Jan 6, 2019

Scientists say sounds in Cuban "sonic attacks" were likely crickets

The U.S. Embassy in Cuba. Photo: Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images

A new scientific analysis suggests that strange noises heard by U.S. diplomats in Cuba who suffered brain trauma and other injuries were made by crickets, according to the New York Times.

Background: The Associated Press released a recording of the sounds in 2017 when officials believed the diplomats may have been targeted by "sonic attacks," which scientists now say resembles the mating call of the Indies short-tailed cricket. While sound may not have caused the incident, doctors have said the symptoms experienced "cannot be faked," leading some researchers to hypothesize that a microwave weapon was actually used in the incidents.

Go deeper: U.S. diplomats in Cuba suffered brain injuries after sonic attack

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America's funeral homes buckle under the coronavirus

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Morgues, funeral homes and cemeteries in hot spots across America cannot keep up with the staggering death toll of the coronavirus pandemic.

Why it matters: The U.S. has seen more than 10,000 deaths from the virus, and at least tens of thousands more lives are projected to be lost. The numbers are creating unprecedented bottlenecks in the funeral industry — and social distancing is changing the way the families say goodbye to their loved ones.

Navarro memos warning of mass coronavirus death circulated in January

Image from a memo to President Trump

In late January, President Trump's economic adviser Peter Navarro warned his White House colleagues the novel coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion, according to memos obtained by Axios.

The state of play: By late February, Navarro was even more alarmed, and he warned his colleagues, in another memo, that up to two million Americans could die of the virus.

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Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index: The virus hits home

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The share of Americans who know someone who's tested positive has more than tripled in just a few weeks, to 14%, according to the latest installment of our Axios-Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

  • It's still highest in the Northeast, but last week alone it doubled in the South — and it's becoming most pronounced among people who still must leave home to work.
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