Morning headlines: Wednesday 23rd January 2019

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Government publishes new internal security review 

The government has published a new assessment of Finland’s internal security this morning. It focuses on four areas including sense of security and access to assistance; crime; accidents and injuries; and stability and social harmony. The statistics compiled in the report show, and international comparisons, show that Finland is the safest country in the world. “This report now gives us a good overall picture of people’s everyday safety and security and of the factors which affect them the most” says Interior Minister Kai Mykkänen (NCP). He cites the recent headline-grabbing sexual abuse allegations, and notes that the number of sexual offenses has risen during recent years, but there is a lot of “sexual and intimate partner violence” which must be tackled more effectively, according to the minister.

Valio starts redundancy talks 

Finnish dairy company Valio is starting negotiations to cut up to 100 jobs. The redundancies will happen at Valio’s Helsinki head office, and not in milk production. The cuts come as part of a three year effort to save money and make the company more efficient. Talks are set to begin next week, and set to last approximately six weeks involving more than 600 staff at the Pitäjänmäki location.

VR warns of delays on train network 

Train operator VR is warning of delays in the network today, especially long distance services, for various reasons. On the Helsinki to Lahti line there’s delays of up to 20 minutes due to a track system failure on part of the route. Trains between Riihimäki and Lahti are replaced by a bus service for now. The S42 Pendolino service from Vaasa to Helsinki is running 40 minutes late; and the IC21 from Helsinki to Oulu is running 30 minutes late both due to bad weather. Another service IC41 from Pieksämäki to Helsinki is running up to 55 minutes late due to equipment issues. “We ask our passengers to prepare for delays of 15-60 minutes in long distance traffic on all sections of the track due to hard frost and heavy snow” says VR in a statement. Check the latest train delays at this website.

President Niinistö visits Strasbourg  

President Sauli Niinistö is in Strasbourg today, attending the winter session of the Council of Europe CoE Parliamentary Assembly. Finland currently holds the presidency of the CoE.  Niinistö will give a speech to the assembly and take questions from member states. During his visit to Strasbourg, the president will also meet with the CoE Secretary General and other officials, and attend an event to mark the International Holocaust Day which is coming up on Sunday.

Finns progress at Australian Open tennis 

Finnish tennis star Henri Kontinen and his Aussie doubles partner John Peers have made it into the semi finals of the Australian Open Tennis tournament. They beat 3rd seed pair Jamie Murray and Bruno Soared 6-3, 6-4 to secure a berth in the next round. And in the junior tournament, Finn Otto Virtanen has also made it into the last 8. The 17-year old won his 3rd round match by beating a Dutch player 6-4, 6-7 (11-13), 6-2 by hitting an impressive 10 aces in the two-hour match.

Wednesday morning weather

There’s a lot of snow in the forecast this morning, across north east and western parts of Lapland, in Central Finland, the south west, capital city region and the eastern border too. Temperatures are really cold in Lapland down to -26°C and -16°C in Oulu, but more mild across the rest of country between -4°C and -8°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 23rd January 2019 / Credit: FMI