The visit come after MEPs voted by a slim margin of just nine votes to approve the appointment of centre-right German politician Ursula von der Leyen as EU Commission President.

One person dead in overnight crash 

The driver of a car is dead after his vehicle collided with a truck in the early hours of the morning. The incident happened around 01:00 on Highway 20 at Hannusperä near Oulu. The passenger car had apparently drifted into the oncoming traffic and hit the trailer head-on. The middle-aged driver was killed, and there were no other passengers in his car. The driver of the truck and a passenger received minor injuries in the accident. Highway 20 was closed for several hours while the scene was cleared, as the truck had shed its load in the crash. The road was opened again for traffic around 04:30.

EU ministers meet to discuss Mediterranean migrant crisis

Interior Ministers from European Union are meeting in Helsinki this evening, to discuss the situation with migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea. The talks will take place over dinner, ahead of two days of meetings at Finlandia Hall on Thursday and Friday. “It is obvious that the situation in the Mediterranean requires our immediate attention” says Interior Minister Maria Ohisalo (Green). “We need robust arrangements to follow up on search and rescue operations by ensuring a swift response after disembarkation and avoiding additional hardships for migrants” she says. Finnish officials hope the talks lead to a commitment that all EU countries can sign up to about how to solve the issue.

Metallica donate money to underprivileged children 

Rock group Metallica played in Hämeenlinna on Tuesday night, and generously made a €55,000 donation to the Hope charity which works with underprivileged children. Members of the band met with the charity organisation before their concert, to learn more about their work which involves distributing clothing and other essential items to children in need, or families going through a crisis. Hope also helps provide leisure and hobby activities to children and other young people. Metallica are known for their generosity to local charities, and donated €25,000 when they played Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena in May 2018.

Wednesday morning weather

It’s another mixed weather picture for Wednesday morning. The best of the sunshine is in the south west, the capital city region, the south east and along the eastern border where we can expect bright sunshine and temperatures from +15C to +18C in these areas. There’s sunshine too, with some cloud, in Pirkanmaa and Central Finland as well, with temperatures a few degrees cooler around +14C. A band of rain between Jyväskylä and Oulu brings showers and there’s quite extensive cloud cover over Lapland with the chance of rain around Inari and temperatures across the region just +8C to +12C on Wednesday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 17th July 2019 / Credit: FMI