US Evacuates a Number of People from China After Mystery Symptoms
The United States says it has sent "a number" of people back home after conducting medical screenings of diplomats and families in Guangzhou, China in response to mystery symptoms suffered by a U.S. government employee.
The State Department issued a health warning last month after the employee reported experiencing "subtle and vague, but abnormal, sensations of sound and pressure" and was diagnosed with a mild traumatic brain injury.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo described it as a "serious medical incident.''
Spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement late Wednesday saying the department had sent a medical team to Guangzhou to screen all employees and family members who requested it, resulting in an undisclosed number of people being sent to the United States for further evaluation.
Last year in Cuba, the United States reported that some of its personnel and family members experience a range of symptoms, often after hearing an unusual sound, but the cause is still unknown.
US Law Enforcement Sets Sights on Authority over Nonmilitary Drones
The proliferation of nonmilitary drones in the United States poses a growing national security threat, top U.S. security and aviation officials warned on Wednesday as they pressed Congress to pass legislation that would allow agents to target and potentially take down suspicious drones.
While the recreational and commercial use of drones has skyrocketed in recent years -- there are now more than 1 million unmanned aircraft in the U.S. -- criminals and terrorist increasingly use the technology for nefarious purposes, according to officials from the FBI, U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Federal Aviation Administration who testified before the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.
In recent years, Islamic State and other terrorist groups have used cheap commercial drones to conduct reconnaissance and launch attacks. Officials said criminal gangs have used unmanned aircraft to traffic drugs across the U.S.-Mexico border and fly contraband into prisons.
But law enforcement agencies lack the legal authority to target drones even if they're involved in criminal activity. That is because drones are currently designated as aircraft for the purposes of federal law. Current U.S. laws make it a crime to damage or destroy an aircraft or otherwise interfere with its operations.
The U.S. departments of Defense and Energy already have the authority to target suspicious drones that fly over military and nuclear facilities. The proposed legislation would extend that authority to the departments of Justice and Homeland Security.