The Los Angeles Times: "Federal officials declared a public health emergency Sunday as eight cases of swine flu were identified in New York and one was announced in Ohio, bringing the U.S. total of confirmed cases to 20. In a briefing at the White House, the acting head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Richard Besser, warned Americans to prepare for a widespread outbreak, yet urged the public to remain calm."
"We have an outbreak of a new infectious disease that we are approaching very aggressively," Besser said, per USA Today.
The Washington Post adds, "In Mexico where the infection is suspected of causing as many as 103 deaths and more than 1,600 illnesses, Masses were canceled and a high-profile soccer game was played before an empty stadium as officials urged the public to take precautions."
"Diplomats from the world's biggest greenhouse gas polluters including the United States, China and India are set to take part in a forum on Monday at the U.S. State Department aimed at getting a U.N. agreement to curb global warming. The two-day meeting of so-called major economies is meant to jump-start climate talks in advance of a December deadline, when the international community meets in Copenhagen to find a follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol, which limits climate-warming greenhouse emissions and expires in 2012. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is scheduled to make opening remarks."
As for the ongoing torture story… "In appearances on Sunday morning talk shows, Obama advisers sought to portray the president as constitutionally removed from the question of whether anyone should be prosecuted for breaking the law," the Washington Post says. "'The president doesn't open or close the door on criminal prosecutions of anybody in this country because the legal determination about who knowingly breaks the law in any instance is not one that's made by the president of the United States,' [Robert] Gibbs said" on Meet the Press.
Gibbs also told David Gregory on Meet the Press that Obama is not open to a so-called "Truth Commission" "to investigate Bush-era interrogation policies."
The Washington Post: "Chrysler announced last night that it has reached an agreement with the United Auto Workers leaders to modify the union's labor contract and to reduce the amount that the company owes a retiree health fund. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed, and union members have yet to ratify the deal. The agreement comes as the storied American automaker is seeking to fend off bankruptcy and liquidation. If it is approved by union members, the deal would be a significant step toward that restructuring of the company that President Obama has said is necessary to ensure its future. Once the company reaches agreements with the UAW and its creditors, it plans to partially merge with the Italian automaker, Fiat."
The New York Times, in a front-page piece, profiles Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. Under his watch, the paper writes, "the Federal Reserve and Treasury have assumed an unprecedented role in the banking system, using unprecedented amounts of taxpayer money, to try to save the nation's financiers from their own mistakes."
Whoa. This report of a doctor shortage is a HUGE problem, no?
"Who would ever have thought that Michelle Obama would be transformed from a potential campaign liability into America's newest sweetheart and No. 1 cover girl, every bit as popular as her husband," the AP says, adding, "It's not unusual for a first lady to be more popular than the president, but that usually happens further along. That it has happened so quickly for Mrs. Obama says a lot about how perceptions of her have changed."
And Vice President Biden was on "60 Minutes" last night for a lively interview. When asked how he felt about doing the interview, Biden joked, "It's not you I'm afraid of," Biden replied. "It's me!!" Obama on Biden: "He's pretty fearless in offering his opinions. He's oftentimes willing to make the contrarian argument. The one that runs against conventional wisdom. And really forces people to think and defend their positions, and that ends up being very valuable for me."