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First Read's Morning Clips

A roundup of the most important political news stories of the day.
/ Source: NBC News

OBAMA AGENDA: The latest on the Iran nuke talks

The latest in the Iran negotiations, from the New York Times: "With a negotiating deadline just two days away, Iranian officials on Sunday backed away from a critical element of a proposed nuclear agreement, saying they are no longer willing to ship their atomic fuel out of the country."

More, from the Associated Press: "Officials say the sides have made some progress, with Iran considering demands for further cuts to its uranium enrichment program but pushing back on how long it must limit technology it could use to make atomic arms. In addition to sticking points on research and development, differences remain on the timing and scope of sanctions removal, the officials said. And, in a sign that a deal is unlikely on Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will leave the talks, just a day after arriving, to return to Moscow for previously planned meetings, according to his spokeswoman Maria Zarakhova. Lavrov will return to Lausanne on Tuesday if there is a realistic chance for a deal, she said."

Writes the Wall Street Journal: "In recent days, officials have tried to neutralize skeptical Democrats by arguing that opposing President Barack Obama would empower the new Republican majority, according to people familiar with the discussions. Meanwhile, the Obama administration has lined up Republicans to try to tamp down a likely political battle over any deal with Iran and scientists to defend an agreement on its technical merits."

Yahoo reviews Kate Andersen Brower’s “The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House.”

CONGRESS: GOP faces dilemma over Loretta Lynch nomination

The New York Times says that Senate Republicans face this choice: Accept Attorney General nominee Loretta Lynch, or reject her – and end up with Eric Holder staying on for another two years.

POLITICO gets the inside story on how Chuck Schumer pushed for the job of Senate majority leader.

OFF TO THE RACES: Two different paths by Jeb and Walker

Jonathan Martin lays out the divergent paths of Scott Walker and Jeb Bush -- which seem deeply linked to their upbringings.

BUSH: The Wall Street Journal delves into how Jeb Bush is handling the Terri Schiavo issue.

The Miami Herald finds that 50 percent of Cuban-Americans say they'd vote for a Republican in 2016, while 29 percent said they would support a Democrat.

CHRISTIE: The Washington Post writes about how critics say he dropped his backing of wind energy when he started pursuing the GOP nomination.

CLINTON: The Wall Street Journal with some real talk: “Why Hillary Clinton Will Launch 2016 Campaign Soon”

CRUZ: John McCain says his relationship with Ted Cruz is much improved, per the Arizona Republic.

O'MALLEY: Here's O'Malley on ABC on Sunday: "The presidency of the United States is not some crown to be passed between two families."

PAUL: Rand Paul is taking a big bet on young voters, writes National Journal.

PENCE: The Indiana governor defended the controversial religious freedom law Sunday, though he said that he's open to a section that "clarifies" its meaning.

More from the Indy Star: "One thing Pence was clear about, however: He will not support language that would bar discrimination. The performance Sunday morning, on national television, marked an apparent about face from Saturday, when he told The Indianapolis Star that he would support new protections."

RUBIO: From Kelly O'Donnell over the weekend: "Advisers to Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio say their "current thinking" for his planned presidential roll out is centered on April 13th as a "likely" date, with a Florida location to be finalized early this week."


*** Monday’s “News Nation with Tamron Hall” line-up: Tamron Hall speaks with State Representative from Indiana Ed DeLaney about new religious freedom restoration law in Indiana, NBC News Chief Foreign correspondent Richard Engel and Andrea Mitchell on Iran nuclear deal, and NBC News Reporter Ron Mott on the latest on the Boston Marathon bombing trial.

*** Monday’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports” line-up: NBC’s Andrea Mitchell reports live from the Iran Nuclear talks in Switzerland. She’ll interview the State Department’s Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf, the Institute of Science and International Security’s David Albright, the New York Times’ David Sanger, Fmr. Captain John Cox, the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Ruth Marcus and NBC’s Luke Russert Kelly O’Donnell, Katy Tur and Ron Mott.