Illness similar to ‘Havana Syndrome’ affects US diplomats in Vienna

The US Government is investigating a series of incidents in Vienna, Austria, involving its diplomats and other administrative officials.

Since Joe Biden took over the US presidency in January, more than 20 officials have reported symptoms similar to “Havana Syndrome,” a mysterious brain disease that affected US diplomats in Cuba and China in 2016 and 2017.

The most recent cases, recorded in the Austrian capital, Vienna, were released last Friday by the “New Yorker” magazine and later confirmed by the US State Department, which said it was “vigorously investigating”.

Vienna has long been a hub of diplomatic activity and has a reputation for being a hub of espionage, particularly during the Cold War. The city is currently hosting indirect negotiations between Iran and the US to try to “resurrect” the 2015 nuclear deal.

Cases of the disease have been reported in other parts of the world, but US authorities say the numbers in Vienna are bigger than in any other city besides Havana.

Victims of Havana Syndrome have reported a varied array of symptoms and physical sensations, including sudden dizziness, nausea, pressure and headaches, sometimes accompanied by “pervasive directional noise.” In some cases, they even reported being able to “enter” and “exit” these sensations by physically moving the body.

Some have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injuries and continue to suffer from debilitating headaches and other health problems.

In a statement, the Austrian Foreign Ministry said it was “working together with the US authorities” to unravel the mystery.

Between November 2016 and August 2017, US and Canadian diplomats complained of a variety of symptoms, ranging from dizziness, loss of balance, hearing loss and anxiety to something they described as “cognitive fog”.

The syndrome has no explanation, but US scientists believe it is likely caused by targeted microwave radiation.

The US accused Cuba of carrying out “sonic attacks”. The country flatly denied it, but the incident increased tension between the two nations.

A 2019 study found “brain abnormalities” in diplomats who fell ill, but Cuba rejected the report.

In June of this year, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced a comprehensive review of the causes of the disease.


Storm in Austria: small town Hallein sinks into the floods – BILD

  1. Storm in Austria: the small town of Hallein sinks into the floodsPICTURE
  2. Two people saved from floods at the last – news and headlines
  3. See “More on Topic” in Google News


Aid promised – Kurz & Kogler: Flood aid from disaster fund

“The pictures from parts of Austria and especially from Hallein or the Tiroler Unterland make you shocked and shocked. As the federal government, we will do everything in our power to help those affected”, Kurz said in a statement to the APA.

“The funds required for this will come from the finance ministry’s disaster fund, we have already assured the federal states of this. I would like to thank the emergency services and all volunteers for their commitment to our fellow citizens,” said Kurz.

“Extreme storms have been raging in many regions of Austria for hours. I wish all people in the crisis areas, those affected and the emergency services, a lot of strength and take care of yourself and each other. A special thanks to the emergency services, the many volunteers, who are now worse and provide the most necessary help. The storms have already caused great damage and we as the federal government will work together with the federal states to support the affected communities and damaged households in rebuilding, “emphasized Kogler.


Flights are so expensive now compared to 2019

With the Corona crisis came the crisis for the aviation industry. But now many trips are possible again and the situation is easing. Nevertheless, flights in Europe in particular are more expensive than they were in 2019.

Despite the Germans’ desire to travel Corona-pandemic apparently not past – but you have to dig deeper into your pocket for that. The flight prices for the ten most frequently booked destinations are currently 29 percent higher than in the same period of 2019 as the comparison portal Check24 communicated.

The prices for return flights rose the most Spain. They are currently 34 percent more expensive than before the corona pandemic.

Book flights for late summer and autumn soon

“The increasing demand is driving flight prices up,” said Sebastian Sager, Managing Director Flights at Check24. In May, the average price level was 16 percent higher than before the Corona crisis.

“Anyone planning a vacation for late summer or autumn should take care of the flights soon before prices rise further or the preferred connection is fully booked,” advised Sager. The airlines had planned more cautiously due to Corona, so there was generally less capacity available.

Turkey and Greece are particularly popular

The demand for flights to Turkey and to Greece rose the most, according to Check24. The holiday destination Turkey was recently booked more than twice as often as in the same period of 2019. In terms of price, the flights to both countries are currently eight percent higher than in the same period of 2019. For the popular holiday destination Italy, the portal found 16 percent higher flight prices, for Croatia 13 percent . For the neighboring countries of the Netherlands and Austria, the portal even stated a price increase of 106 and 86 percent, respectively.

The database was all flight bookings via Check24 in June for departures between July 1 and September 30, 2019 and 2021.


Storm Eifel: Angela Merkel visits flood victims

Panorama Disaster

Merkel visits flood victims – storms in Bavaria and Saxony

Many helping hands from all over the country come to lend a hand

The water goes out, the clean-up begins. Many volunteers help out wherever they can. The Bundeswehr, the police and the THW are also sometimes with heavy equipment to help the people affected.

The massive rains do not stop: On Saturday evening heavy storms hit parts of Bavaria, Saxon Switzerland and Austria. Chancellor Merkel wants to get an idea of ​​the devastating flood situation in the Eifel.

Unwetter had left a swath of devastation in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate – more than 150 people died from the floods. With new storms in the south and east of Germany, the district of Berchtesgadener Land in Upper Bavaria declared a disaster late on Saturday evening. Huge amounts of rain also fell in Saxon Switzerland. Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to visit the hardest hit areas in the Eifel on Sunday.

Read all developments in the live ticker here

Merkel will be in the Community guilt, which was hit particularly hard by the storm disaster, to get a picture of the situation, said the State Chancellery in Mainz. Afterwards (2.30 p.m.) a press statement is planned in Adenau – together with Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) and other Rhineland-Palatinate ministers.

After the devastating water has gradually withdrawn from many flood areas in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate, the search for fatalities and injuries continues in the rubble.

also read

Guilt / Eifel after the flood

Huge rainfall caused heavy flooding in parts of Saxony on Saturday. In the Saxon Switzerland several locations of cities and municipalities were no longer accessible. Neustadt, Sebnitz, Bad Schandau, Reinhardtsdorf-Schöna and Gohrisch are particularly affected, the district office informed in the evening. The railway line between Bad Schandau and the Czech Decin was closed.

Read here what the situation is like in North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony and Bavaria

“The situation is tense, but manageable,” said the situation center of the Ministry of the Interior in Dresden at the request of the German Press Agency.

Storm in Saxony

Extreme rainfall has led to flooding in Saxon Switzerland

Source: dpa / Robert Michael

Federal Finance Minister Olaf Scholz meanwhile promised emergency aid in the hundreds of millions. “It takes a national show of strength,” said the SPD politician of “Bild am Sonntag”. On Wednesday in the cabinet he wanted to put two things on the table. “Firstly, an emergency aid, with the last flood, well over 300 million euros were necessary for this. So much is needed now, ”explained Scholz.

“Second, we have to lay the foundations for a building program so that the destroyed houses, roads and bridges can be repaired quickly. As we know from the previous catastrophe, it is billions of euros. “

also read

Heavy rainfalls in Bad Neuenahr-Ahrweiler

NRW Prime Minister Armin Laschet (CDU), who visited the disaster area in Erftstadt with Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier on Saturday, promised direct aid for the people affected and said that “money would be paid out very unbureaucratically”.

Seehofer has announced a visit

Steinmeier had called for solidarity and donations for the victims. “The willingness to support has to continue, both large and small,” he said. Federal Interior Minister Horst Seehofer has announced that he will be in North Rhine-Westphalia and Rhineland-Palatinate for Monday.


Austria wants to clarify “Havana Syndrome” with US diplomats

The Austrian Federal Ministry for European and International Affairs at Minoritenplatz in Vienna
Bild: Picture-Alliance

The Austrian Foreign Ministry assures Washington that it will support it to investigate the increasing number of cases of illness among US diplomats in Vienna. As had previously been the case with embassy staff at other locations, they complained of headaches and nausea.

ÖAustria pledges to help the United States solve the mysterious illnesses of American diplomats. According to media reports, the complaints known as “Havana Syndrome” such as headaches and nausea of ​​unknown cause had recently accumulated among American diplomats in Vienna. “We take these reports very seriously and, in accordance with our role as host state, are working with the US authorities on a joint investigation,” said the Austrian Foreign Ministry.

As reported by the AP news agency, the American government is currently investigating about 20 cases. In addition to health experts from the American State Department, the Department of Defense and the CIA are also involved. “Together with other government departments, we are investigating reports of possible unexplained health incidents in the US embassy in Vienna,” said the State Department in an initial statement. The victims were treated “promptly and appropriately”. First, New Yorker magazine reported on the cases. The first reports about this should have been given shortly after Joe Biden took office.

Since the syndrome first appeared in the Cuban capital Havana in 2016, dozens of diplomats around the world have complained about it, including in China. In the Cuban capital, more than 20 embassy employees had suffered from mysterious ear problems since November 2016. Some of those affected had permanently lost their hearing. Other symptoms were tinnitus, headache, dizziness and insomnia. The United States has raised suspicions that those affected were attacked using radio frequencies.


Two girls (4, 6) fell out of the window on the 3rd floor – Vorarlberg

Rescue mission in Vorarlberg! Two little girls were waiting for their papa by the window. Suddenly the wooden slats gave way and they fell out.

A mother and her two 4 and 6 year old daughters were on Friday around 8 p.m. in their apartment in Schlins on the 3rd floor. The mother was busy cleaning up. The two girls were on the couch in the living room in front of the open window.

In front of the window, two wooden slats were screwed into the window frame to protect the children from falling. However, the screws only protruded eight to ten millimeters into the window frame. The two girls leaned against the wooden slats and waited for their father to come home.

“Army of Guardian Angels”

However, the two girls must have leaned too far over the two slats, whereupon they came loose. Both girls fell from a height of 7.6 meters on the gravel floor below. The two girls were brought to the LKH-Feldkirch with the emergency doctor.

According to the police, both girls were accompanied by an “army of guardian angels” when they fell, since, according to initial information from the hospital, one of the girls “only” had a broken thigh and the second girl only suffered from bruises.

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Thunderstorms and heavy rain expected in Austria this weekend – Austria

Gloomy weather outlook for the weekend in Austria.

The weather forecast for the coming weekend is bleak. After the storms in Germany, heavy rain showers are also expected in Austria.

The experts from the Central Institute for Meterology and Geodynamics (ZAMG) have forecast gloomy weather prospects for the coming weekend. After the heavy storms in Germany, heavy rain showers were also announced for Austria, thunderstorms with heavy rain, which can come like a shower, are the rule. There is hardly any loosening up.

Weather on Saturday inconsistent: Partly heavy rain

On Saturday, the weather-determining low pressure area lies over the Adriatic, making it unstable in the entire Eastern Alps. It rains sometimes heavily, often intensified like a shower and accompanied by lightning and thunder. Noteworthy sunny breaks are the exception, there are longer dry phases in the morning due to the foehn from East Tyrol to Central Carinthia. Away from the foehn areas, there is usually moderate wind blowing from the north. In the morning the temperature is between 13 and 20 degrees, by the afternoon it rises to 20 to 26 degrees, depending on the rain and sunshine. But it’s also humid.

Secondly sunny phases on Sunday, but mostly inconsistent

The influence of low pressure also ensures inconsistent weather on Sundays. There are occasional sunny phases, but that only gives more energy for clouding and subsequent rain showers and thunderstorms. The greatest amounts of rain come together along the north side of the Alps from the Tyrolean lowlands to the southern Mostviertel. The wind blows moderate to brisk from west to north. In the morning it is 14 to 20 degrees, the afternoon temperature is between 20 and 28 degrees, and it is warmest in the east. Only on Monday does the weather stabilize and temperatures go up to 28, 29 degrees again.

In Germany, too, there has been another warning from the German Weather Service (DWD) that heavy rain in southeast Bavaria on the weekend cannot rule out flooding, the dpa reported. Floods and floods are expected from Sunday morning, especially on the Danube in the Passau area, the flood news service announced on Friday. It is not ruled out that built-up properties or cellars will also be flooded, said a spokeswoman. “But this trend is still fraught with uncertainty.”

Floods due to heavy rain on Sunday possible

Because of the announced heavy rain, floods can also occur on the Salzach and Inn on Sunday. The DWD expects rain amounts of up to 100 liters per square meter, especially in the eastern Alpine region, by Sunday evening, and in congested locations it is “probably” possible to even 150 liters per square meter. The DWD also expects heavy rain further west in the Allgäu and on the Isar: According to this, 60 to 70 liters per square meter are possible there.

The effects of the storms in Germany are also possible in Austria, said Florian Rudolf-Miklau from the torrent and avalanche control department of the Ministry of the Environment in the “Ö1-Mittagsjournal”. Since the precipitation in this country encounters an alpine topography and this can also lead to landslides, “the consequences can be similar and in the alpine area quite dramatic”. Much has been done to protect it in recent years and decades, there is a dense network of dam structures and restraint barriers that keep the water masses away, which carry dangerous debris and wood with it, he said.


German super-rich under new supervision at CS

Credit Suisse’s private banking with the richest German and Austrian private customers comes under new management. The boss knows the clientele up close.

Andreas Berger took over the position of Head of UHNWI Germany & Austria in Zurich at the beginning of the week at Credit Suisse (CS), according to an email from the big bank. Berger is on Mischa Tschopp, Head of Germany & Austria in the International Asset Management Division (IWM) report and also take a seat in the management of the market region.

Tschopp himself only took up the position last year and is now obviously ordering his house.

Partner bei Multi-Family-Office

Berger knows the super-rich clientele very well, most recently as a partner in the Swiss multi-family office Nahmani Grunder. Before that, he held various management positions at CS archrival UBS for almost 20 years, most recently as head of the UHNWI segment for clients from Israel, Turkey and Africa.

CS said goodbye to private banking in Germany in 2013 when the institute sold this business to the German Bethmann Bank. Since then, however, the institute has concentrated on super-rich German customers with more than 50 million euros in assets with a good dozen customer advisors on site and is pursuing a decided growth path. However, these funds are posted in Zurich.

There is a threat of inflation. But is it also coming?

  • Yes, it will be felt globally in the next few months.

  • No, not before 2023.

  • USA only.

  • Yes, but not in Switzerland.

  • The central banks will keep them in check.


Mozilla VPN now available in Switzerland and Austria

The paid Mozilla VPN can also be used in Switzerland and Austria since Tuesday.

the essentials in brief

  • Mozilla’s VPN service has also been available in Switzerland and Austria since Tuesday.
  • For the VPN from Firefox developers, users have to dig deep into their pockets.

To be able to surf the Internet undetected, a virtual private network (VPN) is a good solution. With a VPN connection, the identity is hidden on the Internet, as the connection runs through a specially designed server.

Since Tuesday, Mozilla VPN can also be used for this service in Switzerland and Austria. Unlike some alternatives, the Firefox developer service is chargeable. The Mozilla VPN has been available in Germany and France since April.

The VPN service is backed by several hundred Mullvad servers in over 30 countries. The Mozilla service costs CHF 10.99 per month. The price drops with a longer term – with an annual subscription, for example, the service costs 5.99 francs.

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