Morning Headlines: Wednesday 22nd August 2018

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Niinistö In Sochi For Talks With Putin

Finnish President Sauli Niinistö is heading to Russia today for talks with Valdimir Putin. The pair will meet in the Black Sea city of Sochi – host of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games – for talks and a working lunch. The meeting takes place at Putin’s Sochi residence, followed by a press conference in the afternoon. On the agenda, according to a press release from Niinistö’s office, “current international, regional and bilateral topics”. Niinistö and Putin have met several times over the years, most recently when Helsinki was the location for the first summit between Putin and US President Donald Trump in July. However, experts say there’s little of substance involved in these bilateral meetings, it’s more about Finland keeping open lines of communication with its eastern neighbour. Read more about the talks in our original story here.

Police Speed Checks In Force Today

If you’re hitting the roads in the next 24 hours pay extra attention to your speed. Police are launching an intensive session to crack down on drivers who break the limit, and using all the tools at their disposal: all surveillance cameras will be turned on, there are mobile monitoring units as well. Checks are focused on areas where there have been accidents, or where speeding is common, as well as in areas around schools and kindergartens.

Wolf Hunt Polling

Should hunters be allowed to kill more wolves each year in Finland? That’s the question posed to a thousand people in June. This morning, Uutissuomalainen newspaper group has the answer: 38% of people say the current number of permits to kill wolves is enough. But the same number of people 38% said they would like to see an increase in the number of hunting permits issued. Fewer than one-in-six people said they would reduce the number of permits. Wolves are a protected species in Finland but a number of licenses are issued to hunters each year to kill them. Farmers and reindeer herders often complain that wolves are harmful to their livestock numbers. The Natural Resources Institute Finland estimates there are less than 200 wolves in Finland, with 20 wolf packs resident in Finland itself, while another five packs moving around the Finland-Russia border region. But the number of packs is growing. A total of 41 wolves were killed by hunters in the 2016/2017 season.

Summer Politics Meetings Continue

The Finnish political tradition of having summer meetings continues this week. Today the Greens meet in Kouvola, while the National Coalition Party continues its meeting in Oulu and Blue Reform begins their discussions in Hämeenlinna. The Social Democrats get together tomorrow in Vaasa and continue in Tampere in Friday. Prime Minister Juha Sipilä‘s Centre party met yesterday in Vantaa.

Ticket To Read

Passengers on the Helsinki metro can enjoy some literature as they travel underneath the city this week. The popular arts initiative to publish poems on the metro is back for another season. Ten contemporary poems from authors who live in Finland have made the cut this year, nine in Finnish and one in Swedish, and can be read on electronic screens in the metro as well as Helsinki trams. Poetry has been a regular feature on the capital’s public transport going back to the 1990s, when it was originally inspired by London’s ‘Poems on the Underground’ campaign.

Wednesday Morning Weather

It’s a bright and sunny start to Wednesday morning across the whole of Finland, but it will feel cool. Temperatures in Lapland start at +7°C and +10°C in the capital city region. It will feel warmer in Oulu, Åland, Turku and Hanko however. Warmer temperatures are coming on Thursday but so is widespread rain.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 22nd August 2018 / Credit: FMI