Photo: Yamil Lage / AFP / Getty Images

The State Department's diplomatic security assistant director told a Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee this morning that the safety of American diplomats in Cuba could not be guaranteed after a series of mysterious attacks.

Why it matters: This suggests that the State Department is no closer to knowing their method or culprit more than a year after the Havana attacks began. And that matters because the current guidance to diplomats stationed in Cuba is entirely reactive if an attack is suspected, as there is no known method to mitigate the attacks' effects without knowing their source.

What's been happening:

  • Dr. Charles Rosenfarb, the medical director for State's Bureau of Medical Services, described the damage from the attacks as "trauma from a non-natural source."
  • Those affected describe hearing a loud sound or feeling an auditory pressure, which has resulted in some victims having clinical damage "similar to what might be seen following a mild traumatic brain injury or a concussion."
  • The attacks were initially reported as coming from a "sonic weapon" but American officials stopped using that term last year. However, Brown told the subcommittee today that he "wouldn't rule out" that the attacks might have an acoustic component.

What's next: Francisco Palmieri, the acting assistant secretary for State's Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, said the department is in the process of convening an Accountability Review Board, which must investigate "any case of serious injury, loss of life, or significant destruction of property at, or related to, a United States Government mission abroad."

One more thing: With news of warming economic ties between Cuba and Russia, Palmieri said that any discussion of potential Russian involvement in the attacks would have to be discussed in a classified setting.

Go deeper

House Democrats unveil new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) Photo: Liz Lynch/Getty Images

Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Monday unveiled House Democrats' new $2.2 trillion coronavirus relief proposal.

Why it matters: Negotiations with the Trump administration have stalled since the House passed its $3 trillion HEROES Act in May. The pared-down bill, which is $200,000 smaller than Democrats' most recent proposal, is part of Pelosi's last-ditch effort to strike a deal with the White House.

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 33,238,168 — Total deaths: 999,667 — Total recoveries: 22,980,342Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 7 p.m. ET: 7,143,521 — Total deaths: 205,003 — Total recoveries: 2,766,304 — Total tests: 101,308,599Map.
  3. Business: Companies are still holding back earnings guidance.
  4. Health: Trump announces plan to distribute 150 million rapid tests —The childless vaccine.
  5. Media: Fauci: Some of what Fox News reports about COVID-19 is "outlandish"
  6. States: Cuomo extends New York moratorium on evictions until 2021.
  7. World: India the second country after U.S. to hit 6 million cases.

Ex-officer pleads not guilty to charges related to Breonna Taylor killing

Brett Hankison is charged with three counts of wanton endangerment. Photo: Courtesy by the Shelby County Sherrif's Department

The former Louisville police officer charged with three counts of wanton endangerment in connection with the raid that led to the fatal shooting of Breonna Taylor, an unarmed Black woman, pleaded "not guilty" on Monday, the Courier Journal reports.

The big picture: The announcement of charges against Brett Hankison, who was fired from the department in June, set off nationwide protests last week. None of the officers involved in the raid were indicted on homicide or manslaughter charges related to Taylor's death.