Off the wire

  • 2000-07-06
BROUGHT BACK TO LIFE: Saulius Beniusis, 31, from western Taurage town
has become the first man in Lithuania to be brought back to life with
the help of an artificial heart and the fifth living with a
transplanted heart. Returning home from Vilnius Santariskiu clinic,
the patient and his wife thanked the doctors and relatives of the
donor who agreed to donate the heart of a perished person. Beniusis
said "I will live" and after a pause uttered other words "I will work
and bring up children."

RUSSIA OPENS ITS PURSE: The Russian government will pay out an
extraordinary one-time grant to pensioners - Russian citizens
residing in Latvia, Lihuania and Estonia, Russian news agency
ITAR-TASS reports. According to the information department of the
Russian government, Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov signed an order
according to which the president's decree on granting Russian
pensioners in the Baltic countries this one-time payment in honor of
World War II's 55th anniversary. According to the decree,
participants of the war will receive 417.69 rubles ($14.75) whereas
widows of fallen soldiers (who have not remarried) will receive
139.23 rubles ($4.92).

ESTONIA RANKS 77TH: A World Health Organization analysis ranks
Estonia's health system 77th among 191 countries of the world, while
France is seen as providing the globe's best health care. The top 10
include Italy, San Marino, Andorra, Malta, Singapore, Spain, Oman,
Austria and Japan. Lowest in the 191-country ranking were Sierra Leone, Myanmar and Central African Republic. The report sparked immedi
ate controversy, The Associated Press reports, citing a health policy
professor at London University's Imperial College as saying that any
set of rankings that puts Finland at 31 and Italy at 2, or even
France at No. 1, raises questions.

SILVER FOR TUMSAIS: The dark beer of the joint-stock company Aldaris
was a finalist at the recent World Beer Cup 2000 in New York and took
home the silver medal. This year 145 beers from 19 countries have
been selected as the best beers in the world by an international
panel of brewing experts. Aldaris selected five brands for the
competition - Zelta (Gold), Riga 800, Aldaris Ice Beer, Porter and
Aldara Tumsais (Aldaris Dark Beer). In 1998, Aldaris won the bronze
at the World Beer Cup.

HOCKEY PLAYERS ON STAMPS: Latvijas Pasts postal company will issue a
series of stamps bearing portraits of Latvia's four most outstanding
ice-hockey players, Latvijas Pasts director general Aivars Droiskis
said. On June 21 the postal company will issue a series of stamps
named Hockey. The stamps will bear pictures of Latvian ice-hockey
players Helmuts Balderis, Vitaly Samilov, Sandis Ozolins and Arturs
Irbe. Another series of stamps will bear pictures of Latvian
ice-hockey players of the national team fighting with an adversary on
the ice, drawn by Latvian painter Juris Utans. The stamps printed in
Britain will be issued in 200,000 copies.

SUSPECT RUSHED TO SICK BED: Lithuanian genocide suspect, Aleksandras
Lileikis, was admitted to the Santariskes Clinic at about noon on
June 16 after his condition deteriorated during a court hearing
earlier in the day. The ailing 93-year-old suspect was taken into the
ambulance on a stretcher. He was also wearing an oxygen mask. The
health of the war-crime suspect changed to the worse during an
unprecedented hearing via a video-link between Lileikis' sick bed and
the courtroom.

HUNTING KEY PLAYERS: The Prosecutor General's Office of Lithuania has
asked for aid of Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian prosecutor
generals to track down and deliver summons to persons indicted for a
pro-Soviet plot aimed to seize power in this Baltic state in years
1990-1991. The Prosecutor General Kazys Pednycia requested the
foreign ministry to send the requests by diplomatic mail and mediate
for prompt implementation, a spokesman of prosecutor general's office
said. Though six coup participants stood before court and were
sentenced to jail terms last August, another 42 accused are out of
reach of Lithuanian justice officials.

RUSSIA AWAITS BALTIC MOVES: Russian authorities are holding back on
the Baltic states' plans to demand compensation from Russia as the
legal successor of the Soviet Union for damages caused during 50
years of Soviet rule. Nor is Moscow commenting on Friday's statement
of the Baltic prime ministers that voiced support for Lithuania's
plans to open talks on compensation for damages, Russian news agency
Interfax reports. Diplomatic sources in Moscow hinted to Interfax
that Russia intends to await the Baltics' further steps.