For months, United States diplomats in Cuba have suffered an ongoing range of symptoms from a mysterious source, straining relations between the two governments. The latest diagnosis includes abnormalities to some of the diplomats’ white brain matter, which affects cognitive function, sensory and motor skills. However, this discovery only further divides scientists on the issue of what caused the patients’ symptoms.

Discovery of Damage to White Brain Matter

Since August 2016, American diplomats—and some Canadians—have experienced unusual health problems while stationed at the Cuban Embassy. The symptoms included nausea, dizziness, headaches, difficulty balancing, trouble concentration and recalling words, ringing in the ears, permanent hearing loss, and speech and vision problems. Patients have also been diagnosed with brain injuries such as swelling, concussion, and most recently damage to white brain matter.

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DA NANG, VIETNAM - NOVEMBER 11, 2017: US president Donald Trump (L) and Russia's president Vladimir Putin (C) talk after a meeting on the closing day of the 25th APEC Summit. (Mikhail KlimentyevTASS via Getty Images)

U.S. citizens working at the four U.S. embassies in Russia can rest easy: Although Putin ejected their American security team, they now have a new one. Or maybe not so easy: The new Russian security firm has KGB connections.

The Trump administration has awarded a no-bid contract to Moscow’s Elite Security Holding Company to replace security personnel that were fired in September 2017, when President Vladimir Putin ordered the expulsion of hundreds of US diplomatic and security personnel in retaliation for sanctions. This favor from Trump to Putin suggests all is forgiven.

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The State Department is conducting a tight-lipped investigation into unusual symptoms suffered by United States diplomats and their families stationed in Havana, Cuba. Beginning in late 2016, members of the U.S. embassy community began to suffer from various symptoms, which worsened until some patients were removed to the U.S. for medical treatment. Off the record, U.S. officials have reported and experts theorize about a sonic device that caused the symptoms. Meanwhile, the official investigation continues—to determine both the purpose of the device and who was responsible.

Strange Symptoms

According to an anonymous source for the New York Times, the American diplomats’ symptoms included headaches, dizziness and hearing loss. The affected employees, who were not at the same place at the same time, suffered from what seemed like concussions. As a result of this incident, the U.S. flew a minimum of six people to the University of Miami’s hospital in 2017 for diagnosis and treatment of their unusual illness. One of the people examined at the university hospital purportedly had a blood disorder. According to one U.S. official, at least some suffered permanent hearing loss.

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Climate scientists have been ringing alarm bells for decades begging us to keep the planet from warming another two degrees Celsius, after which point, change may become irreversible. Thanks to human enterprises that use fossil fuels—driving, flying, shipping, burning, manufacturing, etc—we’re already pumping so much carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere that the planet has been steadily warming to dangerous levels. In fact, CO2 comprises 82% of the greenhouse gases the U.S. produces.

Carbon Capture From the Air

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The Cuban government slammed President Donald Trump for his "hostile rhetoric" after he announced that his administration would reverse the Obama administration's efforts to normalize U.S.-Cuba relations. Cuba further accused the Trump administration of "hardening" the economic embargo based on the minority view of Cuban-Americans.

"The US President, ill-advised once again, takes decisions that favor the political interests of an extremist minority of Cuban origin in the state of Florida, who driven by petty motivation, do not desist from their objective to punish Cuba and its people for exercising the legitimate and sovereign right to be free and for having taken the reins of their own destiny," the statement read.

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[DIGEST: HuffPo, The New York Times, The Atlantic, CNN, The Sun]

The Obama administration’s efforts to loosen the U.S. trade embargo on Cuba last year may have unearthed an unexpected benefit: a vaccine for lung cancer.

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An investigative report published in Newsweek reveals that Donald Trump illegally conducted business in communist Cuba in a direct violation of a decades-long American embargo. The report suggests that the Republican presidential nominee knowingly circumvented the law. The goal of the trip, a former Trump executive says, was to give Trump’s company a “foothold” should Washington loosen––if not end––trade restrictions.

Internal company records and court filings show that the then-Trump Hotels & Casino Resorts Inc. spent at least $68,000 in 1998 for corporate expenditures in Cuba at a time when the U.S. government prohibited such expenditures without prior approval. The manner in which the money changed hands was also suspect. Executives funneled the money for the trip through the Seven Arrows Investment and Development Corporation, an American consulting firm. Under the firm’s instruction, senior officers linked these expenditures to a later charitable effort, to give the appearance of legality.

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