Cuba

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Scientist Floats Simpler Theory on Cuban Mystery Ailments

Penn prof says cause may have been inadvertent emissions from ultrasound 'spytech'

(Newser) - Microwave weapons? That's the latest theory being floated to explain the mysterious ailments suffered by staffers at the American embassy in Cuba. But now a pioneering scientist in that field thinks the idea—based on a principle called the microwave auditory effect—is bogus. Kenneth Foster is a professor... More »

Wild, Mysterious Theory on Cuba Ills: Microwave Weapons

A theory about what happened to the US diplomats there emerges

(Newser) - The doctors who examined 21 diplomats who reported being victims of mysterious attacks in Cuba have a theory on a possible cause, and it's a wild one: that microwave weapons were used against them. Dr. Douglas Smith, who is on that team of doctors, calls them the "main... More »

Scientist: Cuban Illnesses May Be 'Mass Psychogenic' Event

Medical journal publishes letters critical of an original study

(Newser) - Something made a slew of American diplomats in Cuba sick last year, and scientists still aren't sure what it was. A major study commissioned by the US government found that diplomats suffered concussion-like symptoms, and many of them reported hearing strange noises before falling ill. Now, however, four separate... More »

Mystery Ailment: 11 Americans Pulled From China

Evacuations are the latest chapter in strange story of US employees in China and Cuba reporting odd neurological symptoms

(Newser) - In a deepening medical and diplomatic mystery , US officials have confirmed that the State Department has pulled at least 11 Americans from China who reported strange neurological symptoms, reports the New York Times . Eight of the evacuees are connected to the US consulate in Guangzhou, two are from the embassy... More »

More Americans Sent Home Amid China 'Sonic Attack' Fears

Consulate workers suffered 'neurological symptoms'

(Newser) - Something strange is happening to American diplomats and their families at a US Consulate in China—and it has disturbing echoes of the mysterious attacks on Americans in Cuba. The State Department evacuated at least two more Americans from China Wednesday after they fell ill with what one of them,... More »

Only 3 Survive Cuban Plane Crash

There was a 4th survivor, but that person died in the hospital

(Newser) - Amid tragedy, a sliver of good news: Three women have survived the plane crash in Cuba that killed more than 100 Friday, the BBC reports. The survivors were pulled from the wreckage at the crash site and all are said to be in serious condition, per Reuters . There was a... More »

About 100 Feared Dead in Cuba Plane Crash

Passenger jet went down near Havana airport

(Newser) - Cuba is dealing with an aviation disaster Friday after a passenger jet crashed shortly after takeoff from Jose Martí International Airport in Havana. The Boeing 737 carried 105 passengers and nine crew members, reports Reuters , and state TV says that only three people survived, per the New York Times . Five... More »

Castro Out: Cuban Government Selects New Leader

Inside the country's vote for a new president

(Newser) - The Cuban government on Wednesday selected 57-year-old First Vice President Miguel Mario Diaz-Canel Bermudez as the sole candidate to succeed President Raul Castro in a transition aimed at ensuring that the country's single-party system outlasts the aging revolutionaries who created it. The certain approval of Diaz-Canel by members of... More »

Eldest Castro Son Kills Himself

'Fidelito' was being treated for depression

(Newser) - The eldest son of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro has taken his own life after months of being treated for "profound depression," according to state-run media in Cuba. Fidel Castro Diaz-Balart, nicknamed "Fidelito," was 68. Castro-Diaz Balart, who was born during Castro's brief, pre-Cuban Revolution... More »

Canada's Diplomats in Cuba Afflicted, but It's Clueless, Too

Country says 8 Canadians have now been found to have suffered odd health problems

(Newser) - Fresh off the news that an FBI report based on months of investigation found no evidence that sound waves could have damaged the health of American diplomats in Cuba, a new twist in the case: Canada on Wednesday said the inexplicable problems haven't let up. The CBC reports... More »

Tillerson Digs In on Cuba as FBI Finds No Evidence of Attacks

Secretary of state refuses to send diplomats back, will likely form a review board

(Newser) - The United States would be "putting people intentionally in harm's way" if it sent diplomats back to Cuba, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tells the AP , even as a new FBI report casts doubt on the theory that Americans were hit by "sonic attacks." Following months... More »

Brain Abnormalities Found in US Embassy Victims in Cuba

White matter changes are most specific finding yet about Havana mystery attacks

(Newser) - Doctors treating the US Embassy victims of mysterious, invisible attacks in Cuba have discovered brain abnormalities as they search for clues to explain the hearing, vision, balance, and memory damage, the AP has learned. It's the most specific finding to date about physical damage, showing that whatever it was... More »

White House Blocks Americans From Cuban Hotels, Shops

New rules to make it harder for Americans to visit Cuba take effect Thursday

(Newser) - Americans who visit Cuba must now avoid hotels, shops, tour companies, and other businesses on a lengthy list released Wednesday by the Trump administration as part of a new policy aimed at cracking down on the communist-run island's government, the AP reports. US travelers will once again be required... More »

Sonic Weapon? Cuba Calls US Accusation 'Science Fiction'

Officials label US allegation 'slander'

(Newser) - Cuban military officials have a few words to describe the notion that Havana has some kind of sonic weapon it has used against American diplomats: "science fiction" and "slander." In interviews with reporters, Cuban officials say they have investigated thoroughly and cannot find the source of the... More »

US Tourists Who Visited Cuba Think They Got Hit, Too

South Carolina's Chris Allen suffered ailments similar to 'sonic' victims back in 2014

(Newser) - Chris Allen's phone started buzzing as word broke that invisible attacks in Cuba had hit a US government worker at Havana's Hotel Capri. Allen's friends and family had heard an eerily similar story from him before. The tourist from South Carolina had cut short his trip to... More »

Here's the Sound Americans Heard in Cuba Attacks

Recording of the mysterious sound released for first time by AP

(Newser) - It sounds sort of like a mass of crickets. A high-pitched whine, but from what? It seems to undulate, even writhe. Listen closely: There are multiple, distinct tones that sound to some like they're colliding in a nails-on-the-chalkboard effect. The AP has obtained a recording of what some US... More »

5 Reasons Experts Are Skeptical of Cuban 'Sonic Attack'

The US military has tried and failed to weaponize sound

(Newser) - Experts have been baffled as to what left US diplomats stationed in Cuba with symptoms ranging from mild traumatic brain injury to hearing loss. While some have described it as a potential "sonic attack," the AP and New York Times have spoken with experts who, as the Times ... More »

US: Visitors to Cuba Claim Symptoms Similar to Attacks

But those claims can't be verified

(Newser) - The State Department says it has received "a handful of reports" from American citizens who say they've experienced symptoms similar to those in attacks of US government workers in Havana, the AP reports. But the US isn't vouching for those reports. The US last week issued... More »

Ties Threatened: US Orders 15 Cuban Diplomats to Leave

The order was in response to unexplained attacks on Americans in Cuba

(Newser) - The US expelled 15 of Cuba's diplomats Tuesday to protest its failure to protect Americans from unexplained attacks in Havana, plunging diplomatic ties between the countries to levels unseen in years, the AP reports. The State Department gave Cuba's ambassador a list Tuesday of 15 names and ordered... More »

Officials: US Wants Cuba's DC Embassy Staff Cut 60%

Move will match reduction at Havana embassy

(Newser) - US officials say the Trump administration is preparing to ask Cuba to reduce the staff at its embassy in Washington by 60%, the AP reports. The move follows last week's US decision to reduce American personnel at the embassy in Havana by a similar amount. That move was in... More »

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