Senior CIA agent heads Havana Syndrome probe after 200+ cases. Police thwart incel plot to kill “3000”. China rejects WHO request for new COVID origin probe.
Over 200 cases of Havana Syndrome reported
More than 200 Americans working for the CIA, Pentagon, State Department on every continent but Antarctica have reported Havana Syndrome symptoms. The symptoms vary widely, but include dizziness, disorientation, headaches and brain fog, among others. Some studies have reported long term brain damage among victims, but these results are hotly disputed in the scientific community.
Victims’ descriptions of the attacks vary but have some broad similarities. Many report sudden sensations of pressure in the brain, piercing “directional noise”, and overpowering nausea. Some have reported being able to step in or out of the attack, implying a tight directed beam of some sort of energy. A few have said that they were able to escape the attack by hiding behind physical barriers.
One dramatic report comes from a US military officer in an Asian capital. This officer alleges that he was driving his vehicle with his young son strapped in a car seat behind him. When he pulled up to a stop light, he experienced sudden cranial pressure and nausea. Simultaneously, his son started screaming. The officer says he hit the gas and the sensation immediately subsided and his son stopped screaming.
This echoes a report from a White House staffer who was walking her dog in a D.C. suburb. She claims that as she approached a parked van, her dog first began writhing in pain before she herself was hit with piercing directional noise that left her stumbling.
What’s causing them?
US intelligence believes that the attacks are the result of a small, difficult-to-detect direction microwave weapon. Some scientific studies have arrived at the same conclusion, but again these findings are in dispute. US officials believe Russia to be the most likely culprit. However, the intelligence community admits that it currently has no evidence to support any of these theories.
Some scientists are skeptical and propose that the Havana Syndrome phenomenon may be an instance of mass hysteria. Nevertheless, US authorities are investigating the matter seriously. Media outlets report that a 10-year CIA veteran, who was instrumental in the hunt for Osama bin Laden, is leading the investigation. The operative is still undercover and his or her identity is unknown.
Police thwart incel’s plot to kill “3000” people
Police in Ohio have arrested Tres Genco, a 21-year-old self-described “incel”, who was plotting a mass shooting at an unnamed Ohio university. The term “incel”, or “involuntary celibate”, describes a (usually) young man who believes that women owe him sexual gratification or romantic attention. Incel communities and forums have flourished online in recent years. Some are willing to take violent vengeance on women who have rejected them, or just women in general.
Genco belonged to several such communities, and like many incels, revered mass shooter Elliot Rodger as a hero. In May 2014, Rodger killed six people and injured 14 others after uploading a video to social media bemoaning his many rejections by beautiful women.
Plotting for months
According to the Justice Department, Genco had been planning to shoot up a sorority for months. While it’s not known which university Genco had targeted, his home in Hillsboro, OH, is in close driving range to both Cincinnati and Columbus, both of which have large university campuses. Genco had written a manifesto in which he proclaimed his intent to “slaughter” women “out of hatred, jealousy and revenge” and called death the “great equalizer”. Investigators found other writings of Genco’ which indicated his desire to “aim big” and kill at least 3,000 people.
Authorities found a huge weapons stash in Genco’s home and vehicle. The haul included an illegal machine gun, an untraceable 9mm handgun, several loaded magazines, boxes of ammunition and body armor.
Genco faces one charge for possessing the illegal machine gun, which carries a maximum 10-year sentence. Another charge of plotting a hate crime could jail him for life.
China rejects WHO request for new COVID origin probe
World Health Organization head Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus has recently made headlines for saying COVID experts were “premature” in ruling out the Wuhan lab-leak theory. Tedros has since called on Beijing to cooperate more fully with a new investigation into COVID’s origins. Specifically, he wanted China to grant WHO inspectors access to its biolabs and other sensitive facilities. Tedros called on Beijing to “be transparent, to be open and co-operate”.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, China has flatly rejected this request. Deputy Health Minister Zeng Yixin said the request showed “disrespect for common sense and arrogance towards science”. Zeng said it was “impossible” for China to agree to Tedros’ terms and instead asked the WHO to follow China’s proposed lines of inquiry.
It’s unclear whether Zeng was referring to theories promoted in Chinese state media, including one that proposes COVID came to China in frozen seafood shipments from abroad. International scientists have dismissed this theory outright.
Lab-leak proponent backpedals
Back in May, a group of scientists co-authored a paper proposing that the lab-leak theory should be taken more seriously. But one of those scientists is now backing away from that hypothesis thanks to newly available data. Dr. Michael Worobey now says that plotting of the earliest COVID cases indicates a Wuhan seafood market is the most likely origin. However, Worobey reserves the right to change his mind again as more data becomes available, because “that’s how science works”.
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