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In this photo released by official website of the Iranian Presidency on Monday, March 20, 2017, President Hassan Rouhani poses for a portrait in a session to deliver a message for the Iranian New Year, Iran. Nowruz, a festival to celebrate the new Persian year starts with the spring. Iranians follow the Persian solar year, and this year, they begin the year 1396. (Iranian Presidency Office via AP)

Russia-Iran ties could be factor as Trump eyes new sanctions for Tehran

- The Washington Times

The Trump administration is close to announcing a new slate of economic sanctions aimed at containing Iran’s ballistic missile activities, a day after senators introduced bipartisan legislation to expand such measures, as well as those targeting Iranian human rights abuses and support for terrorism.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with French far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 24, 2017. Le Pen has made multiple visits to Russia, as have her father, niece and other members of the National Front, often meeting with Russian legislators. (Mikhail Klimentyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Putin meets Le Pen, denies French election interference

- Associated Press

President Vladimir Putin held a surprise meeting Friday with France’s far-right presidential candidate Marine Le Pen, yet dismissed suggestions that Russia aims to influence the election in her favor.

In this Wednesday, March 22, 2017 photo, a director gives instructions to the actors dressed as Israeli policemen during a shoot of the "Heaven's Gate" movie in a recreated alleyway of Jerusalem's Old City in Khan Younis, Gaza Strip. The set is the latest effort by the al-Aqsa channel, run by Gaza's Islamic militant Hamas rulers, to kick-start its drama production in the territory. (AP Photo/Adel Hana)

Hamas TV filming staged clashes in Gaza

- Associated Press

Quiet on the set! Surrounded by militant training sites on uprooted Jewish settlement lands, the first movie set in the Gaza Strip is growing, depicting the history-rich, volatile alleyways of Jerusalem’s Old City.

Martin Schulz, the German Social Democratic Party's popular top candidate, has momentum that puts Chancellor Angela Merkel's hopes for a fourth term at risk. (Associated Press)

Election in Germany to gauge winds of change

An early tell on Europe’s most important election this year comes this weekend when the first of three German state elections gauges Chancellor Angela Merkel’s political appeal and provides a first real-world electoral test for Martin Schulz, the charismatic new leader of Germany’s resurgent Social Democrats.

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US architect of Obama climate change plans: Remain vigilant

- Associated Press

The chief architect of former President Barack Obama's climate change strategy said Friday it's imperative to remain vigilant in the "battle" against the Trump administration's hard-line opposition to environmental issues.