A British-Cypriot businessman was on Thursday named as one of 125 people killed in the Mumbai attacks, hours after he gave an interview describing how he was trapped in a hotel with gunmen outside.
The British Foreign Office announced that one Briton was among the dead, and Cypriot foreign ministry officials later confirmed reports that the man was 73-year-old Andreas Liveras, a yacht tycoon who emigrated to London in 1963.
The Cyprus News Agency reported his brother Theophanis as saying that Liveras had been abducted with a large group of other diners and “assassinated in cold blood during the terrorist attacks.”
As news filtered out from Mumbai after the attacks, Liveras gave a telephone interview to the BBC from the Taj Mahal hotel, one of two luxury hotels targeted by gunmen in a series of coordinated attacks across the city.
He had heard it was the best restaurant in Mumbai, but told the British broadcaster: “As soon as we sat at the table we heard the machine gun fire outside in the corridors, everywhere.”
“We hid ourselves under the table and then they switched all the lights off. But the machine gun kept going, and they took us into the kitchen, and from there into a basement, to come up into a salon,” he said.
He estimated there were “more than 1,000 people” in the room, a mixture of residents, tourists and locals.
“We’re not hiding, we are locked in here — nobody tells us anything, the doors are locked and we are inside,” Laveras said.
“We have got hotel staff here at this moment who are helping us a lot, providing water and sandwiches. But nobody is eating really, people are frightened,” Liveras said.
He said: “It’s very quiet. The last bomb exploded about 45 minutes ago and it shook the hotel up. Nobody comes in this room and nobody goes out, and we don’t really know.”
“All we know is the bombs are next door and the hotel is shaking every time a bomb goes off,” he said.
The interviewer put to him that he must be terrified, to which Liveras replied: “Everybody is ... We are just looking at each other, and every time you hear something everybody jumps. Everybody is just living on their nerves.”
Liveras ran a chartered yacht company in Monaco where he advertised “the world’s most impressive private yachts to the charter community.”
In his online biography, he described how he worked as a delivery man for a bakery when he first arrived in London, before buying the shop and turning it into a major wholesaler. He sold it and moved into the yachting business.
Laveras was ranked 265 in the Sunday Times newspaper’s list of the richest people in the UK.
Britain’s High Commissioner to India Sir Richard Stagg earlier told the BBC that seven Britons had been injured in the attacks.
UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced Britain was sending specialist police officers to India to help investigators probing the attacks, and would do “whatever is necessary” to protect its citizens from the “horrific incident.”
TARNISHED LEGACY: Woodrow Wilson served as the university’s president before becoming the US’ 28th leader, but his racism was ‘significant and consequential’ Princeton University is removing former US president Woodrow Wilson’s name from its public policy school and one of its residential colleges after trustees concluded that the 28th president’s “racist thinking and policies” made him “an inappropriate namesake.” The Ivy League school’s trustees made the decision on Friday, according to a statement on Saturday. It comes at a time of widespread rethinking of the US’ racial legacy. The Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement, energized by a series of high-profile deaths of black Americans, has resulted in the removal of Confederate monuments, flags and symbols of racism across the US. Deleting Wilson’s name at Princeton
‘FULLY ENCLOSED’: Residents of Anxin County would be confined to their homes and would only be allowed out once a day to buy necessities such as food and medicine China yesterday imposed a strict lockdown on nearly half a million people near the capital to contain a fresh COVID-19 cluster as authorities warned the outbreak was still “severe and complicated.” After China largely brought the virus under control, hundreds have been infected in Beijing and cases have emerged in Hebei Province. Health officials said that Anxin County — about 150km from Beijing — would be “fully enclosed and controlled,” the same strict measures imposed at the height of the pandemic in the city of Wuhan earlier this year. Only one person from each family would be allowed to go out once a
Japan said it opposed changes to the G7 nations as it pushed back against a reform plan by US President Donald Trump that would have rival South Korea this year join in an expanded meeting. Tokyo has told the US it stands against South Korea’s participation on the grounds of differences in policy on China and North Korea, Kyodo News reported this weekend, citing more than one source related to Japanese and US diplomacy. Japan also wants to maintain its status as the only Asian country in the group, the news agency added. Japanese Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga yesterday told reporters that
The onset of summer has sparked a rise in incidents of “mask rage” in South Korea as more hot and bothered commuters either refuse to wear face coverings or leave parts of their faces exposed. In South Korea, Japan and other countries in East Asia, widespread mask wearing has been cited as one possible explanation for the region’s relative success in bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control. South Korea, one of the first countries outside China to be affected by the virus, flattened the coronavirus curve in April, although it is now struggling with dozens of daily cases, mainly in and around