– The AP reports: Lawmakers are working on a set of new and unprecedented Iran sanctions that could prevent the Islamic republic from doing business with most of the world until it agrees to international constraints on its nuclear program.
– Meanwhile, the Treasury Department issued a new round of sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps designed to punish the regime for rampant human-rights abuses and its continued role as a state sponsor of terrorism.
– The Wall Street Journal reports: Syrian opposition members hammered out the loose structure of a governing body that would oversee rebel-held areas inside the country and could eventually morph into a broader government, but no deal was in sight when talks broke after their first day early Friday.
– Sen. Mark Warner (D-VA) said the Senate has 70 members that are willing to make a comprehensive deal to reduce the debt and stave off large military spending cuts in a “a massive deal with spending cuts, new revenues and entitlement program reforms.”
– Reuters reports: The Palestinian Authority circulated a draft resolution to U.N. member states on Wednesday that calls for upgrading its U.N. status to that of an “observer state” despite U.S. and Israeli suggestions that the Palestinians could face retaliatory moves.
– The New York Times reports: Japan’s defense minister, Satoshi Morimoto, said on Friday that he wants to revise his nation’s security alliance with the United States to place more emphasis on the threat from China to Japan’s southeastern islands.