Diplomacy

Expert Voices

For Mideast summit, U.S. withdrawal from the Iran deal still a flashpoint

High-level delegations from over 40 countries will meet in Warsaw, Poland, this week to discuss the future of the Middle East in the wake of the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Iran nuclear deal (JCPOA). For Washington, represented by Vice President Pence and Secretary Pompeo, the meeting will be a major test for their vision of a Middle East that excludes diplomatic relations with Iran.

State Dept. asks scientists to study mysterious illness scare in Cuba

Personnel gather outside the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2017 in the wake of mysterious health problems.
Personnel gather outside the U.S. Embassy in Cuba in 2017 in the wake of mysterious health problems. Photo: Sven Creutzmann/Mambo photo/Getty Images

The State Department has requested a new committee of scientists to investigate the unusual health effects experienced by dozens of U.S. diplomats and their relatives stationed in Cuba in the past two years, Yahoo News first reported Tuesday and Axios has confirmed.

Details: A department spokesperson told Axios the committee will look at "health monitoring, medical interventions, risk assessment and exposure mitigation for overseas locations that may present a higher risk of adverse health effects." Since late 2016, the U.S. has been wrestling to identify why at least 26 of its embassy workers in Cuba have suffered from dizziness, headaches and nausea associated with loud, painful sounds — with investigators pointing to a range of possible explanations that include sonic weapons, microwave attacks by Russia and even "mass hysteria."

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