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Poisoning

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WORLD
December 3, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Leaks from test results French scientists had conducted on samples taken last year from the remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat added more confusion Tuesday to the debate over Arafat's death. According to the leaks, widely published by news agencies, the French results did not confirm that Arafat died from poison and suggested that he probably died of natural causes. "The report rules out the poisoning theory," Agence France-Presse quoted an unidentified source as saying.
ARTICLES BY DATE
BUSINESS
March 19, 2014 | By Stuart Pfeifer, This post has been updated as indicated below.
An Ohio attorney whose body was found in a Palm Springs hotel room in November died of carbon monoxide poisoning, the Riverside County coroner's office said Wednesday. The Palm Springs Police Department has been investigating the death and will present its findings to the Riverside County district attorney's office for possible criminal charges, said Palm Springs Police Lt. Mitch Spike. Mark Walter Ruf, 48, was found dead on the floor of his room at the Curve Palm Springs Hotel & Resort on Nov. 13. Ruf's family had notified Palm Springs police after he failed to return from a vacation as scheduled.
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NEWS
March 8, 2011 | By Rosie Mestel, Los Angeles Times
Salmonella food poisoning sickens 40,000 Americans a year and there may be 30 times more cases that never get reported, according to the CDC. But some scientists think the nasty microbe could be turned to good purpose: to fight cancers. Sounds odd, but there's a rhyme and reason to such thinking, as described in a pretty interesting news article published in the journal Nature Medicine . (It's one of a number of news articles on cancer topics in the journal this month.) Related: Cancer screening tests you think you should get -- a PSA test and for women in their 40s,  a mammogram -- that might do more harm than good.
NATIONAL
March 11, 2014 | By Tina Susman
NEW YORK -- Saajid Badat had been through all the training, from firing weapons while riding a motorcycle to watching dogs and rabbits, trapped under glass, die slow, agonizing deaths as he learned poisoning techniques.    He had laughed with other Al Qaeda members as the self-confessed mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, scanned a list of tall buildings and crossed out the World Trade Center towers weeks after hijackers had destroyed them.  Now, Badat was ready to carry out Al Qaeda's next big mission, a plan to down two U.S. jetliners using bombs hidden in shoes.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 19, 1989
Your article (Nov. 11) about the poisoning of several horses at the Orange County Fairgrounds points up again the need for products liability insurance. The feed company's attorney said, "Who would ever think of getting insurance for something as simple as alfalfa?" Anyone in the feed business should know that products liability insurance is probably more important than any other insurance they obtain, with the exception of workers' compensation coverage. Several years ago in Texas a similar feed poisoning occurred with payments running into the millions.
WORLD
August 23, 2009 | Associated Press
Two environmental officials were being investigated Saturday after more than 1,300 children were sickened with lead poisoning caused by pollution from a manganese-processing plant in central China. Officials seek to punish those responsible for the poisoning from the Wugang Manganese Smelting Plant in Wenping township in Hunan province. Days earlier, reports said emissions from a lead smelter in another province had sickened hundreds. The plant in Wenping opened in May 2008 without the approval of the local environmental protection bureau, within 500 yards of a primary school, a middle school and a kindergarten.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 11, 1994 | SAM ENRIQUEZ, TIMES STAFF WRITER
After a lesson on Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" last week, somebody in second-period English poisoned the teacher. And Susan C. Ennis said Sunday that she still cannot believe it. "I don't want to sound like a sap," said the 32-year-old teacher, recovering at a Palmdale hospital from Thursday's poisoning in a classroom at Littlerock High School. "But my kids love me."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 6, 1990
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced a $1,500 reward Friday for information about the death of a dog that ate poisoned meat placed in a Sylmar field. The dog, a 4-year-old Hungarian Vizsla pointer named Thyme, died about midnight Thursday at a Sylmar veterinarian's office, authorities said. Owner Paul Anthony, 35, of Sylmar was walking home with the dog after dropping off his car for repairs about 5 p.m.
OPINION
January 2, 2009
Re "Drink up -- assuming you like arsenic, that is," Dec. 29 Poisoning prisoners with drinking water laden with arsenic is unconscionable, inhumane and, considering the potential deferred health costs and civil liability, economic suicide for the state. Worse perhaps is selective poisoning by gender. At the California Institution for Women in Chino, the state spends $480,000 a year for bottled water, while at the nearby California Institution for Men, inmates drink contaminated water.
NEWS
April 26, 1985 | Associated Press
The number of salmonella food poisoning cases reported in Illinois and five other states has risen to 12,647, officials reported Thursday. The vast majority of cases are in Illinois, but 1,179 have been reported in Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. Two deaths have been attributed to the salmonella poisoning, which has been traced to milk produced by a suburban Chicago dairy.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 28, 2014 | By David Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
Yiyun Li begins her second novel, "Kinder Than Solitude," in a place of endings: a crematorium. The time is the present, more or less, and a Beijing resident named Boyang waits for the ashes of his childhood friend Shaoai, dead at 43 after having been poisoned (accidentally or otherwise) 21 years before. "Who wanted her to die?" Boyang's mother asks when he visits after dropping off the woman's cremains with her family. "Who wanted to kill her back then?" These questions resonate throughout this novel, which moves fluidly between past and present, among Beijing, Massachusetts and the Bay Area, in tracing the intersecting lives of four people - Boyang, Shaoai and two other women, Ruyu and Moran - as they wrestle with both their complicity and their heritage.
SCIENCE
February 7, 2014 | By Karen Kaplan
Hugh Laurie only plays a doctor on TV, but he has a following among physicians in Germany who are crediting his fictional Dr. House with helping them diagnose a man with a life-threatening case of cobalt intoxication. The 55-year-old patient was referred to their clinic in Marburg in May 2012 suffering from severe heart failure. An echocardiogram revealed that his ejection fraction - a measure of how well his heart was pumping blood - was only about 25%. (In a healthy person, it's between 55% and 70%, according to the Cleveland Clinic .)
ENTERTAINMENT
January 7, 2014 | By Robert Lloyd, Los Angeles Times Television Critic
Debuting Tuesday as part of the PBS series "American Experience," "The Poisoner's Handbook" offers a fascinating look back at how the chemical age changed police work. Based on Deborah Blum's 2010 book "The Poisoner's Handbook: Murder and the Birth of Forensic Medicine in Jazz Age New York," it is divided into toxin-specific "chapters," (cyanide, arsenic, carbon monoxide, lead, radium, denatured alcohol and so on), but there is nothing particularly instructional about it. A certain sort of viewer might get ideas, of course, but should he watch to the end he will learn that poisoning is a hard crime to get away with anymore.
WORLD
December 26, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat died of natural causes nine years ago, not from poisoning by a radioactive substance as alleged by his widow, a Russian forensic investigation has concluded. The Russian findings conflict with those of Swiss scientists, who said in November that they had found sufficient traces of polonium-210 in Arafat's exhumed remains to conclude with relative certainty that he died of poisoning. "The tests were comprehensive and there's no need for re-examination.
WORLD
December 3, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank - Leaks from test results French scientists had conducted on samples taken last year from the remains of the late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat added more confusion Tuesday to the debate over Arafat's death. According to the leaks, widely published by news agencies, the French results did not confirm that Arafat died from poison and suggested that he probably died of natural causes. "The report rules out the poisoning theory," Agence France-Presse quoted an unidentified source as saying.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 25, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla
Brittany Murphy's mother, Sharon Murphy, is rejecting a recent claim by her daughter's estranged father that poisoning was a possible cause of the actress' 2009 death. Angelo Bartoletti, Brittany's biological father, last week made public the results of new toxicology tests he'd had done after suing to gain possession of hair samples that were not used in the autopsy process.  The tests revealed higher-than-normal levels of 10 heavy metals in his daughter's hair, he said, and the lab he used suggested such a result was most likely from third-party poisoning.
NEWS
June 30, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
Austin police arrested a 45-year-old ex-convict and loner Thursday in connection with the most publicized crime in the capital city this year--the poisoning of the historic Treaty Oak. Paul Steadman Cullen was booked on a criminal-mischief felony, a charge that could bring fines of as much as $10,000 and imprisonment for 20 years. He was arrested shortly before noon as he returned to his trailer on the yard of a feed store in the village of Elroy after a morning outing in Austin, where he had been under surveillance by police since dawn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 12, 2008 | Associated Press
A researcher at UC San Francisco is under arrest after campus police say he poisoned a female colleague's drink. Postdoctoral fellow Ben Chun Liu, 38, is being held on suspicion of attempted murder and poisoning, police said. Investigators who searched Liu's home and the university urology lab where he worked say they recovered evidence that he poisoned lab co-worker Mei Cao. Cao was examined at UC San Francisco Medical Center and released. Liu, a Chinese citizen, was placed on an immigration hold and remained in custody at San Francisco County Jail.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 19, 2013 | By Christie D'Zurilla, This post has been corrected, as indicated below.
Brittany Murphy's death may not have been from natural causes, her estranged father says, citing a new toxicology report that suggests death via poisoning.  The "8 Mile" and "Clueless" actress, who passed away in December 2009 at age 32, was declared to have died from acquired pneumonia and severe anemia. Her husband, Simon Monjack, died five months later at age 40 from the same natural causes. Angelo Bertolotti, Murphy's biological father, reportedly sued to get access to hair samples that had gone unused during the investigation following the actress' death, then sought testing from an independent lab.  PHOTO GALLERY: Brittany Murphy on tour with the USO The Carlson Co. lab report, obtained by the Wrap , indicated the presence of high levels of 10 heavy metals in Murphy's hair and, barring accidental exposure to all the metals simultaneously, suggested the source could be "a third-party perpetrator with likely criminal intent.
OPINION
November 13, 2013 | By The Times editorial board
A bizarre act of revenge against a romantic rival was the unlikely genesis of an important debate in the Supreme Court last week about federal power, states' rights and the conduct of U.S. diplomacy. The justices were asked to overturn the conviction of Carol Anne Bond, an immigrant from Barbados who was convicted of trying to poison her best friend after she learned that the woman had been impregnated by Bond's husband. Bond stole a dangerous chemical from the laboratory where she worked and smeared it on the other woman's car door, mailbox and doorknobs.
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