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News Headlines
Diving legend says HIV-contracted friend inspired him to Olympic gold        India beat Pakistan to reach final of Emerging Teams Asia Cup        Boosting exports key to make India $5-tn economy by 2025: Kant        Prabhu, US Commerce Secretary to discuss trade issues on Feb 14        Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN        Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU        Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha        Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace        Rahul tweets pic with Kamal Nath, Scindia as race for CM moves to Bhopal        Aussies will fight back, but India has upper hand: Ghavri        World Tour Finals: Tough road ahead for Sindhu; Sameer too eyes knockout berth        Govt should consider 100% FDI in multi-brand retail trade: CII report        Shaktikanta Das named new RBI Governor        Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'        May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal        Three policemen killed in Shopian by terrorists; weapons snatched        13 of 19 Rajasthan ministers lose elections; CM Vasundhara Raje retains her seat        Clear message to Modi that People are unhappy and it is time for change: Rahul on poll results        Cong leads in R'than, Chhattisgarh and MP; TRS races ahead in Telangana, MNF in Mizoram        Shakhtar prepare for home match 700 kilometres from home        
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International News
US to slap crippling sanctions on Russia over nerve agent attack in Britain
 
Washington/London, Aug 9 (PTI) The US today said it will impose tough new sanctions on Russia after determining that Moscow used a deadly military-grade nerve agent to kill a former Russian double agent and his daughter in the UK.

Sergei Skripal, a former Russian spy, and his daughter Yulia Skripal were hospitalised and treated for a nerve agent attack in March. While Yulia was discharged from a British hospital in April, her father recovered and left the hospital in May.

The State Department said in a statement that the sanctions were in response to the use of a 'Novichok' nerve agent in an attempt to assassinate UK citizen and his daughter on March 4.

Russia has rejected allegations levelled by the UK that it was behind the deadly nerve-agent attack in the English city of Salisbury.

The US, on August 6, determined that the Russian government "has used chemical or biological weapons in violation of international law or has used lethal chemical or biological weapons against its own nationals," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

The statement said that following a 15-day Congressional notification period, these sanctions will take effect around August 22.

The State Department notified Congress yesterday of the first of two potential tranches of sanctions required under the 1991 law. Unless Russia takes certain steps, a second set of penalties -- more stringent than this first round -- must follow, according to the law.

The first set of sanctions targets certain items the US exports to Russia that could have military uses -- so-called dual use technologies. These are sensitive goods that normally would go through a case-by-case review before they are exported. With these sanctions, the exports will be presumptively denied, CNN reported.

The sanctions are mandated under the Chemical and Biological Weapons and Warfare Elimination Act of 1991.

Relations between Russia and the West hit a new low after the nerve agent attack in the UK. More than 20 countries expelled Russian envoys in solidarity with the UK.

The Washington Post quoted a State Department official as saying that the sanctions could have a significant impact on trade with Russia, including prohibition of licenses on sending some US goods there, such as electronic devices.

"But unless Russia agrees within 90 days to stop all use of chemical weapons and permit inspections to confirm their elimination, additionally mandated measures could cut off almost all trade between the two countries, prohibit landing rights for Russian airlines, and lead to a suspension of diplomatic relations," the Post report said.

In March, the Trump administration had ordered the expulsion of 60 Russians from the US, following similar actions taken by other countries in the wake of the allegation by the UK that Russia was behind the nerve agent attack.

Of the 60 expelled, 12 are intelligence operatives from the Russian mission to the United Nations who have been accused of abusing their privilege of residence in the United States.

"After a review, we have determined that the 12 intelligence operatives engaged in espionage activities that are adverse to our national security. Our actions are consistent with the UN Headquarters Agreement," US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley had said.

Russia had responded with a similar number of diplomatic expulsions and ordered the closure of the US consulate in St. Petersburg, Russia's second-largest city.

Britain welcomed the move from the US. In a short statement, a government spokesperson said, "The strong international response to the use of a chemical weapon on the streets of Salisbury sends an unequivocal message to Russia that its provocative, reckless behaviour will not go unchallenged."

The Russian embassy in the US hit back today, criticising what it called "far-fetched accusations" from the US that Russia was behind the attack.

Russia had become "accustomed to not hearing any facts or evidence", it said, adding: "We continue to strongly stand for an open and transparent investigation of the crime committed in Salisbury.


Ceasefire for key Yemen port agreed at peace talks: UN
Britain's May sees no 'immediate breakthrough' at EU
Khashoggi, other journalists named Time 'Person of the Year'
May tours Europe in desperate bid to save Brexit deal
Trump's potential next chief of staff pick leaving White House
UK PM faces fight for her political life in Brexit deal
Iran arrests 10 over suicide attack on police
Trump chooses new Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman, against Mattis wishes
Merkel gets boost with ally's party win
Rouhani warns weakened Iran less able to fight trafficking
Trump may nominate Heather Nauert as UN Ambassador: Reports
Qatar injects more cash into Gaza for Hamas employees
Singer Mika Singh Detained in Dubai for Sending Obscene Messages to 17-year-old: Reports
Conditions Met for Assange to Leave Embassy in London, Says Ecuador President
Pakistan slashes non-salary budget by 10%
Moscow dismisses 'groundless' US claim Russia breaching arms treaty
AgustaWestland deal 'middleman' Christian Michel brought to India
Don't be like Hitler: sacked Lankan PM tells President Sirisena
Sri Lanka court suspends Mahinda Rajapakse's powers as PM
Nigerian President denies death, body double rumours
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
Vaikom Vijayalekshmi ties knot with Anoop
 Vaikom: Playback singer Vaikom Vijayalekshmi has tied knot with Anoop N. at Vaikom Mahadeva temple.  
Mohanlal's Odiyan: Official trailer launched
Mammootty narrates Odiyan's intro?
Sradha Kapoor as Saina Nehwal: First look poster is out.
KERALA NEWS
Activist Rehana Fathima, Who Attempted Sabarimala Trek, Arrested Over Facebook Post
 (Kochi, Nov 28, 2018): Model and activist Rehana Fathima, who tried to reach Kerala's Sabarim
Good news for Keralite Nurses: IELTS cut-off reduced to 6.5
BJP leader K Surendran, 71 others granted bail
Sabarimala protests: Arrests up to 2061, Kerala HC warns police
NATIONAL NEWS
Poll results prove Ram Temple or communal polarisation doesn't cut ice with people: Sinha
 New Delhi, Dec 13 (PTI) Former Union minister Yashwant Sinha on Thursday said there is a "great deal
Ashok Gehlot appeals to Cong workers in Raj to maintain peace
Three policemen killed in Shopian by terrorists; weapons snatched
13 of 19 Rajasthan ministers lose elections; CM Vasundhara Raje retains her seat
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