Speed Reads


British couple poisoned by nerve agent used against former Russian spy

On Wednesday, scientists confirmed that a man and woman in Amesbury, England, found unconscious on Saturday were poisoned by Novichok, the nerve agent used in March to attack a former Russian spy and his daughter just eight miles away.

At first, police believed that drugs caused Dawn Sturgess, 44, and Charlie Rowley, 45, to lose consciousness, but on Wednesday authorities started investigating other theories. Sturgess and Rowley are in critical condition at the same hospital where Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, nearly died after they were poisoned by the nerve agent, developed in the Soviet Union and Russia. Britain has blamed the Russian government for that attack.

Scotland Yard assistant commissioner Neil Basu said 100 counterterrorism detectives are now investigating the Sturgess and Rowley poisoning. Basu told the public not to worry, as no one else has come forward exhibiting any similar symptoms, and police have cordoned off areas where Sturgess and Rowley were prior to becoming ill. "The priority for this investigation team now is to establish how these two people have come into contact with this nerve agent," Basu said.