Morning headlines: Wednesday 5th December 2018

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Oodi Central Library opens today

The new Oodi Central Library in Helsinki’s Töölönlahti neighbourhood opens its doors to the public today. The curved building is clad in spruce wood, and offers a range of services across three floors. The ground floor has a cinema and different spaces for meetings or performances as well as a cafe. The second floor is a vast ‘makers studio’ with 3D printers, soundproof booths, computers and recording studios as well as lots of space (and plugs!) for people to hang out and work. The top floor is where library users will find 150,000 books, DVDs, video games, board games and music to borrow – and lots of space for children’s books too. There’s also a large sweeping outside terrace with views of the area. “I think it brings a new concept of how we see the libraries, and i think this is very important” says Helsinki Deputy Mayor Nasima Razmyar. Read more about the new Oodi library in our original article here.

Prime Minister hosts children for Independence Day party

Prime Minister Juha Sipilä (Centre) will host 500 children today on the eve of Independence Day. It’s a new tradition which started last year, and every municipality in the country has the opportunity to send two ten-year olds to Helsinki’s House of the Estates for the celebration. This year the food and entertainment at the children’s party reflects the themes of reading and literature.

Police call for calm after Oulu sex abuse arrests

National Police Commissioner Seppo Kolehmainen has called for composure and for people to respect the rule of law as police in Oulu investigate a string of suspected sex crimes against young girls. The plea comes after officers detained seven foreign-born men in connection with allegations that several girls aged between 10 and 15-years old were sexually abused or raped over a period of several months between June and October in the northern city. Oulu Police issued a warning for parents to be alert for possible online grooming actions by foreign-born men targeting young girls, and said parents need to be aware who their children are speaking to online.

Foreign Minister in Brussels for Afghanistan talks

Foreign Minister Timo Soini (Blue) is in Brussels today for talks with NATO counterparts about the mission in Afghanistan. Finland has been contributing troops to te ‘Resolute Support’ peacekeeping operation under NATO auspices for many years. From January, Finland will increase the number of troops in Afghanistan, with 60 personnel taking part in the mission. “The stabilisation of Afghanistan is among the key priorities of Finland’s foreign and security policy and development policy. We have contributed troops to the RS mission since it was launched in 2015” says Soini in a statement.

Slush day 2 gets underway

The second day of the annual tech-startup event Slush is on today. It brings 20,000 investors, startups, volunteers and visitors to Helsinki’s Messukeskus, as well as 500 side events around the city, and lots of parties and social events too. One of Monday’s big announcements was a big expansion planned for the capital’s first public hospital which has been turned into a startup campus. A coalition of Finnish companies like Slush, Nokia and Kone will join together to redevelop more old hospital buildings as well as build a brand new Maria 01 south campus which will be open for occupants in 2024. Read more at our article here.

Wednesday morning weather

Cold, snowy and sleeting start to the morning with a north-south divide. In the north of the country there’s widespread snow across Lapland, heavy in places. Temperatures dip down to -8°C at the start of the morning. As you move further south the temperatures climb above zero and that leads to some filthy conditions with fog, sleet and rain across the southern half of the country. Temperatures hover a few degrees above freezing.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday 5th December 2018 / Credit: FMI