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Russia warns UK over ex-spy’s poisoning

Thompson Reuters

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UNITED NATIONS — Russia has warned Britain it is ‘playing with fire and you’ll be sorry’ over its accusations that Moscow was to blame for poisoning a former Russian spy and his daughter.

It was the second showdown between Russia and Britain at the United Nations Security Council since the March 4 nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in an English town.

Russia, which requested the council meeting, denies any involvement.

Ms Skripal has since made her first public comment since the attack, while her father remains in a critical condition.

The attack has had major diplomatic ramifications, with mass expulsions of Russian and Western diplomats. The 15-member Security Council first met over the issue on March 14, at Britain’s request.

“We have told our British colleagues that, ‘You’re playing with fire and you’ll be sorry’,” Russian UN ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said during a more than 30-minute speech that attempted to poke holes in Britain’s allegations against Moscow.

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He suggested that anyone who watched television crime shows like Britain’s Midsomer Murders would know “hundreds of clever ways to kill someone” to illustrate the “risky and dangerous” nature of the method Britain says was used to target Skripal.

British police believe a nerve agent was left on the front door of the Salisbury home where Skripal lived after he was freed in a spy swap. He was a military intelligence colonel who betrayed dozens of Russian agents to Britain’s MI6 spy service.

“We believe that the UK’s actions stand up to any scrutiny,” British UN Ambassador Karen Pierce told the Security Council. “We have nothing to hide … but I do fear that Russia might have something to fear.”

“Allowing Russian scientists into an investigation where they are the most likely perpetrators of the crime in Salisbury would be like Scotland Yard inviting in Professor Moriarty,” Pierce told reporters earlier on Thursday, citing a character from “Sherlock Holmes.”

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Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih wins presidency

Gorkha Post

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MALE — Maldives opposition legislator Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has beaten incumbent Abdulla Yameen according to provisional results, the country’s Elections Commission says.

Results released by the Elections Commission showed Mr Solih securing 133,808 votes (58.3 percent) compared to the 95,526 for incumbent Abdulla Yameen. The voter turnout was over 88 per cent out of the 262,000-strong electorate.

The Maldives government has acknowledged the opposition’s victory after the vote on Sunday, a surprise defeat for President Abdulla Yameen who was widely expected to win.

There were no other candidates.

ALSO READ :  Britain to expel 23 Russian diplomats over ex-spy’s poisoning

Mr Solih had the backing of a united opposition trying to oust Mr Yameen, but struggled for visibility with the electorate, with local media fearful of falling afoul of heavy-handed decrees and reporting restrictions.

“I call on Yameen to respect the will of the people and bring about a peaceful, smooth transfer of power,” Solih said on television, shortly after interim results from the country’s election commission.

“We have won this election with a comfortable majority,” Solih said.

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