New bodies could bring Ohio Craigslist toll to 3

Posted Nov. 25, 2011, at 9:20 p.m.

COLUMBUS, Ohio — The discoveries of two new bodies could bring to three the death toll from a Craigslist ad that police say lured victims into a lethal robbery scheme.

A body found Friday in a shallow grave near a mall in Akron may be that of a missing man who answered the ad, the FBI said. And a sheriff in a rural county said later in the day that the body of a white male without identification was found in a shallow grave about 90 miles away.

The FBI is working on the supposition that the body found near the Rolling Acres shopping mall in Akron may be that of 47-year-old Timothy Kern, who hasn’t been seen in more than a week, agency spokeswoman Vicki Anderson said.

Kern, of Massillon, answered the same ad for a farm hand that authorities say led to the shooting death of Norfolk, Va., resident David Pauley, 51, in a rural area of Nobel County 90 miles south of Akron. A South Carolina man reported answering the ad and being shot Nov. 6 but escaping.

As more diseases are tied to Agent Orange, bill for care skyrockets

More than 40 years after the U.S. military used Agent Orange to defoliate the jungles of Vietnam, the health care bill is escalating.

Over the past two years, federal officials say, an estimated 10,000 more veterans have sought medical compensation for diseases related to Agent Orange, an herbicide that contains a toxic chemical called dioxin.

The Institute of Medicine said in a recent report that there is sufficient evidence of an association between exposure to Agent Orange and illnesses including soft-tissue sarcoma, non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, chronic lymphocytic leukemia, Hodgkin lymphoma and chloracne.

Over the next decade, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is expected to pay $50 billion for health-care compensation for ischemic heart disease, one of the 14 diseases the VA says is associated with Agent Orange exposure.

Violence reported as Syria misses deadline to agree to monitors

BEIRUT — Fierce clashes were reported in Syria on Friday as a deadline passed with no word from the government of President Bashar Assad on an Arab League demand to accept monitors or face sanctions.

The league had given Syria 24 hours to sign a protocol for an observer mission that would monitor efforts to implement a peace plan endorsed by Assad’s regime earlier this month.

The league’s social and economic council was expected to meet Saturday to consider sweeping sanctions, which could include suspending flights, halting trade and financial dealings with the government and freezing its assets.

In a humiliating blow, Arab foreign ministers have already suspended Syria from the 22-member bloc for failing to implement the peace plan, which calls for a withdrawal of security forces from urban areas and dialogue with the opposition. But the 22-member bloc has repeatedly extended deadlines in the past.

China, India hold up agreement to curb climate-changing chemicals

Negotiators wrapped up a meeting in Bali on Friday without agreeing to ratchet down the global use of ozone-depleting chemicals called hydrofluorocarbons, which are a growing contributor to climate change.

Officials from United States and the Federated States of Micronesia pushed for a phase-down in the use of HFCs, which are used as industrial refrigerants, as part of the 1987 Montreal Protocol agreement. HFC emissions are on the rise worldwide, in part because they serve as a substitute for ozone-depleting chemicals already eliminated under the pact.

Although 108 out of the treaty’s 197 signatories backed the proposal, it failed to pass because China and India objected. The chemicals, which are used in refrigeration, air conditioning and insulating foams, are increasingly popular in developing countries such as India. The measure would have capped the total production of HFCs in 2014 and then lower it by 15 percent every three years for the next 30 years.

According to a new report by the U.N. Environment Programme, the most abundant of these gases, called HFC-134a, increased at an annual rate of 10 percent between 2006 and 2010. The greenhouse-gas potency of HFC-134a is 1,440 times stronger than that of carbon dioxide.

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