Morning Headlines: Wednesday 18th July 2018

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

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President Niinistö Undergoes Surgery

Finland’s President Sauli Niinistö is recovering from surgery this morning. He was admitted to Espoo’s Jorvi Hospital on Tuesday for what his office calls a “small surgical procedure” which had been planned in advance. The recovery time is short, only one week, and he’ll have to avoid travel during that time. Niinistö turns 70-years-old in a few weeks. Writing on Facebook about the Helsinki Summit where he hosted Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, Niinistö joked that he hoped he didn’t divulge any summit secrets as he came round from anesthetic.

Trump Says He ‘Misspoke’ At Helsinki Press Conference

Donald Trump says he misspoke at a Helsinki press conference on Monday. In a stunning about-face, he says that he accepts intelligence findings on Russia’s involvement in the US presidential election of 2016, and that he has full confidence in his country’s intelligence agencies. He said the opposite in Helsinki just one day before. “In a key sentence in my remarks, I said the word ‘would’ instead of ‘wouldn’t” he said during a live statement read when he returned to America. “The sentence should have been: ‘I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t’ or ‘why it wouldn’t be Russia’. Sort of a double negative”  he told reporters in remarks that were carried live on television.

Wildfire Warning Throughout Finland

There’s a wildfire warning throughout the country today, with forest fire warnings also covering large parts of the country. It comes after weeks of dry weather and recent high temperatures that have peaked above +30C in some places. The Finnish Meteorological Institute says that in windy weather and with drought conditions, fires spread very quickly. Rescue services have been responding to numerous wildfire alarms. In the past 36 hours, crews have responded to blazes in Pirkanmaa, Oulujoki, Oulunsalo, Laitila, Suintio, Kuhmoinen, Raasepori and Närpiö.

Scientists Concerned About Baltic Algae Bloom

Researchers say an explosion of blue-green algae in the Gulf of Finland is the worst they’ve seen for 20 years. The Finnish Environment Institute says this summer, algae blooms are on a par with 1997 levels, which were considered particularly bad. The hot summer contributes to changes in the sea water that cause phosophorus-rich waters in the Baltic Sea to move towards the Gulf of Finland. Blue green algae thrives in phosphorous water, and there’s plenty of phosophorous in the Baltic due to agricultural and industry pollutin run-off. The algae can kill off sea life by starving the water of oxygen. It can cause some illness and nasty symptoms if swimmers ingest it.

Wednesday Morning Weather

It’s another hot, bright and sunny start to the day across the whole of Finland. By 08:00 it had already hit +25C in Turku, and +24C in Helsinki and across Uusimaa, and up to Jyväskylä in central Finland. Lapland also starts with temperatures above +20C on Wednesday morning.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 18th July 2018 / Credit: FMI