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January 3, 2016
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Saudi Arabia's foreign minister announced Sunday that the kingdom has cut off diplomatic relations with Iran, following protests at the Saudi Embassy in Tehran condemning Saudi Arabia's execution of a prominent Shiite cleric.

On Saturday, 47 people were executed in Saudi prisons, including 56-year-old Shiite leader Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr, who had called for equality between Shiites and Sunnis in Saudi Arabia, the Los Angeles Times reports. In response, hundreds of people, some hurling Molotov cocktails, protested outside the Saudi Embassy in Tehran, with many calling for the "Wahhabi embassy" to be shut down. On Twitter, Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called Nimr a martyr and said "divine revenge will seize Saudi politicians."

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, Adel Jubair, said the Iranian government has 48 hours to close down its offices and remove all diplomats from the country. Catherine Garcia

2:34 p.m. ET

Reince Priebus and Stephen Bannon continued their campaign to prove that they definitely don't hate each other and absolutely are best friends during an strange little interview at CPAC on Thursday that ABC News' Ali Rogin dubbed a "buddy comedy."

At one point, the pair were asked to name something that they like about the other. Preibus, apparently joking, offered up Bannon's "collars." "I love how many collars he wears," Preibus said. "It's an interesting look."

For his part, Bannon said: "I can run a little hot on occasions … the only way this works is Reince is always steady … but his job is by far one of the toughest I've ever seen in my life. To make it run every day, to make the trains — and you only see the surface."

Put the odd reference to Benito Mussolini aside and it's actually pretty sweet. Watch the rest below. Jeva Lange

1:53 p.m. ET
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The race to become the Democratic National Committee chairman narrowed on Thursday when South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jamie Harrison dropped out, endorsing frontrunner Tom Perez in the process. Perez served as labor secretary under former President Barack Obama and holds about 205 of the 447 total DNC member votes. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), backed by Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and the party's more progressive wing, trails Perez with around 153 votes.

"With so much at stake, our next chair will lead the fight of a generation," Harrison said in an email to NBC. "I'm standing by Tom Perez's side, and I hope you will join me in doing the same."

If Perez picks up at least 20 of Harrison's 27 votes, he will likely have a majority heading into the first round of voting Saturday. The winner needs only to win a simple majority of 224 votes or more; if no candidate achieves a majority Saturday, DNC members will cast votes in progressive rounds, eliminating the lowest vote-receiving candidates until a candidate emerges with the majority.

On Wednesday night, all of the DNC candidates went head-to-head in a CNN debate. You can watch a 90 second recap of what unfolded here. Jeva Lange

12:10 p.m. ET

Ted Cruz used some colorful — or rather, vespertilionine — language to describe the Democratic base during an interview at the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

"From the left, their base … There's a technical term for their base, " Cruz began.

"Moscow," his interviewer answered.

Cruz nodded, but added: "I was going a different direction, which was 'bat-crap crazy.'" Watch the exchange below. Jeva Lange

11:55 a.m. ET
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On Thursday, former Republican House Speaker John Boehner claimed that a full repeal and replace of the Affordable Care Act is "not going to happen," calling the suggestion that it might just "happy talk," Politico reports.

Boehner, who resigned in 2015, instead suggested that there would be small changes to ObamaCare. "Most of the framework of the Affordable Care Act … that's going to be there," Boehner predicted. He added that he "started laughing" when he heard of President Trump's plans to quickly push through health-care reform: "Republicans never agree on health care," Boehner said.

President Trump has suggested that he will have a new health care plan by mid-March, but Boehner said he isn't buying it. "[Congressional Republicans are] going to fix ObamaCare — I shouldn't call it repeal-and-replace, because it's not going to happen," he said. Jeva Lange

11:39 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump on Thursday met with several top manufacturing executives to discuss regulatory reform and job creation. But amid all that boring talk, Trump implored General Electric CEO Jeff Immelt to discuss an important matter: the time he shot a hole-in-one.

"Jeff actually watched me make a hole-in-one," Trump informed the gathered businesspeople after Immelt greeted him during the roundtable. "Should you tell that story?"

Immelt, apparently, decided that he should. Watch the moment below. Kimberly Alters

11:38 a.m. ET
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They call Zhang Hexian "Kung Fu Grandma."

A social media sensation in China, the diminutive 93-year-old from the eastern Zhejiang province has been practicing the martial art since age 4. At the time, her country "was at war," Zhang explains, "so it was a good way to learn self-defense." She has since mastered a form of kung fu that encompasses 15 styles, each with 36 moves, and now teaches the skill to others in her village.

Zhang, who boasts that she’s never been to a hospital, credits kung fu with keeping her healthy. "To have good body," she says, "you need to exercise and keep a positive attitude." Christina Colizza

11:38 a.m. ET

President Donald Trump met with manufacturing executives Thursday to discuss "tax and trade, regulatory reform, and jobs," Fox News reports.

"Today we have [here] 24 CEOs from the largest manufacturing companies in the country, and even in the world," Trump said. "They represent — people just in this room — nearly $1 trillion of sales and two million employees, large majorities of which are in the United States."

During the roundtable, Trump touted the creation of 1,800 Lockheed Martin jobs, which were announced earlier this month, as well as Walmart's plan to create 10,000 U.S. jobs this year, which was announced prior to Trump's inauguration.

Trump also took time to engage with the CEOs, asking the Lockheed Martin CEO if she would have wanted Hillary Clinton to win the election, telling the CEO of Caterpillar that "Caterpillars are the best," and replying to the Campbell Soup Company CEO's introduction with "good soup." Jeva Lange

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