The State Department plans to send Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the controversial ground zero mosque, to the Middle East as part of a public diplomacy mission to explain how Islam is perceived in America. Critics are complaining the imam is too 'radical' to represent the US.
Kenya's churches are opposing a draft Kenyan Constitution they see as encouraging abortion. Three US lawmakers – targeting the abortion issue – have also sent a letter to the State Department questioning US support of the constitution process in Kenya.
But renewed dialogue with the Castro government is likely to start and end with that one issue.
But critics say the US should go slowly on a deal that would help a crucial trading partner for Iran.