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Poisons And Poisonings

December 1, 2006 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
Irish authorities launched an inquiry Thursday into the sudden and violent illness of former Russian Prime Minister Yegor T. Gaidar, whose aides said he might have been the victim of poisoning. Gaidar's illness appeared to deepen the mystery surrounding the fatal poisoning of Russian dissident Alexander Litvinenko, in London, though investigators did not indicate that the cases were linked. Litvinenko died last week. Gaidar, 50, suddenly fell ill Saturday at a university near Dublin.
November 30, 2006 | Sebastian Rotella and Janet Stobart, Times Staff Writers
Investigators found traces of radiation on two British Airways planes Wednesday as police widened a complex international investigation into the mysterious poisoning death last week of a former Russian spy. The discovery of polonium-210, the rare and lethal radioactive substance that killed Alexander Litvinenko and ignited a public health scare, could be a sign that police are on the trail of a suspected killer who traveled between London and Moscow.
November 25, 2006 | Sebastian Rotella and Janet Stobart, Times Staff Writers
Counter-terrorism police investigating the mysterious death of a Russian spy-turned-dissident warned Friday of a potential public health hazard at two hospitals that treated him and three other locations where officials found traces of the radioactive material thought to have killed him. On a day of dramatic revelations and accusations, authorities said they believed Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent and a fierce critic of Russian President Vladimir V.
November 22, 2006 | Kim Murphy, Times Staff Writer
Here in Moscow on the Thames, it was a calling card from home. A former KGB agent who has settled in London to raise his family gets a warning that his name is on an organized crime hit list, then falls ill from a mysterious poisoning. Theories involving the Kremlin and sinister business figures tumble around town like blinis from a hot pan. Suddenly, the elegant Mayfair townhouses with window-box geraniums and the Chelsea gastro pubs with designer vodka don't seem so far from Russia after all.
November 20, 2006 | From the Associated Press
A former Russian spy poisoned in Britain and now hospitalized under armed guard may have been targeted because of his criticism of former colleagues and his investigation of the killing of a prominent anti-Kremlin journalist, friends and fellow dissidents said Sunday. Col. Alexander Litvinenko, a former KGB agent, said last week that he fell ill Nov. 1 after a meal with a contact who claimed to have details about the slaying of Anna Politkovskaya, the Russian journalist gunned down Oct.
October 20, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
Panamanian authorities are investigating five people in connection with the distribution of contaminated cough medicine that killed 26 people, the state prosecutor's office said. The government-made cough syrup contained diethylene glycol, an industrial solvent commonly used in brake fluid. The deaths, and scores of illnesses, occurred mainly in the capital.
September 15, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
About 250 children sickened by emissions from a lead smelter in western China remain in hospital weeks after the mass poisoning case was uncovered, and at least four are likely to suffer permanent brain damage, state media said today. A top Chinese environmental official blamed local authorities for allowing the factory to emit 800 times the acceptable levels of the heavy metal.
August 28, 2006 | Melissa Healy, Special to The Times
IN the deserts of the Middle East, the giant yellow Israeli scorpion is a ruthless hunter whose bite can bring on fever, convulsions, coma and, sometimes, heart failure in humans unlucky enough to run afoul of it. But the same venom that has earned this four-inch arthropod the name deathstalker scorpion may be the key to longer life for humans under attack from an even more insidious predator.
July 15, 2006 | From the Associated Press
Carbon monoxide leaked into a Roanoke College dormitory early Friday, sickening more than 100 teens and adults attending summer programs. One man was found dead. People staying in the dorm contacted campus police, and one woman later described the scene inside as chaotic. "One woman fell on the floor in the bathroom," said Annabelle Minter, 80, of Richmond. Minter said she also felt "on the dizzy side" and was taken to a hospital, but her roommate was sicker. Walter J.
June 24, 2006 | Roy Rivenburg, Times Staff Writer
Four pelicans were being detained in an animal drunk tank Friday on suspicion of public intoxication, authorities said. One of the birds was in guarded condition after allegedly flying under the influence Thursday and crashing through the windshield of a car on Coast Highway in Laguna Beach. The driver was rattled but uninjured. The other California brown pelicans were nabbed in backyards or wandering local streets in a daze.
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