>> Former Russian spy Sergei Skripal is no longer in critical condition. The British hospital treating him says he's now recovering rapidly, a month after the poisoning incident that had hit him and his daughter Yulia. Yulia herself made her first public statement on Thursday, a written memo thanking her caretakers.
She said she'd only woken up a week prior. It's not yet clear if father or daughter may face long-term complications from the attack. Which British authorities believe was conducted using a military grade nerve agent of Russian design. Yulia's statement came the same day Russia told Britain at the United Nations that it was quote playing with fire and blaming Moscow for the incident.
Independent laboratories are expected to deliver their findings to the Organization for Prohibition of Chemical Weapons next week. Meanwhile, there are media reports that Skripal's cat and two guinea pigs have died of apparent neglect. They were locked in his house. British authorities are quoted as saying the guinea pigs died of dehydration.
And the cat had to be put down to ease its suffering after being found in a distressed state. Russia's Moscow embassy had been demanding in tweets to know the condition of the animals.