A simple handshake is making big headlines tonight—because the handshakers were President Obama and Cuba's Raul Castro. Reuters quotes a White House official as saying the men shook hands and exchanged some brief chit-chat in Panama during the opening ceremony of the Summit of the Americas. "This was an informal interaction and there was not a substantive conversation between the two leaders," says the official. The two men are expected to meet again tomorrow to discuss the nations' warming ties.
In a sign of the symbolic importance of the handshake, a spokesperson for the National Security Council even marked the moment with a statement, notes CNN: "At the Summit of the Americas this evening, President Obama and President Castro greeted each other and shook hands." The big question now is whether Obama will remove Cuba's designation as a state sponsor of terrorism, and the New York Times reports that a decision is near. (Read more President Obama stories.)