LONDON – A British man exposed to the nerve agent Novichok is no longer in a critical condition, the hospital treating him said on Wednesday, as police still struggle to understand what happened. The brother of 45-year-old Charlie Rowley also said he had visited him and he was talking, but looked "like a skeleton" and could barely lift his head. Rowley fell ill on June 30 at his home in Amesbury near the town of Salisbury in southwest England, along with his partner Dawn Sturgess, 44. They were exposed to Novichok, the same nerve agent used against former Russian agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury in March. Britain and its allies accused Moscow of trying to kill the Russian pair, who survived, sparking an international diplomatic crisis.
FILE - In this Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018 video grab file image provided by the RT channel on Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, a man identified as Alexander Petrov attends his first public appearance in an interview with the RT channel in Moscow, Russia. Investigative group Bellingcat reported Monday Oct. 8, 2018 on its website that the man British authorities identified as Alexander Petrov is actually Alexander Mishkin, a doctor working for the Russian military intelligence unit known as GRU. The other suspect in the March nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, -- Ruslan Boshirov.
The investigative website Bellingcat, working with the Russia-focused media site The Insider claims to have identified one of the two suspects in the March poisoning of Sergei and Yulia Skripal in Salisbury, England. According to the investigation, one of the two men charged by British authorities, who traveled to the U.K. under the name Ruslan Boshirov, is actually Anatoliy Chegipa, a colonel in the GRU--Russia's military intelligence service--who was awarded Russia's highest state honor, Hero of the Russian Federation in 2014. British officials, who also charged that the two men were GRU officers, have not yet commented on the report, but according to the BBC, "there is no dispute over the identification." This, to put it mildly, contradicts the story given by "Boshirov" and co-suspect Alexander Petrov in a recent interview with RT. The two claimed to be vitamin salesmen who had traveled to England for fun and visited Salisbury--twice in two days for just a few hours at a time due to inclement weather--just to see its famous gothic cathedral.
A man convicted of killing his date in a speedboat crash on the River Thames has handed himself in to police in Georgia after months on the run. Jack Shepherd was sentenced to six years in July for the manslaughter of 24-year-old Charlotte Brown. The 31-year-old had been in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi since March and was absent throughout his trial. Ms Brown's father Graham Brown said: "I feel very emotional at the fact that my daughter will get some justice." Speaking to BBC Radio 5 live, he added: "I do think the family will be in a much better position to deal with our loss and heartbreak over the last three years. Mr Brown said Shepherd was "a very crass reckless man who stuck two fingers up to the judiciary system". "He's done the right thing and thank goodness he has handed himself in," he added. A spokesman for the Georgian Embassy in London confirmed Shepherd's arrest, which comes after Ms Brown's family met with the Home Secretary Sajid Javid on Tuesday. Under current diplomatic agreements between Georgia and the UK, he is eligible for extradition. Georgian Rustavi TV has shown footage of Shepherd before he handed himself during an "exclusive interview" in his final minutes as a "free man". Speaking in English in the interview, Shepherd described it as "a tragic accident". He added: "The boat had faults, but experts invited by my defence established that these faults developed when the boat was removed from the water.
A British man who died fighting the so-called Islamic State in Syria has been described by his stepfather as "courageous, not stupid". Dean Evans, 22, from Reading, died in July in the Syrian city of Manbij, after joining the People's Defence Units (YPG), a Kurdish military group. His stepfather Steve Howell told the Victoria Derbyshire programme his stepson was "a martyr". And both he and Dean's stepmother Tracey are "proud of what he did". In their first television interview, the Howells said their stepson was "prepared to stand up for what he believed in".