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Titanic life preserver to be auctioned off

TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images

This cork-filled life preserver from the Titanic, which sunk in 1912, will be sold at auction house Christie's annual ocean liner sale in New York next Wednesday. The life preserver, one of only six known to exist, had been kept by a family in Nova Scotia since it was found -- allegedly by a farmer at the Halifax shoreline soon after the tragedy. Christie's expects it to go for 30,000 to 40,000 pounds ($59,000 to $79,000); the auction house sold another one last year in London for 61,000 pounds ($120,000).

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Morning Brief: Israel preparing to strike Iran?

Top Story

FILE; GALI TIBBON/AFP/Getty Images

Israel is ostentatiously preparing for a strike on Iran, the New York Times reports. The exercises are likely intended to send a message to Tehran, Washington, and Brussels indicating the seriousness with which Tel Aviv views Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Middle East and Africa

Iran's president says the United States plotted to kill him during his March visit to Iraq.

Is Hezbollah planning attacks in North America?

Egypt's growing religious ferver is causing "inshallah creep."

Zimbabwe's opposition leader is considering withdrawing in protest from the June 27 election.

Americas

Twenty-five Mississippi River levees are said to be at risk as floodwaters crest.

Gas prices are rising again. Here are five reasons to cheer.

Sign of the times? Southwest Airlines has quietly dropped its slogan, "You are now free to move about the country."

Asia

India's inflation rate has reached 11 percent.

Embattled South Korean President Lee Myung-bak is replacing senior staff.

In a surprise move, China slashed energy subsidies.

"China's athletes are pushing themselves to their limits and beyond, causing some to risk their health in pursuit of nationalist glory," the New York Times reports.

Europe

The EU has officially acknowledged that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is a problem.

Decision '08

Barack Obama has decided to opt out of the public-financing system for his campaign. John McCain says the Illinois senator is breaking his word.

Today's Agenda

Today is the longest day of the year.

Analysts don't expect a production boost from OPEC at this weekend's emergency oil summit in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.

Also this weekend:

A fourth Bolivian province may opt for autonomy in a Sunday referendum.

Nicolas Sarkozy is heading to Israel for the first such visit by a French president in 12 years.

IAEA inspectors are heading to Syria to investigate the alleged nuclear site destroyed by Israeli jets last September.

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