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Mystery illness that struck US diplomats in China and Cuba ‘likely caused by surveillance’


Mystery illness prompts investigation near White House

U.S. intelligence agencies are trying to determine the cause of a mysterious illness that affected two White House officials on the National Security Council. CNN reports one incident happened the day after the presidential election as a staffer was passing through a gate on the White House grounds. The second official was near an entrance to the White House a few weeks later and had to seek immediate medical treatment. The cases are consistent with unexplained symptoms that have sickened 130 U.S. diplomats, spies and troops around the globe over the last five years in countries like Cuba, Russia and China. People have reported experiencing sudden vertigo, headaches, head pressure, and sometimes a piercing directional noise. Some have even reported chronic headaches and brain injuries. U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating whether a high-powered microwave system weapon is being used by a foreign country to make people ill.

This segment aired on 5 Live on May 17, 2021.

New details on illnesses of US diplomats in Cuba

The FBI and other U.S. agencies are now in Havana investigating why at least 10 American staff members and their families, who may have been targeted by a sonic device, started experiencing strange physical symptoms in 2016.

US: Cuba rejects US hypothesis for mysterious health attacks

(14 Sep 2018) As American authorities search for answers into mysterious health attacks that began two years ago in Havana, US and Cuban officials met Thursday to renew efforts to determine the method and motive behind incidents that have left some diplomats with brain injuries.
The talks at the State Department came as national security agencies and members of Congress express frustration about the lack of answers about what the US says were deliberate attacks on some two-dozen staffers at the US Embassy in the Cuban capital.
Recent reports have suggested investigators have narrowed their suspicions about the cause and culprit, although State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert denied that any conclusions had been drawn about either.
Cuba officials spoke at a news conference after their meeting with US officials evening to discuss developments.
Johanna Tablada, Deputy General Director for US Issues from the Cuban Ministry Foreign Affairs said that although they appreciate the spirit of cooperation exhibited by Federal Bureau of Investigation teams that travelled to Cuba six times to investigate, the Cuban government cannot accept US findings on the matter.
(The Cuban government is) unable to support a hypothesis of health attacks and brain damage suggested so far by the State Department as well as the explanation of the symptoms which, according to the Department of State, were reported, she stated.
Earlier, Cuba's Foreign Ministry said nine members of the scientific team it assembled to look into the incidents met with US lawmakers and the National Academy of Sciences before the talks.
The State Department and other officials have previously played down or denied reports that investigators have focused on a microwave device as the source of the attacks and that Russia is the leading suspect.
Those reports have raised protests from Cuba, which does not dispute the symptoms but insists there is no evidence to support any assertion that they were caused by premeditated attacks on its soil.
Cuba has repeatedly denounced the US accusations as politically motivated and unproven.
Twenty-five US Embassy workers in Cuba, as well as one at the US consulate in Guangzhou, China, have been affected by mysterious health incidents that began in the fall of 2016.
The range of symptoms and diagnoses includes mild traumatic brain injury, also known as concussion.
The last case from Havana was confirmed in June.

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How an Alleged Sonic Attack Shaped U.S. Policy on Cuba | Times Documentaries

In 2016, diplomats at the U.S. embassy in Havana were mysteriously stricken. Was it an attack? There is no official explanation for it, but it has played a big role in America’s current political disengagement with Cuba.

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World Health Organisation comment on China mystery illness

(28 Jul 2005)
1. Exterior World Health Organisation building
2. Wide shot of WHO Spokesman Bob Dietz
3. SOUNDBITE: (English) Bob Dietz, WHO Spokesman
No. It's not going bad, it's continuing. It's obviously too early to say that the situation is under control. But it's also too early to predict a curve, to say whether this is an accelerating curve or decelerating
curve or a curve that is falling off. What the situation bears is obviously close watching.
4. Cutaway to hands
5. SOUNDBITE: (English) Bob Dietz, WHO Spokesman
This isn't something you want to see get out of hand. But again, this doesn't appear to pose a great threat to international public health. Frankly it doesn't even pose a threat to the health of most of the other people in China. But clearly you want to get this under control as quickly as possible.
6. Wide shot of Dietz
The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Thursday that it was closely monitoring the outbreak in China of a pig-borne illness that has so far killed 24 people, and sickened scores more.
A total of 117 confirmed or suspected cases have been found since last month in Sichuan province, according to China's Health Ministry.
The symptoms caused include high fever, bleeding under the skin and poisoning-related shock.
The ministry has blamed the disease on streptococcus suis, a type of bacteria carried by pigs. So far, there has been no reported incident of the disease being transmitted from person to person.
But the outbreak prompted fears that it might be bird flu or a resurgence of severe acute respiratory syndrome, also known as SARS.
The SARS epidemic killed nearly 800 people worldwide before subsiding in July 2003.
Bob Dietz, the spokesman for WHO at its regional office in Manila, said that the situation had not worsened since initial reports of the disease emerged.

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'Havana Syndrome' - like mystery illness affects Vienna US diplomats | Sumit Rathi Sir

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Former diplomat to China explains the ‘weaponisation of COVID’ | 60 Minutes Australia

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‘Acoustic Attack’ In US Embassy In Cuba Blamed For Diplomats’ Hearing Loss | TODAY

U.S. diplomats in Havana are being sent home after apparently suffering hearing problems and other symptoms, and officials says it’s the result of a deliberate, covert attack. NBC national correspondent Peter Alexander reports on TODAY.
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‘Acoustic Attack’ In US Embassy In Cuba Blamed For Diplomats’ Hearing Loss | TODAY

“Havana Syndrome” sufferers push for inquiry into possible microwave-based attack | The World

In 2016, staff at the US embassy in Cuba began experiencing inexplicable neurological symptoms, with similar incidents occurring in several other countries, including Australia. As journalist Julia Ioffe reports, the mystery behind “Havana Syndrome” is yet to be explained.


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Mystery illness that struck US diplomats in China and Cuba ‘likely caused by surveillance’

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Doctors and scientists are still trying to determine what caused three dozen US diplomats in Cuba and China to suffer symptoms such as severe headaches, nausea and fatigue. The victims reported hearing high-pitched sounds in their hotel rooms or homes. Some suspect the sounds were attacks with unconventional weapons, but one US researcher says it was likely c probably caused by bugging or surveillance.

Mystery illness hits U.S. diplomat in China

A mystery illness has stricken a U.S. diplomat in China, describing similar symptoms diplomats in Cuba suffered. The U.S. Embassy in Beijing is not linking its cases to those in Havana and says the Chinese government is also investigating.

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Doctors can't rule anything out in hunt for cause of U.S. diplomats' mystery illness in Cuba

Doctors have given an update on a mysterious illness that started affecting Americans at the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2016. Doctors at the University of Miami said they can't rule anything out as to what caused the trauma to the inner ear. CBS News Radio executive editor and correspondent Steve Dorsey joined CBSN from Miami to discuss.

U.S. to expel 15 Cuban diplomats amid concerns over mystery illness

The State Department is expelling 15 Cuban diplomats from the country’s embassy in Washington, D.C. following the U.S. decision to slash its diplomatic staff in Havana in response to months of unexplained injuries to American personnel.

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Mysterious health attack targeting Canadian, U.S. diplomats in Cuba

Canadians are being told it is safe to travel to Cuba despite a mysterious health attack targeting U.S. and Canadian diplomats in Havana. Dozens have reported a strange illness with symptoms including hearing loss, vertigo, nausea and confusion.

What happens to U.S.-Cuba relations amid mysterious attacks on diplomats?

The State Department ordered all non-emergency embassy staff in Cuba to leave the island on Friday after 21 workers suffered mysterious ailments, including hearing loss, dizziness and headaches. Hari Sreenivasan speaks with Josh Lederman of the Associated Press and María de Los Angeles Torres of the University of Illinois to discuss the latest move and what is plaguing U.S. diplomats in Cuba.

US diplomats in Cuba had inner-ear damage early on

American diplomats affected by mysterious health incidents in Cuba showed damage in the inner ear shortly after they complained of weird noises and sensations, according to their earliest medical exams, publicized Wednesday. (Dec 12) -- The Associated Press

Experts suspect microwave weapons injured US Diplomats in Cuba

Scientists are saying the ailments could have been caused by microwave weapons. Listen in.

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Mystery illness affects another Canadian diplomat in Cuba

The future of Canada’s diplomatic presence in Cuba in question after another confirmed case of a mystery illness among embassy staff.

What we know of 'incident' at US Embassy in Cuba

The U.S. asked two Cuban diplomats to leave after U.S. officials in Havana reported incidents which have caused a variety of physical symptoms.

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