U.S. and Cuban diplomatic officials met in Washington Monday, fueling more talk of thawing relations.
It was the second meeting between a top State department official and Cuba's chief diplomat here in Washington since President Obama took office.
There was no hard agenda, just an effort to overcome decades of hard feelings.
(CNN) — The number of suspected and confirmed swine flu cases rose around the world early Tuesday, as health officials announced new measures to contain the outbreak. By early Tuesday, the swine flu outbreak in Mexico was suspected in 152 deaths and more than 1,600 illnesses, its health minister told reporters.
So far, at least 90 cases have been confirmed worldwide, including 50 in the United States, 26 in Mexico (including seven deaths), six in Canada, three in New Zealand, two each in Spain and the United Kingdom, and one in Israel.
With at least 11 other countries suspecting infections, the World Health Organization has raised its alert level from three to four on its six-level scale.
The following is a sample of what some countries are doing to combat the virus:
Cases: Six mild cases
– Issued a travel health notice, saying its public health agency was “tracking clusters of severe respiratory illness with deaths in Mexico.”
– Banned pork imports from Mexico, and from California, Kansas and Texas in the United States.
– Indian health officials advised citizens to postpone their non-essential travel to the swine flu-hit regions.
– Stepped up surveillance at ports and airports.
– States asked to review their preparedness.
– Increased surveillance; testing the temperatures of travelers flying into the country.
Cases: One man who recently returned from Mexico has tested positive for swine flu, and is recovering at a hospital. Doctors are running tests on a second man who also traveled to Mexico.
– The Health Ministry has not issued special instructions to the public, nor adopted measures for monitoring those returning from Mexico.
– The country is calling the outbreak “Mexico flu” so that citizens do not have to pronounce the name of an animal considered impure in Judaism and Islam.
Here are some of the stories that will be making news later today:
Bank of America will be the target of protests at hundreds of branches across the country today. The demonstrations coincide with the bank's annual shareholders meeting. Taxpayers are now the largest holders of Bank of America's stock.
At 1pm ET, a Senate subcommittee holds an emergency hearing on the public health response to the "swine flu" outbreak. Officials from the Centers for Disease Control and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases are expected to testify.
In the midst of the swine flu outbreak, Congress is moving quickly to fill a vacant slot at the Department for Health and Human Services.
Today the Senate is set to approve Kathleen Sebelius as the agency's leader. Her confirmation has been held up in Congress.
We are on the front lines of the fight to stem the spread of swine flu. The outbreak is possibly entering a dangerous new phase this morning – with suspected cases in the U.S. and Mexico nearly doubling. The World Health Organization has raised its pandemic level to four… saying level six – an all-out pandemic is not inevitable. Health officials now say there are 82 confirmed cases worldwide. Mexico, the center of the fight against the virus now suspects swine flu in 149 deaths. Two-thousand people are believed to be infected. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed 40 cases here at home, after further testing at a New York Catholic High School revealed that 28 students have been infected. The median age of the victims – just 16. The White House is now scrambling to get ahead of the outbreak.
President Obama calling it cause for “concern,” not “alarm.” Today, Dr. Sanjay Gupta gets exclusive access inside a Mexico City hospital where patients are isolated with swine flu. Nurses walked out in protest saying they are not being given enough protection from the disease.
We are also talking to a family under voluntary isolation because of the swine flu virus. The Henshaw family is under isolation after son Hayden was diagnosed. Now father Patrick and daughter Hannah say they have also been diagnosed with the strain.
The former head of the Food and Drug Administration, Dr. David Kessler will talk about the safety of our food supply. Some countries have now banned pork products. Should we? Dr. Kessler is also the author of the book "The End of Overeating.”
Another big story on the agenda today: The first 100 days. President Obama’s promise of change. The swift and bold actions he took to make good on that promise and whether you’re better off than you were 100 days ago.