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U.S. Officials Are Investigating If Russia Is Behind A Bizarre Attack That Left U.S. Diplomats In Cuba With Hearing Loss

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In a weird story that is coming to light, a group of American diplomats and at least one Canadian diplomat are reported to have suffered hearing loss stemming from a “covert sonic device” being deployed in various government buildings in Cuba, according to The Associated Press.

The incidents took place in 2016 with most of those impacted being new arrivals to the island after former President Barrack Obama started to thaw relations between the U.S. and Cuba. The symptoms were severe enough that some diplomats ended their time in Cuba early and returned to the U.S.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told The Associated Press that the U.S. retaliated against the Cuban government by expelling two diplomats from the Cuban embassy in Washington D.C.

“It can be quite serious,” an unnamed State Department official told CNN. “We have worked with the Cubans to try and find out what is going on. They insist they don’t know, but it has been very worrying and troublesome.”

The Cuban government has responded to the accusations by saying they are not aware of any such devices and have called the expulsion of the two Cuban diplomats in Washington D.C. unjustified.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reaffirms that Cuba complies rigorously and seriously with all its obligations arising from the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations in connection with the protection and inviolability of diplomatic agents and the premises of diplomatic missions,” reads a statement released from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba. “Our country’s impeccable track record in this area is recognized internationally and Cuba is universally considered as a safe destination for both visitors and foreign diplomats, including Americans.”

According to the AP, U.S. officials are currently looking into whether or not the attack was carried out by a third-party, such as Russia, who operated outside of the usual chain of commands in Cuba.

Update:

Speculation of a third-party’s involvement with the incident is reaching a peak as Cuban and Russian officials had a meeting August 10 following reports of the incident going public. A State Department spokesperson confirmed to the press that there is an active investigation into the incident so there is not a lot of information available at the moment. According to Miami Herald, State Department spokesperson Nauert told the press that they cannot confirm who is responsible for the bizarre attack.

“How can it have a similar impact on so many people if it wasn’t intentional,” an unnamed congressional aide told Miami Herald. “The other question is why are we just finding about this now.”

(H/T: The Associated Press)


READ: Trump Cited Human Rights For His Cuba Policy Reversal And Cuba Pointed Out The Millions Of Americans Losing Health Care

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No Pos Wow: Maduro Wants To Be Friends With Trump, Mariah Carey DGAF, And More

no pos wow

No Pos Wow: Maduro Wants To Be Friends With Trump, Mariah Carey DGAF, And More

Gage Skidmore / Flickr / @mariahcarey / Instagram

In today’s world, the news happens so fast that it’s nearly impossible to keep up with the latest, breaking developments. Here are five quick headlines to keep you updated on the stories that might have gotten lost in the shuffle this week.

Mexico’s fútbol federation and Atlas are standing behind Rafa Marquez.

Both the Mexican fúbol federation and the Atlas fúbol club have both issued statements supporting Marquez after being sanctioned by the United States government in connection with drug trafficking.

“We recognize and admire Rafael Marquez’s career,” reads a statement by the federation. “He just completed 20 years as an iconic figure of the Mexican national team and he has represented us in a great way in many international events, always showing a distinctive leadership and commitment. We are confident that Rafael Marquez will clarify these accusations and we will support him and the suitable authorities in order to accomplish that goal.”

Nike, on the other hand, has decided that it is time to review their connection to Marquez following the sanction.

“We are shocked by these deeply disturbing allegations and are reviewing the situation to determine next steps,” a Nike spokesperson told Forbes.

More: Mexico federation, Atlas back Rafa Marquez in drug trafficking case

President Trump’s tough rhetoric against Mexico helped start a defense relationship with Mexico and Brazil.

Bloomberg reported that since Trump has taken a hard stance against Mexico and favors a border wall, Mexico has taken its defense business to Brazil. Rather than working with the U.S. in importing defense equipment, Mexico is looking at Brazil to start a new partnership. There has already been a meeting in Brasilia, Brazil, between the Mexican Secretary of National Defense, General Salvador Cienfuegos, and Brazilian Minister of Defense, Raul Jungmann.

“The meetings we had in April were extremely positive,” Brazil Defense Products Secretary, Flavio Basilio, told Bloomberg. “This new proximity can be attributed to the U.S. developments, with American policy contributing to the search for new partners. We see this as a good opportunity.”

More: Mexico Wants to Team Up With Brazil on Defense Thanks to Trump’s Rhetoric

Mariah Carey’s ex-choreographer confirmed that she didn’t dance in that viral clip because she just didn’t want to.

Complex was able to get the scoop on Mariah Carey’s lackluster year of performances that all started during her New Years Eve performance in New York City. According to her former choreographer Anthony Burrell, Carey has just ran out of f*cks to give. The conversation comes after a viral video went around the Internet of Carey in a pink leotard being carried around the stage during a live performance, barely moving to the music. Tbh, we could already tell.

“It’s just typical Mariah,” Burrell told Complex. “Mariah is clear: when she doesn’t wanna do something, she doesn’t do it. She’s performing with lackluster and no f*cks given, and it’s taking away her star.”​

More: Mariah Carey’s Ex-Choreographer Explains Why She’s Fresh Out of F*cks to Give

A huge emerald was recently discovered in Brazil totaling $309 million.

Earlier this week, Forbes reported that a massive emerald cluster was unearthed in a mine in a region of Brazil known for producing great gems. According to Forbes, the emerald weighs almost 800 pounds and has already been bought by a private party. The owner of the gem is not releasing their identity for fear of their family’s safety. The cluster of emeralds is being moved from place to place to keep it secure. The gem cluster is estimated to cost $309 million dollars and is more than four feet tall. It is unclear if the owner plans to resell it or donate it to a museum.

More: $309 Million Emerald Weighing Nearly 800 Pounds Was Just Found in Brazil

Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro wants a meeting with President Trump to build a relationship between the two countries.

CREDIT: Jeso Carneiro / Gage Skidmore / Flickr

The Washington Post reports that Maduro recently told the newly assembled, and highly controversial, Constituent National Assembly that he wants to have a meeting with Trump to work on building a close relationship. According to The Washington Post, Maduro wants to have the same relationship with the U.S. as he has with Russia. The plea from Maduro comes after the U.S. announced that it will considering stricter sanctions on Venezuela following the humanitarian crisis gripping the country.

More: Venezuela’s Maduro: ‘Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand’


READ: No Pos Wow: Trump And Peña Nieto Back Together, New Parrot Discovered In Mexico, And More

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