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Things were apparently a little tense between Gordon Brown and Dmitry Medvedev on the sidelines of the G8 summit in Japan. They discussed the issues that have bedeviled relations between the two countries: the battle over BP and the 2006 poisoning death of Aleksandr Litvinenko in London.

Britain doesn't seem to want to let the latter go. A British security service agent told the BBC yesterday that the Russian state was most likely involved in Litvinenko's death. (The poison that killed him was allegedly in his tea.) Russia today hit back.

At an editorial meeting earlier, the director of our Russian Service told a story that just sounds too good to be true. At their meeting yesterday, apparently both Brown and Medvedev were served tea. Medvedev drunk his down, but Brown, ever the cautious Presbyterian, refused to touch his.

-- Luke Allnutt

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Written by RFE/RL editors and correspondents, Transmission serves up news, comment, and the odd silly dictator story. While our primary concern is with foreign policy, Transmission is also a place for the ideas -- some serious, some irreverent -- that bubble up from our bureaus. The name recognizes RFE/RL's role as a surrogate broadcaster to places without free media. You can write us at