RUSSIA lashed out at Theresa May with sinister nuclear threats yesterday as a stand-off over the Salisbury nerve gas outrage escalated.
The PM’s midnight ultimatum for an explanation from Moscow for the use of its deadly military nerve agent Novichok on Britain’s streets has now expired.
Getty Images – Getty Theresa May’s midnight ultimatum to Russia demanding answers to the nerve agent attack has expired
EPA It is almost certain the powerful Novichok nerve agent attack on the Russian spy was a state sponsored assassination bid by Vladimir Putin
Instead, a Russian foreign ministry spokesman issued a chilling warning not to “threaten a nuclear power”.
Britain received support from the US, Germany, France and other EU leaders.
President Trump told Mrs May: We are with you all the way.”
Tensions rocketed after the Russian Embassy in London formally refused Mrs May’s demand to come clean over the attack with a series of tweets posted from 5.30pm.
What we know so far:
Ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal, 66, and his daughter Yulia, 33, were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury on March 4 Theresa May accused Russia of poisoning Skripal using deadly nerve agent Novichok and has vowed revenge She gave Russians until midnight on Tuesday to give us an explanation for what happened – a deadline which has now expired Putin laughed off suggestions Russia was involved, as other officials accused Britain of running a circus show and acting like Hitler Amber Rudd said police and MI5 would reopen investigations into other suspicious deaths in the UK The British ambassador in Moscow has been ‘summoned to the Kremlin’ over the case Russia has demanded access to the nerve agent gas used in Salisbury before responding to the PM’s ultimatum Cops cordoned off Skripal’s house and the grave of his wife and son fearing others could be exposed to the poison 500 people were told to wash their clothes, phones, and glasses after possibly coming into contact with the nerve agent
The embassy insisted: “Moscow will not respond to London’s ultimatum until it receives samples of the chemical substance to which the UK investigators are referring”.
Adding another dark warning, it added: “Any threat to take ‘punitive’ measures against Russia will meet with a response. The British side should be aware of that”.
No10 said Mrs May will ignore the threats and call another emergency meeting of her National Security Council this morning.
She will return to the Commons on Thursday to declare the poisoning of Sergei Skripal and daughter Yulia a state—sponsored assassination bid — almost certainly ordered by President Vladimir Putin.
AFP or licensors US President Trump told Theresa May ‘We are with you all the way’
PA:Press Association Theresa May said today that Russia was behind the poisoning attack on Sergei Skripal
Reuters Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova issued a chilling warning to the PM warning her not to ‘threaten a nuclear power’
EPA Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov gestures during a meeting
The PM will unleash what is expected to be a tough package of “extensive measures” to punish the Kremlin for the attack, including expulsions, economic sanctions, travel bans and asset freezes.
Downing Street was delighted by the support offered to Mrs May by Western leaders on Tuesday night.
Mrs May spoke to President Trump who was on board Air Force One. He told travelling reporters: “It sounds to me like they believe it was Russia and I would certainly take that finding as fact”.
The White House added: “The two leaders agreed on the need for consequences for those who use these heinous weapons in flagrant violation of international norms.”
The PM received pledges of solidarity in conversations with French president Emmanuel Macron, Germany’s Angela Merkel, and the EU.
Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia are fighting for their lives in hospital following nerve agent attack in Salisbury
PA:Press Association Army chemical weapons experts and the police swarmed on sleepy Winterslow
BBC Vladimir Putin was pictured smirking when BBC reporter Steve Rosenberg directly asked him if Russia was behind the poisoning of Sergei Skripal
But insisting the Kremlin is “not to blame”, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said London would be “better off” complying with its international obligations “before putting forward ultimatums”.
Russia summoned Britain’s ambassador to Moscow to relay the same message.
No10 hit back at Lavrov, insisting Mrs May was under no legal obligation to hand evidence to Russia.
Daughter may have ‘brought in’ chemical
By Mike Sullivan, Crime Editor
THE daughter of Russian spy Sergei Skripal may have unwittingly brought the deadly nerve agent with her from Moscow.
Scotland Yard and MI5 are trying to establish if Yulia Skripal, 33, was being tailed by a Russian agent — or if her luggage or possessions were interfered with en route to the UK.
They want to know how Russian military nerve agent Novichok was administered to turncoat Sergei, 66, and Yulia.
Yulia arrived on a flight from Russia the day before she and Sergei were found unconscious on a bench in Salisbury, Wilts.
Met Police Assistant Commissioner Neil Basu, the UK’s leading counter-terrorism cop, said at the moment they were “not declaring a person of interest or a suspect”.
It lends weight to the theory that Yulia may have carried the deadly nerve agent into the UK without her knowledge — or was shadowed by an assassin.
As officers continued their work, Mr Basu warned of further disruption to the city — but urged people to stay calm
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson called the attack on the Skripals “the first use of nerve agent on the European continent since the Second World War”.
He said: “I’ve been very encouraged so far by the strength of the support that we are getting”.
The Foreign Office later said Mr Johnson had called Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and counterparts in France and Germany to “set out what we know” and the need for an international response.
Politicians heaped pressure on the Football Association to boycott this summer’s World Cup in Russia.
Senior Labour MP John Woodcock said England’s participation “ought to be in question”.
AFP or licensors Mrs May said the ‘Kremlin is intent on dismantling the rules based world order’
Getty But Mr Lavrov says his country has no connection to the incident
Lib Dem boss Sir Vince Cable urged Mrs May to pursue an EU-wide boycott of the tournament.
He said the World Cup would be “pointless” if all ten European nations pulled out.
He added: “Do it collectively. That would really hurt them.”
Boris Johnson refused to rule out a boycott — although any decision would be taken by the FA and not the Government.
Mrs May has tasked spy chiefs to devise covert operations to embarrass President Putin and his oligarch cronies in revenge for the Salisbury attack.
Ministers want the deniable operations mounted against senior Kremlin figures, which are likely to include exposing their vast treasure troves of hidden wealth.
A senior security source said: “We’re going to play Putin at his own game. The gloves are off now”.
5 WAYS TO HIT BACK
1 — Kick out Russian diplomats: David Cameron did this after Alexander Litvinenko was poisoned in 2006. But the Kremlin would probably retaliate.
2 — Strip Russian media of its right to broadcast in the UK: PM could ask Ofcom to declare channels such as RT — formerly Russia Today — not fit to hold a licence.
3 — Stay away from World Cup in Russia: EU sport officials could be urged to boycott event, but this would not involve footballers.
4 — Toughen up sanctions: The Government could amend the sanctions and anti-money laundering bill to impose firmer rulings against human rights abusers.
5 — Freeze assets of Russian oligarchs: But this might hit as many Putin opponents as allies.
PM Theresa May confirms that Russia is ‘highly likely’ to have carried out the attack on former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury using military-grade nerve agent What is Novichok and was the nerve agent used to poison ex-Russian spy Sergei Skripal?
Novichok – the Russian for newcomer or newbie – is the name for a series of nerve agents developed by the Soviet Union in the 1970s and 80s.
They are said to be the deadliest nerve agents ever created and reported to be five times more potent than the notorious VX gas.
It is made of two relatively harmless materials which become fatal when mixed together, making it easier to transport under the radar.
“It is designed to be undetectable for any standard chemical security testing, ” Colonel Hamish de Bretton-Gordon told the Express.
Novichok agents, dispersed as an ultra-fine powder rather than vapour, belong to the class of inhibitors called “organophosphate acetylcholinesterase”.
They prevent the normal breakdown of a neurotransmitter acetylcholine which, when it builds up, causes muscles to contract involuntarily.
Because the victim’s heart and diaphragm aren’t functioning properly, this leads to respiratory and cardiac arrest.
Those affected usually die from total heart failure or suffocation as copious fluid secretions fill their lungs.
But even if they don’t die from the nerve agent, the substance can also cause permanent nerve damage, leaving victims permanently disabled, Russian scientists have said.
Former French Spy Missing Alongside Dubai Princess Once Escaped Uae In Scuba Gear And Burka Disguise
THE former French spy who is thought to be missing alongside Dubai princess Sheikah Latifa Mohammed Al Maktoum once claimed he escaped the UAE wearing a scuba suit and and a burka.
Herve Jaubert, an ex-agent and author, told The Times in 2009 that he hatched the James Bond-style plan to escape the gulf after he was threatened with jail and torture after he says he was falsely accused of a multi-million pound fraud.
Herve Jaubert/Amazon Pictured above, Herve Jeubert adopting the disguise to flee the UAE
He told the paper he used the disguise to get to a rubber dinghy he bought under a fake name and fled to international waters where he was then picked up by a friend six hours later and embarked on an eight day voyage to Mumbai.
He told The Times: “I decided to disguise myself as a woman and then I became a ghost. When you are covered from head-to-toe in an abaya and veil nobody talks to you, nobody looks at you.
“Wearing the abaya nobody bothered me, it’s like I never existed. That’s the best disguise you can find because even a police officer can not talk to you.”
The author then reached the US, vowing to never step foot in the UAE again, and turned the experience into a book titled Escape from Dubai.
Herve Jaubert/Amazon Jaubet then donned a burqa to go undetected
The former spy is said to be alongside the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, after they made contact with Detained in Dubai to seek assistance earlier this month.
They said that they were “escaping” the UAE to seek refuge in the US, following the princess’s claims of “imprisonment, torture and abuse”, which she described in a shocking YouTube video.
Earlier this week the princess Sheikha Latifa has went missing off the coast of Goa after posting the chilling video in which she says – “this could be my last”.
Latifa, 33, instructed her US-based lawyer to circulate the video in the event of her death or disappearance.
YouTube: Escape from Dubai Princess of Dubai Sheikha Latifa has reportedly gone missing off the coast of Goa
The bare-faced Sheikha, who speaks directly to the camera, can be seen wearing a simple blue top with her hair tied back.
Giving a harrowing account of her life as a member of Dubai’s royal family, she says: “I am making this video because this could be the last video I make.
“Pretty soon I’m going to be leaving somehow I’m not sure of the outcome, but I’m 99 per cent positive this could work.”
The Sheikha contacted her UK-based representative Radha Stirling on Sunday March 4 from a US-registered boat at least 50 miles from India’s coastline.
Alamy Latifa is the daughter of the ruler of Dubai, Vice President and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum
YouTube: Escape from Dubai Latifa appeared bare faced in the video, in which she describes the reality of life as a member of the Emirati royal family
She told Stirling: “Radha, please help me, there are men outside,” before claiming to hear gunshots.
Stirling asked the princess to record the gunshots, but she did not reply.
Stirling said Latifa first got in touch with her firm Detained in Dubai on February 26, claiming she escaped Dubai where she was tortured for helping a sibling who also ran away.
Latifa said her older sister fled because she was “not allowed to make choices for her future”.
She said her sister was denied choices which some people would take for granted – like driving a car or returning home at a certain time.
Incredible Pics Reveal Inside Filipino ‘cult’ That Hacks Members With Machetes To Give Them ‘bulletproof Powers’
A FILIPONO “cult” claims to grant devotees “bulletproof powers” by hacking them with machetes.
Shocking footage shows a member of the “Iron King” sect performing the initiation ritual, which is believed to ward off evil spirits.
Caters News Agency A Filipino cult claims to offer its member superhuman powers through a strange ritual involving a machete
Members claim the brutal act draws no blood from the initiated, who will be blessed with superhuman protection.
The organisation, known locally as Haring Bakal, banded together to combat a Muslim insurgency in the 1970s.
They told tales of fearless fighters charging into hand-to-hand combat with armed troops.
Now, Haring Bakal has found a foothold in the primarily Catholic nation, despite the group being labelled a cult.
Caters News Agency Shocking footage shows a member of the “Iron King” sec performing the initiation ritual
It has roughly 100 members in total which includes policeman and soldiers who have reportedly joined for their own safety.
Member Angelito ‘Rambo’ Oreta rejects they are a cult, saying: “Aside from healing the sick, I joined for protection from anyone wanting to harm me so I never have to back down.
“It’s not about bullying or trouble making. The goal of Iron King is serve your fellowmen, the country and the government.
“It is found in the bible, Ezekiel 21 – the sword of the lord , that you’ll have to be blessed by a machete because that’s how you’ll be granted strength and wisdom.
Caters News Agency Member Angelito ‘Rambo’ Oreta rejects they are a cult
Caters News Agency Filmmaker Nikon Celis took part in the machete ritual
“The moment you’re blessed by means of hacking, you’re no longer an ordinary person. You’re a soldier of God to the time we face the enemy.
“We are not a cult, we’re a spiritual group that serves by prayer and faith in the Father who created everything in this world.”
Filmmaker Nikon Celis, who took part in the machete ritual, said local rumours of the group compelled him to delve into their world.
He described the blessing, known locally as anting-anting, as equal parts painful and petrifying.
But even he could give no explanation for why the powerful machete blows did not draw blood.
Nikon, 32, said: “I heard about this group who claim to offer protection from bullets and knives.
Caters News Agency The organisation, known locally as Haring Bakal, banded together to combat a Muslim insurgency in the 1970s
Caters News Agency Celis described the blessing, known locally as anting-anting, as equal parts painful and petrifying
“The blesser claims to put an invisible shield around the person’s body after reciting prayers in Latin. He said that only a blessor of Haring Bakal can do what he does.
“People from different Christian background accuse them of being a cult because of their strange practice that maybe a taboo to some faiths.”
Nikon said followers abstain from sex, pork meat– on Tuesday and Friday – and dog meat, and swearing – or they supposedly lose their immunity to knives and bullets.
Theresa May Warns Russia Britain ‘will Never Tolerate Threat To Brit Lives’ As Spy Poisoning Row Escalates
RUSSIA has ordered 23 British diplomats to leave Russia as a row over the poisoning of a former spy escalates.
Theresa May, who is considering her response, said the UK will “never tolerate a threat to the life of British citizens” from the Russian Government.
Reuters British Ambassador to Russia Laurie Bristow arrives at the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow today
Speaking at the Conservative Party’s spring forum, she added: “We can be reassured by the strong support we have received from our friends and allies around the world.”
She spoke after the Kremlin, which has given Brits a week to leave their posts, decided to close the British Council in Russia and withdraw permission for the UK to open a general consulate in St Petersburg.
The measures were announced after Brit ambassador in Moscow Laurie Bristow was summoned to the Russian Foreign Ministry this morning amid a deepening row over the attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in Salisbury.
A Foreign and Commonwealth Office spokesperson said: “In light of Russia’s previous behaviour, we anticipated a response of this kind and the National Security Council will meet early next week to consider next steps. Our priority today is looking after our staff in Russia and assisting those that will return to the UK.
Theresa May said the UK will not tolerate threats to Britain
Reuters The ambassador is seen outside the Russian Foreign Ministry in Moscow
“Russia’s response doesn’t change the facts of the matter – the attempted assassination of two people on British soil, for which there is no alternative conclusion other than that the Russian State was culpable.
It is Russia that is in flagrant breach of international law and the Chemical Weapons Convention.”
They added: “We have no disagreement with the people of Russia and we continue to believe it is not in our national interest to break off all dialogue between our countries but the onus remains on the Russian state to account for their actions and to comply with their international obligations.”
Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of personally ordering the poisoning of the Skripals, who remain hospitalised in critical condition after the March 4 attack.
Putin’s spokesman denounced the claim.
Reuters British diplomats are expected to be expelled by Russia in retaliation Theresa May warns Putin the UK will go further if Russia doesn’t stop ‘provocations’ as world leaders stand together in wake of spy scandal
Reuters May spoke after the Kremlin, which has given Brits a week to leave their posts, decided to close the British Council in Russia
While Russia has vigorously denied involvement in the attack, Western powers see it as the latest sign of alleged Russian meddling abroad.
The tensions threaten to overshadow Putin’s expected re-election Sunday for another six-year presidential term.
Meanwhile new tensions have surfaced over the death this week of a London-based Russian businessman, Nikolai Glushkov.
Brit cops said Friday that he died from compression to the neck and opened a murder investigation.
Russia also says it suspects foul play in Glushkov’s death and opened its own inquiry Friday.
Reuters A Russian police car is seen parked outside the British embassy in Moscow today
Reuters A Russian cop stands outside the UK embassy in Moscow this morning
Facebook Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia, both pictured, are fighting for their lives after a nerve agent attack Russian President Vladimir Putin smirks when asked if Russia is responsible for the poisoning of spy Sergei Skripal
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