PARIS -- French scientists looking into the death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat have dismissed poisoning by radioactive polonium, his widow announced Tuesday. The results contradict earlier findings by a Swiss lab, and mean it's still unclear how Arafat died nine years ago.
Teams of scientists from three countries were appointed to determine whether polonium played a role in his death in a French military hospital in 2004. Palestinians have long suspected Israel of poisoning him, which Israel denies.
After a 2012 report that traces of radioactive polonium were found on Arafat's clothing, Arafat's widow filed a legal complaint in France seeking an investigation into whether he was murdered.
As part of that investigation, French investigators had Arafat's remains exhumed and ordered genetic, toxicology, medical, anatomical and radiation tests on them. Suha Arafat and her lawyers were notified Tuesday of the results, less than a month after the Swiss team issued their report.
The French experts found traces of polonium but came to different conclusions than the Swiss about where they came from, finding that it was "of natural environmental origin," Suha Arafat said.
The French finding "dismisses the hypothesis of poisoning by polonium-210," she said.
Newtown to release 911 calls: Recordings of 911 calls from the Newtown, Conn., school shooting are being released, days after a state prosecutor dropped his fight to continue withholding them despite an order to provide them to Associated Press. For nearly a year, AP has been asking for an opportunity to review the tapes, which will now be released today to the news cooperative in addition to other media organizations. AP will review the tapes' content and determine what might meet its standards before releasing material to subscribers.
LBJ Foundation honors elder Bush: The Lyndon B. Johnson Foundation has given former President George H.W. Bush an award for his public service and government career. Bush was given the LBJ Liberty and Justice for All Award Tuesday at his Houston office. The foundation said in a written statement that Bush personifies his fellow Texan president's vision for America. This is the second time the foundation has given the award. The first recipient was U.S. Rep. John Lewis, the Georgia Democrat and civil rights leader.
Espanol prohibido: A Texas middle school principal has been placed on paid leave after she banned the speaking of Spanish by students while in class. A Hempstead school district spokesman confirmed that Amy Lacey has been placed on leave pending investigation of her Nov. 12 announcement on the intercom at Hempstead Middle School. More than 50 percent of the school enrollment of about 330 students is Hispanic. KHOU-TV (http://bit.ly/1c9Uwpl) of Houston reported a letter sent by the district to school parents assured that neither the district nor any campus has any policy banning speaking Spanish.
U.S. stops shipping from Afghan: The United States said Tuesday it had stopped shipments of military equipment out of Afghanistan, citing the risk to truckers from protests along part of the route in neighboring Pakistan. There have been anti-U.S. demonstrations in Pakistan in recent days calling for an end to the American drone program that targets militants. So U.S. officials said that they had ordered truckers under U.S. contract to park at holding areas inside Afghanistan temporarily to avoid going there.
Kozlowski on parole: A New York state parole board agreed Tuesday to release former Tyco chief executive Dennis Kozlowski on parole after more than eight years in prison for his conviction in a $134 million corporate fraud case. His tentative release date is Jan. 17, though Kozlowski has been in the state's work-release program with a clerical job and, for months, only reporting back twice weekly to minimum-security Lincoln Correctional Facility in Harlem. He follows the security systems company's former chief financial officer, Mark Swartz, who was released by a parole board in October.
Has high hopes, low sales: General Motors says it's in Japan for the long haul despite sales of Cadillac and Chevrolet models barely surpassing 1,000 vehicles a year. There has never been much appetite in Japan for left-hand drive gas guzzling U.S. autos, and there are many informal barriers to foreign automakers making it here. But GM executives see a glimmer of hope in the fact sales of its luxury nameplates have doubled in the past three years. The automaker is trying to lure Japanese buyers with the new Cadillac CTS and Chevrolet Corvette, which it said boast better quality and mileage.
Chances of breakthrough dim: Chances of a breakthrough in global trade negotiations dimmed today as India refused to budge on food subsidies that are an obstacle to an eleventh-hour agreement at a World Trade Organization summit. U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman urged the WTO's 159 member economies to work past their differences to finalize a slimmed-down deal to boost trade. "Let us not sugar coat reality: Leaving Bali this week without an agreement would deal a debilitating blow to the WTO as a forum for multilateral negotiations," he told dozens of trade ministers gathered at the summit on the Indonesian resort island. "If that happens, the unfortunate truth is that the loss will be felt most heavily by those members who can least afford it."