Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

U.S. diplomats' hearing loss in Cuba blamed on covert sonic device

A member of the Cuban honor guard stands next to a new plaque at the front door of the newly reopened Cuban embassy in Washington. The State Department has expelled two diplomats from Cuba's Embassy in Washington after a series of unexplained incidents U.S. diplomats' hearing loss in Cuba blamed on covert sonic device
Ron Matthews | 11 August, 2017, 00:07

The United States said it had expelled two Washington-based Cuban diplomats in May after unspecified "incidents" caused physical symptoms in Americans serving at the U.S. Embassy in Havana that an unnamed official said included hearing loss.

Two Cuban diplomats in the United States were expelled in May after suspicions that American officials in Havana were hit with a silent "acoustic attack" that induced hearing loss, State Department officials said. "She would not say what the symptoms were except that they were not life-threatening", the AP added.

Officials said beginning last fall, American diplomats in Havana suffered from severe hearing loss, which they believe could be attributed to a covert sonic device.

The continuous symptoms reportedly prompted the officials to leave, which first led the State Department to begin looking into the matter.

U.S. diplomats in Cuba said they suffered occasional harassment for years after the restoration of limited ties with the communist government in the 1970s, harassment reciprocated by USA agents against Cuban diplomats in Washington.

The ministry said it had created an expert committee to analyze the incidents and had reinforced security around the USA embassy and US diplomatic residences.

A subsequent report from CNN compared the symptoms aside from the hearing loss as resembling those of a concussion, suggesting that the sonic devices can damage a brain in a way similar to a physical blow.

According to reports, the diplomats were targeted with a sonic device that had been placed or planted where they lived.

In 2015, US and Cuban relations took a major turn, as America reopened the doors to its embassy in Havana.

Cuba noted it was aware of the allegations and had launched an investigation of its own.

"It is a cause of great concern for us", she said. She added a reminder that "the Cuban government has a responsibility and obligation to protect our diplomats".

Investigators are exploring the possibility that another country, such as Russian Federation, carried out the attack without the Cuban government's knowledge. "We take those incidents very seriously, and there is an investigation now under way".

The Cuban foreign ministry said it would not allow its territory to be used for any action against accredited diplomatic agents or their families.

President Trump has criticized the reopening of diplomatic relations with Cuba, calling it "a completely one-sided deal".

The U.S. Embassy building in Havana, shown in 2015. On May 23rd, two Cuban diplomats were asked to leave the United States in an apparent response to American diplomats being forced to come home for medical reasons.

Recommended

loading...

Pakistan's ousted Sharif vows to remain active in politics Pakistan's ousted Sharif vows to remain active in politics Qamar Zaman Kaira of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) said that there could be around 10,000 people with Sharif. Addressing Nawaz Kaira said that he was sent home by a bench of the apex court that comprised five judges.

Who Is Quantasia Sharpton? Woman Who Accused Usher Of Herpes Exposure Speaks Who Is Quantasia Sharpton? Woman Who Accused Usher Of Herpes Exposure Speaks Bloom said the encounters in the lawsuit occurred after an alleged 2012 settlement, reported on by RadarOnline in July. Sharpton said the pair "engaged in sexual contact" after an Usher concert where she was celebrating her 19th birthday.

Amy Schumer to Make Her Broadway Debut in Steve Martin's New Play Amy Schumer to Make Her Broadway Debut in Steve Martin's New Play The production will enter previews on November 1 and open on November 29 at the Booth Theater. Martin was last represented on Broadway with his bluegrass-driven musical " Bright Star ".

Former CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany hosts "real news" videos for President Trump Former CNN commentator Kayleigh McEnany hosts She gives explicit credit to Trump for this, saying "President Trump has clearly steered the economy back in the right direction". According to The Hill , McEnany also praised the proposed RAISE Act, aimed to dramatically curb legal immigration.

Four-Time Gold Medallist Betty Cuthbert Dies Aged 79 Four-Time Gold Medallist Betty Cuthbert Dies Aged 79 The multitide of emotional messages show the incredible impact Cuthbert had on Australian athletics and sport. "She was just a great person".

Gunmen Attack Church In Southeastern Nigeria, 8 Killed Gunmen Attack Church In Southeastern Nigeria, 8 Killed The attackers then went to the church to hunt for him, but could not find the intended target and became angry, he said. Garba assured Nigerians that the police were still investigating the matter and that all was under control.

Korea's parliamentary chief urges N. Korea to return to nuclear talks The new USA sanctions could embolden Rouhani's conservative rivals who say the nuclear deal was a form of capitulation. Among them was EU's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, who coordinates follow-up of Iran's nuclear deal.

Cause Of Massive Fire In Dubai Tower Under Investigation Cause Of Massive Fire In Dubai Tower Under Investigation An investigation by Torch Tower's management found that most of the damage from the 2015 fire was to the cladding. A statement from the Dubai government on Twitter says no injuries have been reported as yet.

Neymar pledges PSG trophy haul after world record transfer Neymar pledges PSG trophy haul after world record transfer They're one of a handful of European sort-of-super clubs fully willing to spend but not getting to the games that really count. His statement read , " I am extremely happy to join Paris Saint-Germain ".

Trump Approval Rating Hits NEW LOW! Trump Approval Rating Hits NEW LOW! Military households approved of transgender people serving in the military 55 percent to 39 percent, according to the poll . The Quinnipiac poll surveyed 1,125 voters nationwide between July 27 and August 1 over landline telephones and cellphones.

Microsoft announces Skype users can now send money in conversations using PayPal Microsoft announces Skype users can now send money in conversations using PayPal To use this new feature, all you need to do is head over to a particular chat from the "recents" list or the search. Microsoft and PayPal today announced a partnership that enables peer-to-peer payments on the Skype mobile app .

Trump backs bill to cut legal immigration, slash green card issues Trump backs bill to cut legal immigration, slash green card issues Trump said the measure "will reduce poverty, increase wages and save taxpayers billions and billions of dollars". The bill's supporters, meanwhile, say it would make the US more competitive, raise wages and create jobs.

Trump administration slaps sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Trump administration slaps sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro He mocked United States criticism that the vote on Sunday was an affront to democracy. I don't deserve imperialist orders.

Philippines | Police say Duterte's crackdown to target more drug lords Philippines | Police say Duterte's crackdown to target more drug lords In both the Espinosa case and the Parojinog raids, police and CIDG agents served the search warrants before dawn. Mayor Parojinog was one of the local government officials named in President Rodrigo Duterte's narco-list.

Trump's transgender military ban isn't going over very well with Americans Trump's transgender military ban isn't going over very well with Americans The stakes are too high to experiment with our national defense or to inadvertently cause harm to those wishing to serve. The military should continue to treat all of its courageous soldiers with respect, even if the president does not.