Updated Sep 5, 2018

U.K. charges two Russian nationals in Skripal poisoning

Alexander Petrov (L) and Ruslan Boshirov (R). Photo: Metropolitan Police

U.K. police have charged two alleged Russian intelligence officers, Alexander Petrov and Ruslan Boshirov, with conspiracy to murder, attempted murder and illegal use of a nerve agent in the poisoning of former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England earlier this year.

The big picture: The poisoning has been the source of a tense diplomatic rift between Russia and the U.K. The Trump administration backed London by certifying that Russia used chemical weapons, triggering automatic sanctions, but has sought to meet with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the hope of avoiding another escalation with Moscow.

The details: Police say Petrov and Boshirov, which are believed to be aliases, fled to Moscow on March 5, a day after the poisoning. Russian law currently prohibits the extradition of its own citizens, but the U.K. has obtained a European Arrest Warrant.

  • Prime Minister Theresa May said in a speech to Parliament that based on a body of intelligence, the suspects were officers of the GRU — the Russian military intelligence service that Special Counsel Robert Mueller has accused of running an active cyber operation to interfere in the 2016 U.S presidential election.
  • "The GRU is a highly disciplined organization with a well-established chain of command," May said. "So this was not a rogue operation. It was almost certainly also approved outside of the GRU, at a senior level of the Russian state."
  • The two men are also now prime suspects in the death of Dawn Sturgess, a British woman who was exposed to Novichok in June.

Go deeper

Mass shooting in Milwaukee: What we know

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett in 2012. Photo: John Gress/Corbis via Getty Images

Six people died in a shooting at the Molson Coors Brewing Company in Milwaukee on Wednesday, including the gunman, Mayor Tom Barrett told reporters at a Wednesday evening press conference with local police.

Details: All of the victims worked at the brewery complex, as did the shooter who died of "an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound," police confirmed in a statement late Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus updates: South Korea case count tops 2,000

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

33 people in California have tested positive for the coronavirus, and health officials are monitoring 8,400 people who have recently returned from "points of concern," Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed more than 2,850 people and infected over 83,000 others in some 50 countries and territories. The novel coronavirus is now affecting every continent but Antarctica, and the WHO said Wednesday the number of new cases reported outside China has exceeded those inside the country for the first time.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 8 hours ago - Health

Syria's darkest chapter

Family room without a family, in Idlib. Photo: Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The worst humanitarian crisis of Syria’s brutal civil war is colliding today with what could be the war’s most dangerous geopolitical showdown, after at least 29 Turkish troops were killed in an airstrike.

The big picture: The fighting is taking place in Idlib in northwest Syria, where a ferocious Syrian and Russian offensive has displaced 1 million civilians and infuriated Turkey, which borders the region.

Go deeperArrow10 hours ago - World