Speed Reads


British woman exposed to nerve agent that poisoned ex-Russian spy dies

Dawn Sturgess, a 44-year-old British woman exposed to the nerve agent Novichok late last month, died Sunday, and authorities are treating her death as a murder.

Sturgess and Charlie Rowley, 45, became seriously ill on June 30 after coming into contact with the Russian nerve agent; Rowley remains hospitalized in critical condition. Sturgess and Rowley were found unconscious inside a home in Amesbury, just eight miles away from Salisbury, where former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter, Yulia, were poisoned in a Novichok attack in March. They both survived.

Prime Minister Theresa May said she was "appalled and shocked" by Sturgess' death. Police confirmed that tests came back showing Sturgess and Rowley touched a contaminated item with their hands, but they are trying to determine where and when this happened. The British government pinned the earlier attack on the Kremlin, but the Russian government has denied any involvement. The BBC reports that the working hypothesis is Sturgess and Rowley found and touched a leftover container from the Skripal attack.