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HEAR NO EVIL

Did Cuban spies attack American diplomats with a secret sonic weapon?

IT SOUNDED like something out of Spy vs. Spy, the satirical Cold War comic strip featuring two black- and white-clad slapstick characters trying to destroy each other with bombs and booby traps. Last year, secret agents in Havana began bombarding American diplomats with a mysterious weapon that used sound waves to damage their hearing, among “other symptoms.” Or so the Trump administration indicated in August, months after it announced the expulsion of two low-ranking Cuban officials in retaliation for the alleged attack.

As critics began to ask why U.S. officials have yet to identify the victims or a motive, the State Department backed away from blaming Cuba for the assault. Meanwhile, scientists and intelligence analysts continue to question whether undetected sound waves could cause a sudden onset of hearing loss. “[Audiologists] are all scratching our heads about what the cause could be,” says Colleen Le Prell, a professor of hearing science and head of the doctoral audiology program at the University of Texas at Dallas. “None of us have a good explanation.”

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About Newsweek International

BLAME CLINTON? When Gennifer Flowers went public about her a air with then-Governor Bill Clinton, she called a press conference that devolved from farce to vaudeville. It became clear that the retaining wall between news and entertainment had collapsed.
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