Morning Brief, Wednesday, June 27

Americas JUAN BARRETO/AFP Two U.S. oil companies are refusing to hand over control of their major investments in Venezuela, stakes valued in the billions. Once a settlement is reached, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez may look to Russia or China to replace lost U.S. expertise. The CIA released nearly 700 pages of damning Cold War documents ...

600895_070627_chavez_05.jpg
600895_070627_chavez_05.jpg

Americas

JUAN BARRETO/AFP

Two U.S. oil companies are refusing to hand over control of their major investments in Venezuela, stakes valued in the billions. Once a settlement is reached, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez may look to Russia or China to replace lost U.S. expertise.

Americas

JUAN BARRETO/AFP

Two U.S. oil companies are refusing to hand over control of their major investments in Venezuela, stakes valued in the billions. Once a settlement is reached, Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez may look to Russia or China to replace lost U.S. expertise.

The CIA released nearly 700 pages of damning Cold War documents known as the “Family Jewels.”

In a possible bellwether speech, influential Republican Senator Richard Lugar said, “[T]he costs and risks of continuing down the current path [in Iraq] outweigh the potential benefits that might be achieved.”

The Senate immigration bill is back. Will it survive a second round? 

Europe

Six months after joining the European Union, Bulgaria and Romania have yet to reform their judiciaries or root out corruption, a new European Commission report says

NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer accentuated the positive during yesterday’s visit to Moscow.

Nicolas Sarkozy is gearing up for what may be his toughest challenge: taking on France’s troubled universities

Asia

In the midst of a nationwide crackdown on food safety, China has closed 180 plants since December.  

This just in: China’s president, Hu Jintao, believes that Communist Party rule is here to stay.

On Thursday, U.N. inspectors will get to see North Korea’s Yongbyon reactor for the first time in five years.

Middle East

The Iranian government’s move to ration gasoline is setting off fiery anger in Tehran.

Even as the rest of Iraq descends into failed state territory, Kurdish leaders say their region could be the next Dubai.

Elsewhere

Zimbabwe’s economy is falling apart, but that isn’t stopping Robert Mugabe from proposing that nearly all public companies cede a 51 percent stake to black Zimbabweans.

You know your country’s in trouble when its people are fleeing to Chad

The United Nations Population Fund released its annual State of the World report. This year’s focus: urban growth in Asia.

Rupert Murdoch moved one step closer to acquiring Dow Jones and the Wall Street Journal

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