Morning headlines: Wednesday 6th May 2020

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Pictured: Finnish rifle in ISIS fighter’s hands

A Finnish-made assault rifle has ended up in the hands of a militant loyal to the Islamic State in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula region, the first time an ISIS fighter has been pictured with a Finnish weapon. A video released by the Egyptian Ministry of Defence this week shows a Finnish rifle from Valmet’s RK range lying on the body of a fighter killed in a counter-terrorism operation in Sinai at the beginning of the month. “The rifle looks like a Valmet 76T. It is scarce and exported probably more than forty years ago” confirms Esa Salldén from the Historic Arms Society of Finland SAHS. Experts suggest a number of possibilities for the decades-old rifle’s origins, including that it could have been part of arms shipments to Qatar or Egypt. “A rifle like this can have a life span of 30 years or longer, during that time it can be illegally re-exported, bought or stolen several times” says Kari Paasonen at SaferGlobe, a Helsinki-based peace and security think tank. Read more about the journey of this rifle from Finland to Sinai in our original story here.

Report: More government bailout cash in the pipeline

Ministers are set to look at possible new direct funding options for Finnish businesses hit by the coronavirus crisis. The story was first reported in Helsingin Sanomat, and says that on Wednesday the government could decide on a new subsidy worth hundreds of millions of euros to pay to businesses whose revenues took a serious downward turn in the last several months. Until now most of the coronavirus subsidies available come in the form of grants from Business Finland and Ely Keskus to plan for future initiatives to come out through the other side of the coronavirus crisis, but HS reports the new pot of cash could help cover lost revenues and pay expenses that companies haven’t been able to meet over recent weeks and months.

Trial begins in missing Somero conscript case

The trial gets underway at Turku District Court today in the case of a man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend. Military conscript Milla Aronen, 21, was last seen in June last year in Somero, and was reported missing when she didn’t return to her military duties after weekend leave. After extensive appeals for information, police detained the Aronen’s former boyfriend at the end of August and say they believe he killed her then tried to access her bank accounts and take out a loan using her personal details. Despite searching in water, and remote areas near Kiikala Airport between Lohja and Salo, Milla Aronen’s body has not been found.

Helsinki Bienniale postponed 

Helsinki’s first planned Bienniale art event has now officially been postponed for a year. It will now take place between June and September 2021. “The event is a significant investment for Helsinki. With the postponement, we want to ensure a high level of implementation of the biennial and at the same time take care of visitor safety and responsibility. It is impossible to hold an international biennial in conditions where travel is restricted” says Helsinki Mayor Jan Vapaavuori (NCP). The Bienniale event was to be held for the first time in the Finnish capital, bringing together local and international artists around the theme of maritime life.

Wednesday morning weather

It’s a bright start to Wednesday morning in most parts of the country with the best of the sunshine down the eastern border and in the capital city region. Temperatures range from +2°C in northwest Lapland to +8°C in Oulu and Vaasa, +7°C in Central Finland and +10°C to +12°C in eastern areas and Uusimaa. Later in the day however showers are developing in central and northern regions.

Finnish Meteorological Institute forecast for Wednesday morning 6th May 2020 / Credit: FMI