State police said two homeless men found dead in Tartu on Oct. 30 may have died from drinking lighter fluid. The bodies were found in an abandoned house alongside empty bottles of lighter fluid. Officers said a post-mortem examination would reveal the exact cause of death. Last week, five people died across Estonia after consuming lighter fluid, which is often used as a substitute for alcohol amongst heavy drinkers. Police and the Social Affairs Ministry again urged citizens not to consume any substance not meant for drinking. In eastern Latvia, two people have died from drinking poisoned moonshine (see story Page 1).
Foreign Minister Urmas Paet will visit troops serving in Iraq next week. During his scheduled visit, Paet will be accompanied by two parliamentary committee chairmen, Toivo Tootsen and Marko Mihkelson. For security reasons, the exact details of their visit have been kept under wraps. Mihkelson said it was likely that some parliamentary members would also soon visit troops in Afghanistan, where Estonian soldiers are serving as part of a British unit.
Following a visit from a high-ranking Chinese official, President Toomas Hendrik Ilves said he was hopeful that the country would receive more Asian investment. The Chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) Jai Qinglin visited Estonia on Oct. 30, and expressed an interest in building a goods transit center in the country. Qinglin said China was interested in cooperating in the timber, fishing and transit industries to help build trade links with Europe.
A nonprofit association based in Maardu, a town just outside Tallinn, is organizing a roundtable on the status of Soviet war graves in Estonia, which will be attended by representatives of several embassies. The aim of the meeting, said Tatjana Gordejeva of Popular Initiative, is to analyze how Estonians and Russians will handle the status of World War II graves in Estonia. "The subject is especially topical for Estonia at the moment," she said.
In a campaign to find more employees, the supermarket Comarket posted an announcement to staff reading, "25,000 kroons (1,597 euros) if you find 10 new workers!" at a store in the Nomme district of Tallinn. In the fine print it's explained that the 25,000 kroon premium will be paid if all new employees make it through the company's trial period. The Postimees daily quoted the company's human resource director as saying that the employee who made the referral would receive 2,500 kroons for each worker who passes the trial period. However, this tactic is not new in Estonia. For years now, the security company Falck has also been paying premiums for employee referrals.