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Morning Brief: Is the race over yet?

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EMMANUEL DUNAND/AFP/Getty Images

Barack Obama is poised to declare victory after today's Montana and South Dakota primaries and a flood of remaining superdelegates put him over the 2,118 delegates needed to secure the nomination.

Meanwhile, signals from Hillary Clinton's team indicate the New York senator may be preparing a concession speech this evening in Manhattan. The main question now is, under what terms will she withdraw?

Global economy

At the U.N. food crisis summit in Rome, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called on countries to seize the opportunity presented by high prices for farm goods. "The world needs to produce more food," he said. Others stressed the role that biofuel subsidies have played in exacerbating the crisis.

High oil prices are undermining Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke's optimism on the U.S. economy.

Americas

Massachusetts Sen. Ted Kennedy's brain surgery was successful, his surgeon says.

Hugo Chávez used a presidential decree to require Venezuelans to comply with intelligence and police agencies or face prison terms.

Argentine farmers are on strike to protest export taxes on their products.

Asia

Burma's ruling junta is still throwing up roadblocks for aid workers.

South Korea is seeking fresher beef from the United States.

Middle East and Africa

Zimbabwe's government accuses NGO Care International of working for the opposition.

Iran's supreme leader said nuclear weapons are "against rational thought."

The U.N. Security Council has authorized naval powers to take out Somalia's pirates.

Europe

The "Africanization" of Spain's climate proceeds apace.

The Kremlin is barring its critics from appearing on television.

Today's Agenda

Gen. David McKiernan takes command of NATO forces in Afghanistan. His predecessor believes NATO needs more resources.

Embattled Israeli PM Ehud Olmert begins a three-day trip to the United States. Olmert speaks at an AIPAC gala dinner this evening. (U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice speaks earlier in the day.)

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan is in Washington for talks with senior U.S. officials.

U.S. Homeland Security chief Michael Chertoff is set to announce strict new visa rules for travel to the United States.

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