Morning Brief, Wednesday, June 6

Americas Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images A federal judge sentenced I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for perjury and obstruction of justice. Hinting at a future pardon, the White House said it has no plans to intervene during the appeals process. ...

601440_070606_libby_05.jpg
601440_070606_libby_05.jpg

Americas

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A federal judge sentenced I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for perjury and obstruction of justice. Hinting at a future pardon, the White House said it has no plans to intervene during the appeals process.

Americas

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

A federal judge sentenced I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby, former chief of staff for Vice President Dick Cheney, to 30 months in prison and a $250,000 fine for perjury and obstruction of justice. Hinting at a future pardon, the White House said it has no plans to intervene during the appeals process.

During last night’s U.S. presidential debate between Republican candidates, Sen. John McCain emerged as the only defender of a controversial Senate immigration bill that is in danger of being amended to death

Still in his tracksuit, a hale and hearty-looking Fidel Castro appeared on Cuban TV. 

The fourth suspect accused of plotting to bomb New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport surrendered to authorities in Trinidad.

Europe

U.S. President George W. Bush yesterday accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of derailing political reforms. His remarks were nonetheless more subdued than the recent blistering assessment of Russia by a State Department official.

Former British Ambassador to the United States Sir Christopher Meyer said yesterday, “I don’t think the situation in Iraq now is worth the life of another single further British or American serviceman.”

A man in a pink T-shirt tried to hop into the popemobile with Benedict XVI. (Perhaps he merely wanted to hug the man for bringing solar power to the Vatican.)

Asia

First climate change, now food safety: China’s got a plan for everything.  

NATO helicopters attacked a vessel in Afghanistan’s Helmand River, sinking it and killing an estimated 30 Taliban fighters. Sadly, the corpse-for-hostages deal appears to be no longer in the cards. And the female head of a U.S.-funded radio station in Afghanistan who had been critical of so-called warlords was murdered in her sleep last night.

Pakistani police arrested hundreds of workers from two major opposition parties.

Middle East

A staggering 4.2 million people have been displaced by the ongoing violence in Iraq, according to a new estimate by the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. Iraqi lawmakers voted yesterday to require their government to seek parliament’s approval before extending the U.N. mandate that allows the U.S. occupation.

A strong but weakening cyclone hit an Oman port, causing a minor spike in the price of oil that was tempered by expectations that the United States has enough inventory to meet upcoming gasoline demand. What’s more likely to boost prices in the longterm is OPEC’s threat to retaliate against growing U.S. and European efforts to replace oil with biofuels by scaling back investment in new production. 

Here we go again: Iran is now detaining three Finnish employees of Nokia who had allegedly strayed into Iran’s territorial waters during a fishing trip.

Elsewhere

During an unexpected visit to Mogadishu, the prime minister of Ethiopia vowed to withdraw his country’s forces from neighboring Somalia once they can be replaced by African Union peacekeeping troops.

Good news for U.S. diplomacy: The United States’ new ambassador to the United Nations, Zalmay Khalilzad, is apparently the toast of Turtle Bay. The bad news: the U.S. State Department is reportedly paralyzed by a personnel crisis.

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