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Russia might invade Ukraine if Obama wins, Palin warns

Speaking Tuesday at a rally in a Reno, Nevada, Republican vice-presidential nominee Sarah Palin had a little fun with her counterpart on the Democratic ticket, thanking Joe Biden for warning Barack Obama's supporters to "gird your loins" for an international crisis if the Illinois senator wins.

Palin helpfully offered four scenarios for such a crisis, one of which was this strange one:

After the Russian Army invaded the nation of Georgia, Senator Obama's reaction was one of indecision and moral equivalence, the kind of response that would only encourage Russia's Putin to invade Ukraine next.

Watch the video here:

As we've said before, this is an extremely far-fetched scenario. And given how Russia has been able to unsettle Ukraine's pro-Western government without firing a shot, I don't see why violence would be necessary to bring Kiev to heel. Watch the upcoming parliamentary elections in December to see if Moscow gets the pliable new government it wants.

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Morning Brief: Is it over?

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Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

With just 13 days remaining before election day, the numbers still don't look good for John McCain. The latest WSJ/MSNBC poll puts the Arizona senator 10 points behind Barack Obama among registered voters, and RealClearPolitics' state-by-state breakdowns look even more daunting.

"The metrics of this election argue strongly that this campaign is over, the National Journal's Charlie Cook declares. "[I]t's only the memory of many an election that seemed over but wasn't that is keeping us from closing the book mentally on this one."

"The cavalry apparently isn't coming" to rescue McCain, who has been outspent by as much as 4-1 in some states, says Politico's Jonathan Martin.

But Michael Barone questions just how accurate polls are these days, asking, "Can we trust the poll when one of the presidential candidates is black?"

It could all come down to Pennsylvania, where the McCain campaign has been working furiously to close a double-digit gap. Gov. Ed Rendell is clearly worried about his state, requesting that Obama return there to firm up his lead.

Economy

OPEC is signaling that production cuts are on the way as oil prices fall below $70 a barrel.

Yesterday's glimmer of optimism was short-lived, with markets in Europe and Asia diving again Wednesday. The U.S. Treasury Department sees a recovery coming late next year.

Americas

FBI Director Robert Mueller intends to serve out his full 10-year term.

A Colombian cocaine ring has been financing Hezbollah, officials say.

Bolivia's legislature agreed to hold a national referendum on Evo Morales's new constitution.

An Oregon couple was brutally attacked in Ecuador.

Asia

India successfully launched its unmanned mission to the moon.

An angry Taiwanese crowd assaulted a Chinese envoy.

Afghanistan's Foreign Ministry says foreign troops killed nine Afghan soldiers.

Middle East and Africa

Palestinian leaders seem pleased that Israel is giving the Saudi peace initiative a second look.

Al Qaeda-affiliated Web sites are coming under a sustained cyber assault.

Senior Iranian officials are said to be pushing for preemptive strikes on Israel.

Europe

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and British PM Gordon Brown are seeing their reputations enhanced by their leadership on the financial crisis.

Sarkozy wants to see European countries set up sovereign wealth funds to protect key national industries.

Russia is considering creating an oil reserve to keep global prices high.

Today's Agenda

U.S. President George W. Bush hosts Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, his Liberian counterpart.

Condoleezza Rice, the U.S. secretary of state, is in Mexico to talk drugs.

Israel's interior minister meets with Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat in Tokyo.

Europe's commissioner for development and humanitarian aid visits Cuba.