State admits: New travel alert filled with old advice

The State Department acknowledged Tuesday that the "worldwide travel alert" it issued a day earlier doesn't include any new advice for travelers that officials haven't already been doling out for the last decade.

State issued the alert Monday evening, bumping up its message to Americans traveling abroad from a "caution" to an "alert." Among other things, that alert told people to check with local authorities and monitor local media sources in times of emergency.

But when he asked about it Tuesday afternoon, State Department spokesman Mark Toner was hard-pressed to say how the alert is different from the caution when it comes to how people should react to it.

Toner noted that the alert is "timebound," in that it lasts for three months, through Feb. 24, 2016. But after that, he said it's a lot like a travel caution, and just contains some more information about some of the recent terror attacks that happened in Paris, Mali and elsewhere.