Updated Mar 13, 2018

Russia denies blame for nerve agent attack on former spy

Lavrov. Photo: Alexander Shcherbak / TASS via Getty Images

Foreign minister Sergey Lavrov has said Russia "is not to blame" for the nerve agent attack on an ex-Russian spy in the U.K., AP reports. The denial comes as the Kremlin has also asked the U.K. to open an investigation into the spy's daughter, per Reuters, and summoned the British ambassador to Russia, per the AP.

The backdrop: U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May addressed the House of Commons on Monday and said "the [British] government has concluded that it is highly likely that Russia was responsible for the act against Sergei and Yulia Skripal." She gave the Kremlin 36 hours to come up with a credible response. Former double agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, remain in critical condition after the poisoning.

The latest...

  • Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, in Africa on a diplomatic trip, called the poisoning “an egregious act” and said it “appears that it clearly came from Russia," per NYT.
  • More from Tillerson: “I’ve become extremely concerned about Russia ... We spent most of last year investing a lot into attempts to work together, to solve problems, to address differences. And quite frankly, after a year, we didn’t get very far. Instead what we’ve seen is a pivot on their part to be more aggressive.”
  • His comments were notably stronger against Russia than the White House response. Sanders condemned the poisoning but said nothing about Russia's involvement.

Go deeper

Coronavirus stress tests drug industry's dependence on China

A Hong Kong commuter wears a face mask. Photo: Miguel Candela/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

It's unclear whether the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus will actually result in prescription drug shortages, but it has undoubtedly highlighted the potential vulnerabilities of having the supply chain for American drugs so dependent on China.

Driving the news: About 150 prescription drugs — including antibiotics, generics and some branded drugs without alternatives — are at risk of shortage if the coronavirus outbreak in China worsens, per two sources familiar with a list of at-risk drugs compiled by the Food and Drug Administration.

Go deeperArrow53 mins ago - Health

Bernie's path to the presidency

Sen. Bernie Sanders speaks yesterday during a rally at Houston University. Photo: Mark Felix/AFP via Getty Images

Lots of Democrats are in full panic that Bernie Sanders will win the nomination and get clobbered in the general election — and bring the party down, too. But the evidence, particularly the polling, doesn't back those doomsday warnings.

Why it matters: Virtually every national and swing state poll shows Sanders tied with or beating President Trump.  And, unlike every rival, he has a huge base of fervent, unshakable supporters he can only grow.

These swing voters don't like Trump’s environmental rollbacks

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Swing voters in four battleground states decisively oppose President Trump’s sweeping rollbacks of environmental regulations — but it’s unlikely to sway their votes.

Why it matters: It’s voters living in states like these, including Florida and Pennsylvania, who fill pivotal roles electing America’s presidents, so we should listen.