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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November 8, 2013 | By Maher Abukhater
RAMALLAH, West Bank -- In the wake of a forensics report claiming that Yasser Arafat was killed by radioactive material, the Palestinian committee investigating his death accused Israel on Friday of poisoning the Palestinian leader. Speaking at a news conference in Ramallah about the findings of Swiss and Russian experts who conducted tests on Arafat's remains after exhuming his body last November, Tawfik Tirawi, head of the Palestinian committee, said reports from both groups confirmed that Arafat did not die of old age, illness or natural causes, but that he he was poisoned.
November 8, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
No traces of poison were found during tests of the exhumed remains of Chilean Nobel laureate Pablo Neruda, forensics experts reported Friday after a six-month investigation. The revered South American poet and avowed communist died just 12 days after the Sept. 11, 1973, coup that deposed his friend and fellow leftist, Chilean President Salvador Allende. Although suffering from prostate cancer, Neruda's sudden turn for the worse in his final days stirred suspicions that he might have been murdered by the right-wing regime of Gen. Augusto Pinochet.
November 6, 2013 | By Carol J. Williams
Swiss forensics examiners found sufficient traces of the deadly radioactive isotope polonium-210 in the exhumed remains of Yasser Arafat to conclude with relative certainty that the late Palestinian leader died of poisoning in 2004,  Al Jazeera channel reported Wednesday. The Qatar-based broadcaster said it had obtained exclusive access to the 108-page report of the University Center of Legal Medicine in Lausanne, which it posted on its website. Examination of bone fragments, decomposed tissue and body fluids taken from Arafat's remains at his West Bank tomb a year ago found at least 18 times the normal level of polonium, the Swiss scientists reported.
October 30, 2013 | By Alicia Banks
A record high 21 endangered California condors were treated at the Los Angeles Zoo and Botanical Gardens for lead poisoning in October -- more than half what of the center sees in a typical year, officials reported. The zoo's announcement comes just weeks after Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation requiring hunters to use non-lead ammunition in an effort to keep the toxic element from being passed on from carcasses to scavengers, such as condors. Adam Keats, senior counsel and urban wildlands program director for the Center of Biological Diversity, attributed the high quantity of condor poisonings to hunting activity.
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