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Morning Brief: Is the race over yet?

Top Story

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.

Yesterday on Passport

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What We're Reading

Preeti Aroon

"Stars (and Stripes) in Their Eyes" by Azadeh Moaveni in the Washington Post. Iranians are one of the most pro-American populations in the Middle East. It's President Ahmadinejad they can't stand.

Alex Ely

"The Last Good Campaign," excerpts from Thurston Clarke's dramatic account of Robert F. Kennedy's 1968 presidential campaign published in Vanity Fair. With all of the parallels drawn between this year's presidential contest and that of 1968, Thurston's brilliant storytelling recalls a time in American history that we would be wise to remember.

Blake Hounshell

"Mugabe And Ahmadinejad Left Out Of UN Summit Dinner." Reuters reports that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Robert Mugabe won't be eating with the rest of the heads of state at the U.N.'s summit on the global food crisis. It couldn't have happened to a nicer pair of gents.

Joshua Keating

"Anti-Emo Riots in Mexico: ¡Pánico en el Disco!" by Joseph Contreras in Spin. Newsweek's Latin America editor examines the bizarre epidemic of violence against Mexican emo fans, often at the hands of punks and other youth subcultures. It's a little hard to understand why emos in particular are so reviled, but a lot of it just seems like thinly veiled homophobia. The article, in the June issue of Spin, isn't online yet, but the magazine has posted some disturbing YouTube videos that show the level of abuse these kids face.