The United States State Department has unveiled a new four-level travel advisory program to replace the earlier system where it issued travel warnings for individuals countries.
"I personally was exhausted of explaining the difference between a travel warning and a travel alert, even to some of my colleagues", she said.
"Terrorists have targeted U.S. diplomats and diplomatic facilities in the past, and evidence suggests they continue to do so", says the State Department.
One country's advisory level that raised questions was Cuba, which now sits at Level 3.
Level 2 on the new advisory lists countries where Americans need to "exercise increased caution".
That said, there seems (to me, anyway) to be a muddy distinction between levels one and two.
The revised system assigns levels of advice (1 to 4) about travel as it pertains to every country.
The US Department of State today announced a new system for issuing travel advisories to Americans.
Based on CNN's review of the published information eleven countries landed in Tier 4: Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Libya, Mali, North Korea, Somalia, South Sudan, Syria, the Central African Republic, Yemen. While we will issue an overall Travel Advisory level for every country, levels of advice may vary for specific locations or areas within a country.
"US citizens who travel overseas should always have a contingency plan for emergency situations, " the advisory said. This stems from the recent update of how the US Department of State shares information with US travellers on January 10th.
"This is the lowest advisory level for safety and security risk", the State Department informed.
The Uganda section makes no mention of threats to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender or intersex persons, despite passage of a law in 2013, later annulled by the country's Constitutional Court, that mandated life imprisonment for "aggravated homosexuality".
The US has been ranked as the top source of tourists to Kenya. The State Department calls it the no-double-standard principle.
That was a message echoed by Bernier-Toth on Wednesday. The Department of State provides additional advice for travelers in these areas in the travel advisory.
The State Department insists the rankings are based exclusively on security conditions in a country, but is aware of the possibility for pushback from governments that are unhappy with their ranking.