Morning headlines: Wednesday 26th February 2020

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

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Survey: Police don’t have time to do their jobs properly

The results of a new survey, released on Wednesday, paints a grim picture of the state of policing in Finland. Seven out of 10 police officers say they don’t have time to do their jobs properly; violence is increasingly common in field work; most cops experience fatigue and lack of proper management. More than half say their job satisfaction has declined in the last two years. The number of police officers is set to increase in the next few years but 85% of officers who answered the Police Federation survey said they don’t think this will be enough to guarantee the safety of people in Finland.

Finnish tourists waking to coronavirus quarantine day two

Almost two dozen Finns are among a thousand people waking up to the second day of quarantine conditions at a hotel in the Canary Islands. The lockdown is being enforced by authorities at the H10 Costa Adeje Palace Hotel in the south of the island of Tenerife, after an Italian doctor referred himself for tests when he got sick, and was later confirmed to have caught the covid-19 virus. According to the Canarias Noticias news website, an Italian woman who was not yet showing symptoms, but who was traveling with the doctor, also tested positive for the virus. She and another man were later taken to hospital in the island’s capital Santa Cruz. It is believed there are 20 Finnish tourists staying at the four-star hotel which has been cordoned off with guests told to stay in their rooms. Read more at our story here.

Jari Sillänpää child sex abuse trial starts today

Singer Jari Sillänpää, one of Finland’s most popular and well-known entertainers, goes on trial today in Helsinki accused of sexually abusing a child, and distributing an offensive image. The singer could be facing up to four years in prison, but he denies the charges and says he doesn’t know how the images got onto his computer – but say anyone attending a party could have had access to his computer. Sillänpää’s lawyer told Finnish News Agency STT that the charge of abuse against her client does not involve a physical act.

Haavisto to Washington for talks; still leads prospective presidential race

Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto (Green) is heading to Washington DC today for talks with his US counterpart Mike Pompeo. On the agenda for the two-day trip is bilateral relations (as always) plus the situation in Afghanistan, the Middle East process, Russia, Libya and transatlantic relations. Haavisto will also speak at an event at Georgetown University to discuss mediation and the role of women in conflict resolution. His trip comes as a new poll – taken before Parliament decided to move forward with an investigation into his professional conduct – shows Haavisto still leading the pack for any prospective presidential election race in 2024. According to the new survey in Rural Future magazine, Haavisto enjoys 18% support while Olli Rehn (Centre) has 11% support.

Pay rise deal for Yle journalists 

Journalists at Finland’s public-funded broadcaster Yle are in for a pay raise, after their collective bargaining agreement talks wrapped up. Wages will increase by 3.3% and they’ll also get a new weekend working allowance and an increases in other bonuses. The previous two-year collective bargaining deal ran out at the end of November 2019, and the two sides had been involved in negotiations since October to hammer out the details of a new agreement. The President of the Journalists Association called the negotiations with Yle “difficult but constructive.”

Wednesday morning weather

It’s another bright, cold and mostly sunny start to the day across many areas – although a bit more cloud cover that yesterday. Temperatures in Lapland, especially in the south of the region, will feel much colder than Tuesday from -22°C to -29°C and snow in the forecast for Kilpisjärvi and Inari areas. Elsewhere it’s a chilly -16°c in Oulu and down to -19°C on the eastern border. -7°C for Ostrobothnia and into Central Finland with the capital city region and southern inland areas at -4°C.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 26th February 2020 / Credit: FMI