Depending on who you talk to, Soviet-born Dr. Marina Kovalevsky and her daughter, Yana, were and were not confirmed to have been poisoned with thallium while visiting Moscow. They definitely left Russia after treatment and they're definitely being treated at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.
According to most of the following news sources, the two women "emigrated to the United States in 1989." In mid-February of this year, they flew to Moscow to attend a wedding. On February 24, they became ill and were hospitalized in Moscow. (Isn't it funny how the word "emigrated" is used for everyone who did not immigrate from Mexico?)
The Almost Report asks: Were they poisoned with thallium or not?
Yes – On March 7, an informed source told RIA-Novosti (Russian News and Information Agency) that two visiting U.S. citizens of Russian origin were poisoned with thallium.
Maybe – In that same RIA-Novisti report, the U.S. Embassy said it had not confirmed thallium poisoning, but did say it was "a possibility."
Yes – Not to be outdone by the U.S. Embassy, NBC11 reported Nikolai Filatov, Moscow's top public health doctor, as having said thallium poisoning was confirmed. NBC11 says, "Now investigators want to know if the poisoning was intentional."
How do you investigate whether or not something was intentional if you don't yet know that it even happened? This is what you get when you use graduates from the School of Intelligent Design.
Maybe – SignonSanDiego reports the hospital as having said, "It is still too early to determine exactly what may have caused their illness.”
Yes – CBS' March 7 headline read "Poisoned U.S. Women Out Of Moscow Hospital."
Almost all of the news reports closed with a humdinger of a "this didn't happen, but we're reporting it anyway" segment: The CIA is said to have "considered" — rather "reportedly considered" — using thallium against Fidel Castro, "possibly" putting it in his shoes so he'd lose his beard.
Yes citizens, you heard right. Baldness is worse than death, and unrealized pranks have now been bumped up into the category of "news." Johnny Knoxville will be thrilled.