Nikki Haley. Photo: Drew Angerer / Getty Images

UN Ambassador Nikki Haley said at a UN Security Council meeting that the “U.S. believes that Russia is responsible” for the nerve agent attack on an ex-spy in the UK.

"This is a defining moment," she said. "One member stands accused of using a chemical weapon on the sovereign soil of another. The credibility of this council will not survive if we fail to hold Russia to account."

The backdrop: These are strong remarks from Haley, particularly compared to President Trump's comments yesterday, in which he hedged on whether Russia was responsible. Her comments follow British P.M. Theresa May's decision to expel 23 Russian diplomats and call on the security council to take up the matter.

One big quote: “We take no pleasure in having to constantly criticize Russia, but we need Russia to stop giving us so many reasons to do so,” Haley said.

What Russia’s saying: “Russia had nothing to do with the incident” and said they could not pay attention to an ultimatum from the U.K. without more evidence. Russia has suggested the U.K. is afraid to have experts verify its findings on the nerve agent used.

What the U.K. is saying: The U.K. has invited the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons to conduct an independent investigation.

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Kayleigh McEnany: Trump will accept "free and fair" election, no answer on if he loses

White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Thursday that President Trump will "accept the results of a free and fair election," but did not specify whether he will commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses to Joe Biden.

Why it matters: Trump refused to say on Wednesday whether he would commit to a peaceful transition of power, instead remarking: "we're going to have to see what happens."

Sanders: "This is an election between Donald Trump and democracy"

Photo: BernieSanders.com

In an urgent appeal on Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said President Trump presented "unique threats to our democracy" and detailed a plan to ensure the election results will be honored and that voters can cast their ballots safely.

Driving the news: When asked yesterday whether he would commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses, Trump would not, and said: "We're going to have to see what happens."

Ina Fried, author of Login
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Amazon launches new Alexa-enabled hardware

Amazon's new spherical Echo smart speaker. Screenshot: Axios

Amazon debuted a range of new Ring, Fire TV and Echo hardware on Thursday, including more environmentally sustainable versions of its audio and video gear. Among the products introduced are a cloud gaming service, a home monitoring drone and new spherical designs for its Echo and Echo dot smart speakers.

Why it matters: Amazon, like rivals Google and Apple, typically gives its consumer hardware a launch ahead of the holidays. Apple has already introduced new iPads, while Google has scheduled a Sept. 30 event, where it is expected to debut new audio and video gear, alongside updated Pixel phones.

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