Following British Prime Minister Theresa May’s statement that the Russian government ‘almost certainly’ approved the poisoning of a Russian ex-spy and his daughter, leaders of the US, France, Germany, and Canada have backed the assessment. The assessment came after prosecutors said they had ‘sufficient evidence’ to charge two Russian nationals in connection with the attack.
British prosecutors have charged two Russian men with the nerve-agent poisoning of ex-spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the English city of Salisbury. Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov are charged in absentia with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and use of the nerve agent Novichok. The U.K. is not asking Moscow to extradite the men because Russian law forbids extradition of the country’s citizens.
A 29-year old man was arrested on suspicion of terrorism offenses after crashing a car into a barrier at the Westminster Houses of Parliament in London on Tuesday. The suspect is not believed to be known to M15 or counter-terrorism police and is uncooperative with authorities. At least 3 people were injured in the crash.
Donald Trump made his first presidential visit to Britain on Thursday, commenting that UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s Brexit plan ‘will probably kill the deal’ with the US. May proposed a free trade deal, saying it is an ‘unprecedented opportunity’ for growth. Trump said he believes he is popular in Britain despite planned protests.
The 44-year old British woman who was exposed to a Soviet-developed nerve agent died on Sunday, increasing tensions in the four-month diplomatic standoff in which Britain accused Russia of poisoning a former spy. Dawn Sturgess was exposed to Novichok just miles from where the former Russian double agent and his daughter were previously poisoned.
Two British citizens are critically ill after they were exposed to Novichok, the nerve agent used in the poisoning of a former Russian double agent and his daughter in March. The man and woman were found unconscious about eight miles from the original poisoning site. Authorities say the two cases may be related.
British Parliament released two reports on Thursday which showed that British intelligence services tolerated and abetted ‘inexcusable’ abuse of terrorism suspects by their American counterparts in the years following the September 11, 2001 attacks. The reports prove that the UK’s link to torture and rendition were much more widespread than previously reported.
British Prime Minister Theresa May narrowly avoided an embarrassing Brexit bill defeat as Conservative rebels accepted significant concessions from the government on the ‘meaningful vote.’ After May won the vote, the pound rose against the US dollar and the euro. May promised key concessions which grant greater control of Brexit to parliament.
Roman Abramovich the billionaire owner of the Chelsea football club and the Russian oligarch has flown to Tel Aviv after being granted Israeli citizenship. Abramovich faced unusually long delays in renewing his expired UK visa due to UK-Russia tensions following Sergei Skripal poisoning in March. Abramovich exercised his right under Israel’s Law of Return, which says that Jews from anywhere can become Israeli citizens. Abramovich is now Israel’s wealthiest person.
Amber Rudd resigned from her position of the UK’s Home Secretary, saying she ‘inadvertently misled’ government over the growing migrant scandal regarding the government’s treatment of the ‘Windrush generation’, denial of basic rights to the descendants of people from Caribbean nations invited to Britain to plug labor shortfalls between 1948 and 1971. Rudd is the fourth high-ranking official to resign from May’s cabinet in six months, bringing the government into crisis.