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Biden administration to give 6-figure compensation for 'Havana syndrome'

June 24 (UPI) -- The Biden administration unveiled plans Friday to provide U.S. diplomats and their family members who were victims of the so-called "Havana syndrome" more than $140,000 in financial support.

The State Department published a new rule providing guidelines for the payouts in compensation for the mysterious injuries.

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The mysterious attacks were first reported in August 2017 at the U.S. Embassy in Havana, Cuba. Officials have described them as sonic or acoustic in nature, with those affected reporting similar symptoms, including mild traumatic brain injury, permanent hearing loss, loss of balance, headaches and brain swelling.

U.S. State Department officials said employees reported hearing high-pitched noises in their hotel rooms or homes. U.S. officials accused Cuban diplomats of using an ultrasound energy device to launch an "acoustic attack" on Americans.

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The symptoms have since been reported among diplomats in multiple countries, including in Vietnam, causing Vice President Kamala Harris to delay her planned trip there in August 2021.

Military personnel working primarily overseas have also reported similar symptoms, prompting Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to warn employees to vacate the area if they start experiencing symptoms.

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Under the guidelines, those with a confirmed brain injury will receive $140,475, while those with injuries that prevent them from working or maintaining relationships may receive $187,300. Compensation will also be given to family members of the U.S. officials, including unmarried children under the age of 21, parents, dependent siblings and spouses.

A CIA report released in January found that the Havana syndrome injuries likely weren't caused by a foreign adversary, but could be attributed to environmental causes, undiagnosed medical conditions or stress.

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