Washington, DC - President Barack Obama spoke today by phone with President Vladimir Putin of Russia to share his concern over the status of the Cessation of Hostilities in Syria between the Syrian regime and its allies on the one hand and the armed opposition on the other.  President Obama stressed the importance of pressing the Syrian regime to halt its offensive attacks against the opposition. 

Washington, DC - The United States Navy Memorial hosted the 25th annual Blessing of the Fleet ceremony at the Navy Memorial in Washington Saturday.

Matamoros, Mexico - In an important symbol of enduring friendship with Mexico, U.S. Charge d’Affaires to Mexico William Duncan, U.S. Consul General in Matamoros Angela Kerwin, and local officials broke ground today on the new U.S. Consulate General in Matamoros.

Washington, DC - Secretary of State John Kerry: "Teresa and I join the people of the United States in expressing our deepest condolences for the tragic loss of life resulting from the earthquake today in Ecuador.

Dallas, Texas - American Heart Association CEO Nancy Brown issued the following comments today on the bold steps by Mars Food to reduce sodium in their products by 20% by 2021:

Rochester, Minnesota - An international group of vaccine researchers is proposing a comprehensive research plan to tackle the risks of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, now confirmed to cause birth defects. Dr. Gregory Poland, head of Mayo Clinic’s Vaccine Research Group and Editor in Chief of the journal Vaccine, has published an editorial with Ricardo Palacios and Jorge Kalil, both of the Butantan Institute, the largest biologics research center in Brazil.