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Poisons And Poisonings

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.
March 21, 2006 | Tony Perry, Times Staff Writer
A jury awarded $6 million in actual damages and $100 million in punitive damages Monday to the family of a man fatally poisoned by his wife, an employee of the county medical examiner's office with access to poison. The jury said the county should pay $1.5 million of the $6-million judgment for failing to detect Kristin Rossum's illicit use of drugs and possible theft of drugs and poison from the workplace.
January 8, 2006 | Christine Hanley, Times Staff Writer
One by one, her beloved plants started to die. First, a cherry tree. Then some petunias. A rose bush. Her tomato plants. A raspberry guava. Catherine Sara Cass suspected that her garden was being poisoned by the couple next door. So she planted protest signs in her frontyard, spicing them up with her own brand of sarcasm: "Milosevic lives next door" -- a reference to the former Yugoslav president now charged with genocide. Jim Wallace and his wife were not amused, but they let things slide.
December 31, 2005 | From Associated Press
Contaminated dog food that was sold in 23 states has killed about two dozen dogs and sickened 18 more, the Food and Drug Administration said Friday. The deaths and illnesses sparked an FDA investigation into the pet food made by Diamond Pet Foods at its Gaston, S.C., manufacturing plant. The company, based in Meta, Mo., issued a recall of 19 varieties of dog and cat food on Dec. 21 because some of the pet food made at the Gaston facility was discovered to contain aflatoxin.
July 23, 2005 | Brad Wible, Times Staff Writer
The well-known madness of King George III, who ruled England during the American Revolution, was probably exacerbated by arsenic-contaminated medicines used to treat some of his symptoms, a study of his hair in today's issue of the journal Lancet found. In 1966, researchers proposed that George III suffered from a genetic disorder called variegate porphyria, an overproduction of the reddish pigments in hemoglobin, which carry oxygen in red blood cells.
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