First good news on Yulia Skripal; now an optimistic outlook for her dad. Doctors at the UK hospital where Sergei Skripal has been convalescing since his March 4 poisoning report the 66-year-old ex-Russian spy is "responding well to treatment, improving rapidly, and is no longer in a critical condition," per Christine Blanshard, the medical director at Salisbury District Hospital. Skripal is said to be "conscious and talking," per the BBC. The Guardian reports that Blanshard also confirmed Yulia Skripal's improving health, noting Yulia "can look forward to the day when she is well enough to leave the hospital."
In one sad development, however, CNN does report three deaths: that of Skripal's two guinea pigs, which British authorities say apparently died of dehydration, and his cat, which had to be euthanized after being found in a "distressed state." The animals were found "some time after the attack," and some are wondering why it took so long to find them—including the Russian Embassy in London. "Are they seriously saying that nobody had a look at the pets at alleged crime scene?," the embassy tweeted Friday. "Were the animals' remains tested for toxic substances? Or just disposed of as an inconvenient piece of evidence?" At a UN Security Council meeting Thursday, Russia's UN ambassador accused the UK of "playing with fire" in accusing Russia of being behind the poisonings, per CNN. (Read more Sergei Skripal stories.)