Tag Archives: attacks

How the Route 91 attacks will change the Rock '' n ' Roll Las Vegas Marathon

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Individuals run along the Las Vegas Strip throughout the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in Las Vegas on Sunday, Nov. 13, 2016. Chase Stevens/Las Vegas News Bureau

Mysterious sonic attacks on US diplomats appear to be right out of a spy book

By JOSH LEDERMAN, MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN and MATTHEW LEE
Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) – The shrieking, grinding noise jolted the American diplomat from his bed in a Havana hotel. He moved simply a few feet, and there was silence. He climbed back into bed. Inexplicably, the agonizing noise hit him again. It was as if he ‘d walked through some invisible wall cutting directly through his room.

Soon came the hearing loss, and the speech problems, signs both similar and altogether different from others among a minimum of 21 U.S. victims in an astonishing global mystery still unfolding in Cuba. The leading U.S. diplomat has actually called them “health attacks.” New details discovered by The Associated Press indicate a minimum of some of the occurrences were confined to specific rooms and even parts of rooms with laser-like uniqueness, complicated U.S. officials who say the facts and the physics don’t accumulate.

“None of this has a sensible explanation,” said Fulton Armstrong, a former CIA official who served in Havana long before America re-opened an embassy there. “It’s just mystery after secret after mystery.”

Suspicion at first focused on a sonic weapon, and on the Cubans. Yet the medical diagnosis of moderate brain injury, thought about not likely to arise from noise, has actually confused the FBI, the State Department and U.S. intelligence agencies involved in the investigation.

Some victims now have problems concentrating or remembering particular words, several officials stated, the most recent indications of more severe damage than the U.S. federal government initially understood. The United States first acknowledged the attacks in August – 9 months after symptoms were first reported.

It may appear the things of sci-fi books, of the cloak-and-dagger rivalries that have not completely dissipated regardless of the historical U.S.-Cuban rapprochement two years ago that appeared to bury the weight of the two nations’ Cold War enmity. But this is Cuba, the land of poisoned cigars, exploding seashells and covert subterfuge by Washington and Havana, where the unimaginable in espionage has typically been all too genuine.

The Trump administration still hasn’t recognized a perpetrator or a device to discuss the attacks, according to interviews with more than a lots present and previous U.S. officials, Cuban authorities and others briefed on the examination. A lot of weren’t authorized to go over the probe and demanded anonymity.

“The examination into all of this is still under way. It is an aggressive examination,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated Thursday. “We will continue doing this till we discover who or exactly what is accountable for this.”

In truth, nearly absolutely nothing about what decreased in Havana is clear. Private investigators have tested several theories about an intentional attack – by Cuba’s federal government, a rogue faction of its security forces, a third nation like Russia, or some combination thereof. Yet they’ve exposed the possibility an innovative espionage operation went terribly awry, or that some other, less dubious explanation is to blame.

Aside from their houses, officials said Americans were attacked in a minimum of one hotel, a reality not formerly divulged. An incident happened on an upper flooring of the just recently renovated Hotel Capri, a 60-year-old concrete tower actions from the Malecon, Havana’s iconic, waterside boardwalk.

The cases vary deeply: various signs, different recollections of exactly what occurred. That’s exactly what makes the puzzle so tough to split.

In numerous episodes recounted by U.S. authorities, victims knew it was taking place in real time, and there were strong signs of a sonic attack.

Some felt vibrations, and heard noises – loud ringing or a high-pitch chirping just like crickets or cicadas. Others heard the grinding noise. Some victims woke up with ringing in their ears and fumbled for their alarm clocks, only to find the ringing stopped when they moved far from their beds.

The attacks appeared to come in the evening. Several victims reported they was available in minute-long bursts.

Yet others heard absolutely nothing, felt absolutely nothing. Later, their symptoms came.

The scope keeps widening. On Tuesday, the State Department disclosed that doctors had validated another 2 cases, bringing the overall American victims to 21. Some have mild distressing brain injury, called a concussion, and others permanent hearing loss.

Even the possible intention is unclear. Private investigators are at a loss to describe why Canadians were hurt, too, consisting of some who reported nosebleeds. Fewer than 10 Canadian diplomatic homes in Cuba were affected, a Canadian authorities stated. Unlike the U.S., Canada has kept warm ties to Cuba for decades.

Noise and health professionals are equally baffled. Targeted, localized beams of sound are possible, however the laws of acoustics suggest such a device would most likely be large and not easily hidden. Officials stated it’s uncertain whether the gadget’s results were localized by design or due to some other technical aspect.

And no single, sonic device seems to explain such an odd, inconsistent variety of physical actions.

“Mental retardation and concussions, it’s not possible,” said Joseph Pompei, a former MIT scientist and psychoacoustics professional. “Somebody would have to submerge their head into a swimming pool lined with extremely powerful ultrasound transducers.”

Other symptoms have actually consisted of brain swelling, dizziness, queasiness, extreme headaches, balance problems and tinnitus, or extended ringing in the ears. Lots of victims have actually shown improvement given that leaving Cuba and some suffered just minor or temporary symptoms.

After the United States grumbled to Cuba’s federal government earlier this year and Canada spotted its own cases, the FBI and the Royal Canadian Mounted Cops traveled to Havana to investigate.

FBI investigators swept the rooms, trying to find devices. They discovered absolutely nothing, numerous authorities informed on the examination said.

In Might, Washington expelled two Cuban diplomats to oppose the communist federal government’s failure to secure Americans serving there. But the United States has actually taken pains not to implicate Havana of committing the attacks. It’s a sign detectives believe that even if aspects of Cuba’s security forces were included, it wasn’t always directed from the top.

Cuba’s government declined to answer specific questions about the incidents, indicating a previous Foreign Affairs Ministry declaration rejecting any participation, swearing full cooperation and saying it was dealing with the situation “with utmost significance.”

“Cuba has never ever, nor would it ever, allow that the Cuban territory be utilized for any action versus recognized diplomatic agents or their households, without exception,” the Cuban declaration said.

After half a century of estrangement, the U.S. and Cuba in 2015 restored diplomatic ties in between countries separated by a simple 90 miles of water. Embassies were re-opened and constraints on travel and commerce relieved. President Donald Trump has reversed a few of those modifications, but left others in place.

Mark Feierstein, who managed the Cuba detente on President Barack Obama’s National Security Council, kept in mind that Cuban authorities have actually been uncharacteristically cooperative with the examination.

If the Trump administration felt great Raul Castro’s government was to blame, it’s most likely the U.S. would have currently taken major punitive steps, like shuttering the newly re-established American Embassy. And the United States hasn’t stopped sending out new diplomats to Cuba even as the victim list grows.

“Had they thought the Cuban government was intentionally attacking American diplomats, that would have had a far more unfavorable effect,” Feierstein stated. “We have not seen that yet.”

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Weissenstein reported from Havana. Associated Press authors Bradley Klapper, Eric Tucker and Lauran Neergaard in Washington, Rob Gillies in Toronto and Jake Pearson in New York contributed.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights scheduled. This product may not be released, broadcast, rewritten or rearranged.

U.S. states 2 more Americans were affected by Cuba health attacks

Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017|3:42 p.m.

WASHINGTON– Two more Americans have actually been verified to be affected by unexplained health attacks versus U.S. diplomats in Cuba, the United States stated Tuesday, raising the overall variety of victims to 21.

The additional 2 people seem cases that were just recently reported however happened in the past. The State Department stated no new, clinically confirmed “occurrences” have actually occurred considering that the most current one in late August. Previously this month, the U.S. revealed there had been another incident in August after formerly stating the attacks had actually stopped.

It’s possible the number could grow even higher as more cases are found. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert stated the U.S. continues to assess American workers.

The U.S. residents were members of the American diplomatic community, the United States stated. Authorities have stated formerly that the events, considered “health attacks” by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, affected diplomats published to the Embassy in Havana along with member of the family who cope with them.

The United States didn’t state how severe the freshly revealed occurrences were. However the State Department stated it was supplying “the best possible medical assessment and care” throughout the experience, consisting of help from a medical officer on personnel at the embassy.

The union representing American diplomats has actually said mild terrible brain injury is among the medical diagnoses provided to some diplomats taken advantage of in the attacks. The American Foreign Service Association has actually said long-term hearing loss was another diagnosis, and additional signs had consisted of brain swelling, serious headaches, vertigo and “cognitive disturbance.”

The developing U.S. assessment showed investigators were still far from any extensive understanding of exactly what transpired in the attacks, which started in the fall of 2016. The United States has described them as unmatched.

As the bizarre legend has unfolded, the United States has actually encouraged its diplomats to report any unusual physical feelings. So it’s uncertain whether some symptoms being attributed to the attacks might really end up being unrelated.

Significantly, the United States has actually avoided accusing Cuba’s federal government of being behind the attacks. The U.S. did expel two Cuban diplomats, however the State Department highlighted that remained in protest of the Cubans’ failure to safeguard the security of American diplomats while on their soil, not a sign the United States felt that Havana masterminded it.

U.S. detectives have been searching to identify a gadget that might have hurt the health of the diplomats, thought to have actually been assaulted in their houses in Havana, however authorities have actually said no device had been discovered.

A look at major extremist attacks in West Africa

Sunday, June 18, 2017|4 p.m.

DAKAR, Senegal– A take a look at significant attacks in West Africa by Islamic extremists over the last few years:

MARCH 2016: An assault along the beach in Ivory Coast’s resort town Grand Bassam left at least 19 dead. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb declared obligation for the attack, determining the three aggressors as members of al-Mourabitoun and Sahara units.

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JANUARY 2016: Extremists assaulted a coffee shop near a hotel popular with foreigners in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, killing at least 30 individuals. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun claimed obligation for the attack.

___ NOVEMBER 2015: Jihadists attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, killing at least 20 people. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun declared duty for that attack, stating it was their first joint attack since al-Mourabitoun signed up with al-Qaida’s North Africa branch in 2015.

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MARCH 2015: An attack at La Terrasse dining establishment in Bamako, Mali killed five individuals including a French resident and a Belgian nationwide. Al Mourabitoun, or The Sentinels, a northern Mali jihadist group allied with al-Qaida, rapidly claimed obligation. It was the first of its kind in Bamako.

A look at major extremist attacks in West Africa

By The Associated Press

DAKAR, Senegal (AP)– A look at significant attacks in West Africa by Islamic extremists recently:

MARCH 2016: An attack along the beach in Ivory Coast’s resort town Grand Bassam left a minimum of 19 dead. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb declared responsibility for the attack, recognizing the 3 assailants as members of al-Mourabitoun and Sahara systems.

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JANUARY 2016: Extremists assaulted a cafe near a hotel popular with immigrants in Burkina Faso’s capital, Ouagadougou, eliminating at least 30 people. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun declared obligation for the attack.

___ NOVEMBER 2015: Jihadists attacked the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali’s capital, Bamako, killing at least 20 individuals. Al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb and al-Mourabitoun declared obligation for that attack, stating it was their first joint attack given that al-Mourabitoun joined al-Qaida’s North Africa branch in 2015.

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MARCH 2015: An attack at La Terrasse dining establishment in Bamako, Mali killed five people consisting of a French person and a Belgian national. Al Mourabitoun, or The Guards, a northern Mali jihadist group allied with al-Qaida, rapidly declared obligation. It was the first of its kind in Bamako.

Shark attacks, pro web surfer survives on live TV

JEFFREY’S BAY, South Africa– Australia’s triple champion Mick Fanning made it through a shark attack in Sunday’s final of the World Browse League’s J-Bay Open, combating the circling around predator with his fists prior to returning safely to coast.

Fanning was paddling out to ride his very first wave when the unknown species of shark surfaced beside him, knocking the 34-year-old off his board.

“I was just sitting there and I felt something simply get stuck in my leg rope, and I was kicking aiming to get it away,” Fanning, nicknamed ‘White Lightning,” told Fox Sports. “I punched him in the back”.

“I immediately just jumped away. It kept coming at my board and I was kicking and screaming. I just saw fins. I was waiting for the teeth.”

After the shark obviously swam away, the shaken three-time world champ headed in the direction of the beach and was gotten by a support craft.

The incident, which was relayed on live TELEVISION, led to the cancellation of the final against compatriot Julian Wilson.

“We are extremely grateful that nobody was seriously hurt today,” the World Surf League (WSL) stated in a statement.

“Mick’s composure and quick acting in the face of a terrifying circumstance was nothing short of heroic and the quick response of our water security personnel was commendable.

“The safety of our professional athletes is a top priority for the WSL and, after conversations with both finalists, we have decided to cancel the remainder of competitors at the J-Bay Open.”

South Africa’s waters are amongst the most shark-infested worldwide. A swimmer was killed by a Great White shark at Albatross Point near to Jeffrey’s Bay in 2013.

Hacker attacks betting sites, demands Bitcoin ransom

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Wayne Parry/ AP

This Jan. 31, 2014, photo reveals a video game of Texas Hold ‘Em under way on a computer system screen in Atlantic City.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015|8:22 p.m.

ATLANTIC CITY– A hacker closed down four New Jersey Web betting sites for half an hour recently and threatened more cyberattacks over the holiday weekend unless a ransom was paid using the online currency Bitcoin, authorities said Tuesday.

David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Pc gaming Enforcement Division, said Thursday’s attack was a so-called distributed rejection of service attack, where sites were flooded with info and demands for gain access to that rendered them inoperative.

“The attack was followed by the threat of a more effective and sustained attack to be started 24 Hr later on unless a Bitcoin ransom was paid,” Rebuck stated. “This follow-up attack had the prospective to not just adversely influence the targeted gambling establishments, however likewise all business in Atlantic City” that share the same Internet service provider.

No ransom was paid. Rebuck said due to a response by law enforcement and casino staff, “the risk was alleviated with no considerable interruption to service. All involved remain on heightened alert but are relieved that the holiday weekend has actually passed without event. “

Rebuck did not identify the sites that were affected nor the size of the ransom looked for. However he stated many regional and state law enforcement agencies are investigating.

Bitcoin is a virtual currency that, in addition to its genuine uses, likewise has shown popular with online wrongdoers.

No player cash was stolen and no personal info was jeopardized in the occurrence.

New Jersey began Internet betting in November 2013, and is among three states in the country that permit it, together with Nevada and Delaware.

It left to a slower than anticipated beginning right here but has shown indications of growth in current months. New Jersey casinos won $122 million from Web customers in 2014, its first full year of operation.