Police officer in a protective mask and suit in Salisbury, England. Photo: Jack Taylor / Getty Images

In an interview with Sky News, Gary Aitkenhead, the chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, said his laboratory could not definitively say Russia had manufactured the nerve agent used to poison a former Russian spy in the town of Salisbury, England.

Why it matters: Russia will seize on the comments to argue the U.K. has accused the Kremlin without evidence. But Aitkenhead said it is not the scientists’ job to “prove” where the nerve agent was made. "We provided the scientific information to the government who have then used a number of other sources to piece together the conclusions that they’ve come to," he said.

  • The U.K. Foreign Office quickly followed up with a statement saying the Porton Down assessment was "only part of the intelligence picture."

What evidence the scientists did find: “We were able to identify it as Novichok, to identify that it was military-grade nerve agent,” Aitkenhead said.

  • As the Foreign Office statement notes, Russia "has produced and stockpiled" Novichok as part of its work to find "ways of delivering nerve agents probably for assassination." Novichok was developed in the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 1980s.

Go deeper: Russian nerve agent from Skripal attack a deadly game-changer.

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Jeff Sessions loses Alabama Senate primary runoff

Jeff Sessions. Photo: Michael DeMocker/Getty Images

Former Attorney General Jeff Sessions has lost the Republican nomination for Senate to Tommy Tuberville in Alabama in Tuesday night’s primary runoff, AP reports.

Why it matters: Sessions had been the underdog in the race against former Auburn University head football coach Tommy Tuberville, who had the backing of President Trump. Tuberville will now face off against Sen. Doug Jones (D-Ala.) in November, who is considered to have one of the most vulnerable Democratic Senate seats in the country.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 13,273,537 — Total deaths: 577,006 — Total recoveries — 7,367,106Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 3,424,304 — Total deaths: 136,432 — Total recoveries: 1,049,098 — Total tested: 41,764,557Map.
  3. Politics: Biden welcomes Trump wearing mask in public but warns "it’s not enough"
  4. Public health: Four former CDC heads say Trump's undermining of agency puts lives at risk — CDC director: U.S. could get coronavirus "under control" in 4–8 weeks if all wear masks.

Bank CEOs brace for worsening economic scenario

JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon. Photo: J. Lawler Duggan/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Wells Fargo swung to its first loss since the financial crisis — while JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup reported significantly lower profits from a year earlier — as the banks set aside billions of dollars more in the second quarter for loans that may go bad.

Why it matters: The cumulative $28 billion in loan loss provisions that banks have so far announced they’re reserving serves as a signal they’re preparing for a colossal wave of loan defaults as the economy slogs through a coronavirus-driven downturn.