When the world gets closer.

We help you see farther.

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter.

AL JAZEERA (Qatar), XINHUA (China)

Worldcrunch

RAMALLAH - The Palestinian National Authority (PNA) has given the go ahead to exhume the body of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat this Wednesday after a special investigation by Al Jazeera revealed unusually high levels of deadly polonium on his personal effects. Arafat's widow Suha Arafat asked for the exhumation after the report was published on Tuesday evening.

"There is no religious or political reason preventing the inquest and the exhumation," said Nabil Abu Rdineh, a spokesman for the Palestinian presidency, according to Chinese press agency Xinhua. Abu Rdineh also said that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas had ordered the committee investigating Arafat's death to assess the new information.

A Swiss laboratory in Lausanne that analyzed Arafat's medical files and his personal effects for Al Jazeera found unusually high levels of a radioactive isotope called polonium, which is deadly even in small doses, hinting that he may have been poisoned to death.

"I can confirm to you that we measured an unexplained, elevated amount of unsupported polonium-210 in the belongings of Mr. Arafat that contained stains of biological fluids," Dr. Francois Bochud, director of the institute, told Al Jazeera.

Reactions to the news on Twitter showed that Palestinians had been sceptical all along about the official storyline of Arafat's death.

The Al Jazeera documentary was published following a nine-month investigation into the causes of Arafat's death in 2004. He was transfered from the West Bank to a hospital in Paris, France after two years of Israeli siege, but his sudden sickness was unexplained and he was buried without an autopsy in Ramallah.

Polonium was infamously used to poison Russian spy-turned-dissdent Alexander Litvinenko in London in 2006, but scientific research into its effects is scarce because recorded cases are so rare.

Al Jazeera has segmented the documentary into several parts that are gradually being released.

You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
Future

Injecting Feminism Into Science Is A Good Thing — For Science

Feminists have generated a set of tools to make science less biased and more robust. Why don’t more scientists use it?

As objective as any man

Anto Magzan/ZUMA
Rachel E. Gross

-Essay-

In the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, a mystery played out across news headlines: Men, it seemed, were dying of infection at twice the rate of women. To explain this alarming disparity, researchers looked to innate biological differences between the sexes — for instance, protective levels of sex hormones, or distinct male-female immune responses. Some even went so far as to test the possibility of treating infected men with estrogen injections.

This focus on biological sex differences turned out to be woefully inadequate, as a group of Harvard-affiliated researchers pointed out earlier this year. By analyzing more than a year of sex-disaggregated COVID-19 data, they showed that the gender gap was more fully explained by social factors like mask-wearing and distancing behaviors (less common among men) and testing rates (higher among pregnant women and health workers, who were largely female).

Keep reading...Show less

When the world gets closer, we help you see farther

Sign up to our expressly international daily newsletter!
You've reached your monthly limit of free articles.
To read the full article, please subscribe.
Get unlimited access. Support Worldcrunch's unique mission:
  • Exclusive coverage from the world's top sources, in English for the first time.
  • Insights from the widest range of perspectives, languages and countries
  • $2.90/month or $19.90/year. No hidden charges. Cancel anytime.
Already a subscriber? Log in
Writing contest - My pandemic story
THE LATEST
FOCUS
TRENDING TOPICS

Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

Watch VideoShow less
MOST READ