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iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump will meet with German Chancellor Angela Merkel Friday at the White House — the first time the two leaders will meet. Although the U.S. and Germany are close allies, Trump and Merkel disagree on just about everything, from immigration and refugee policies to the future of NATO.

But Merkel has never shied from criticizing Trump — when he was on the campaign trail, when he was president-elect and now that he is in office.

In November, when he threatened to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (he did so days after his inauguration), she said she was “not happy” that the agreement “will probably not become reality.”

In February, the day after he tweeted that the press was the “enemy of the American people,” she talked about the importance of the press during a speech at the Munich Security Conference.

“I am for a free and independent press and have great respect for journalists. We have had good experiences here in Germany with respecting one another. We discuss divergent opinions but accept freedom of the press as an essential pillar of democracy,” Merkel said.

In the Munich speech, she urged the U.S. to support the European Union.

Before the United Kingdom’s Brexit vote last June, Trump backed the country’s withdrawal from the EU, and after the “leave” side won, he predicted other countries would follow suit. In an interview with The Times of London in January, he called the European Union “a vehicle for Germany.”

Merkel fired back, saying in a news conference, “I think we Europeans have our fate in our own hands.”

Among the biggest issues to be discussed in Friday’s meeting: immigration and the future of NATO, according to U.S. officials. ABC News breaks down the divide between Trump and Merkel on these hot-button topics.

Immigration and refugee policies

Trump has long blasted Merkel for her policy of welcoming refugees to Germany, including 1 million in 2015 alone.

“I think she made one very catastrophic mistake, and that was taking all of these illegals, you know, taking all of the people from wherever they come from,” he told The Times of London in January. “And nobody even knows where they come from. So I think she made a catastrophic mistake, very bad mistake.”

He added that he has “great respect” for Merkel.

In an August speech on terrorism he compared her policies to those of his then-rival, Hillary Clinton.

“In short, Hillary Clinton wants to be America’s Angela Merkel, and you know what a disaster this massive immigration has been to Germany and the people of Germany. Crime has risen to levels that no one thought would they would ever see,” he said.

A report released by the German Federal Office of Criminal Investigation in November 2015 found that refugees committed crimes at the same rate as native Germans. Another study, released in February by the Centre for European Economic Research, found that while there was no “crime epidemic” after the massive increase in refugees admitted to Germany, there were “muted increases” in some criminal activities, like “drug offenses and fare dodging.”

Merkel has defended her policies against claims of increased crime due to refugees.

“We have to look closely at the crime rate among refugees, and the picture is varied. That is also the right answer, that you have to differentiate,” she said in December.

“The fact that some people want to exploit that is something we have to withstand and defend ourselves against,” she added.

Merkel’s spokesman Steffen Seibert was quoted by a German news agency saying she was “convinced that even the necessary, resolute fight against terrorism doesn’t justify putting people of a particular origin or particular faith under general suspicion.”

Trump and Merkel spoke by phone on Jan. 29 for the first time since his inauguration, and a joint statement about the call did not mention his executive order on immigration, which suspended the U.S. refugee program and temporarily barred citizens of seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the U.S.

The order was blocked by U.S. courts, and Trump released a revised version in March.

The future of NATO

During his presidential campaign, Trump put U.S. allies on edge by declaring NATO “obsolete” and calling into question whether he would come to the aid of some of the Baltic states if are attacked by Russia.

Since those comments, Vice President Mike Pence reassured those allies that the U.S. commitment to NATO is “unwavering.”

“Your struggles are our struggles. Your success is our success,” Pence said at the Munich Security Conference. “And ultimately, we walk into the future together.”

But the administration has not stopped pressing NATO members to pay their fair share. The NATO agreement recommends that members spend at least 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defense. Currently, only five nations meet that goal, and Germany is not one of them, spending only 1.3 percent.

“We will do everything we can in order to fulfill this commitment,” Merkel said at the Munich Conference. “But let me add, however, that I believe while NATO is very much in the European interest, it’s also in the American interest. It’s a very strong alliance where we are united together.”

A U.S. official told ABC News that Trump “looks forward to talking to the chancellor about how to strengthen the NATO alliance” and is “heartened” that Germany has agreed to meet the 2 percent goal in the coming years.

The official added Trump will ask Merkel about her experience with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

“He’s going to be very interested in hearing her insights on what it’s like to deal with the Russians,” the official said.

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Song Kyung-Seok-Pool/Getty Images(SEOUL, South Korea) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says pre-emptive military action against North Korea is possible “if they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action.”

“All of the options are on the table,” Tillerson said.

After visiting the militarized border between South Korea and North Korea, Tillerson spoke at a press conference with South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul, where he was asked if he would rule out military action against North Korea.

Tillerson said the U.S. does not want to engage in a military conflict, “but obviously if North Korea takes actions that threatens South Korean forces or our own forces, that would be met with (an) appropriate response. If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action that option is on the table.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the DMZ to underscore the Administration’s commitment to strong U.S.-ROK alliance. pic.twitter.com/NM9CNSfeBT

— Department of State (@StateDept) March 17, 2017

In Seoul, Secretary Tillerson met with Korean Foreign Minister Yun to convey support for U.S.-ROK alliance and address #DPRK nuclear threat. pic.twitter.com/WhOfdJi2fc

— Department of State (@StateDept) March 17, 2017

Referring to how the Obama administration hoped sanctions would cripple North Korea to the point where it would renew de-nuclearization negotiations, Tillerson added, “Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended.”

He also emphasized that the U.S. had no plans to curtail its military activities in the region.

“We don’t believe conditions are right for talks and we have no intention of ending military exercises,” he said.

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(SEOUL, South Korea) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. will not rule out the possibility of using military force against North Korea if it continues to develop nuclear weapons, telling reporters Friday that “all of the options are on the table.”

After visiting the militarized border between South Korea and North Korea, Tillerson spoke at a press conference with South Korean foreign minister Yun Byung-se in Seoul, where he was asked if he would rule out military action against North Korea.

Tillerson said the U.S. does not want to engage in a military conflict, “but obviously if North Korea takes actions that threatens South Korean forces or our own forces, that would be met with (an) appropriate response. If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action that option is on the table.”

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the DMZ to underscore the Administration’s commitment to strong U.S.-ROK alliance. pic.twitter.com/NM9CNSfeBT

— Department of State (@StateDept) March 17, 2017

In Seoul, Secretary Tillerson met with Korean Foreign Minister Yun to convey support for U.S.-ROK alliance and address #DPRK nuclear threat. pic.twitter.com/WhOfdJi2fc

— Department of State (@StateDept) March 17, 2017

Referring to how the Obama administration hoped sanctions would cripple North Korea to the point where it would renew de-nuclearization negotiations, Tillerson added, “Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended.”

He also emphasized that the U.S. had no plans to curtail its military activities in the region.

“We don’t believe conditions are right for talks and we have no intention of ending military exercises,” he said.

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McDonald’s(NEW YORK) — McDonald’s confirmed Thursday night that one of its Twitter accounts was indeed hacked, after a tweet that called Donald Trump “a disgusting excuse of a president” was posted earlier in the day to its @McDonaldsCorp account.

The tweet read: “@realDonaldTrump You are actually a disgusting excuse of a President and we would love to have @BarackObama back, also you have tiny hands.”

The tweet was posted at 9:16 a.m. ET and was retweeted hundreds of times before it was deleted.

McDonald’s spokeswoman Terri Hickey said Thursday night that the company has determined a hack was the culprit. “Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source,” she said. “We took swift action to secure it, and we apologize this tweet was sent through our corporate McDonald’s account.”

Based on our investigation, we have determined that our Twitter account was hacked by an external source. Read more: https://t.co/X5NwVI5sKp

— McDonald’s (@McDonaldsCorp) March 16, 2017

Initially, McDonald’s said that the account had been “compromised” and that company officials were looking into the incident.

“Twitter notified us that our account was compromised,” Hickey said in a statement to ABC News about an hour after the tweet was posted. “We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this.”

Twitter notified us that our account was compromised. We deleted the tweet, secured our account and are now investigating this.

— McDonald’s (@McDonaldsCorp) March 16, 2017

Twitter would not confirm to ABC News that it had communicated with McDonald’s, saying only, “We do not comment on individual accounts for privacy and security reasons.”

Trump, who is an apparent fan of the fast-food giant, appeared in a McDonald’s commercial alongside one of the company’s mascots in 2002. He was also spotted chowing down on a McDonald’s burger and fries during the 2016 presidential campaign.

The tweet likely kicked off a busy morning for McDonald’s global chief communications officer, Robert Gibbs, who served as press secretary during President Obama’s first two years in office.

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the_guitar_mann/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — The U.S. military says an air strike Thursday in northwestern Syria targeted a large gathering of al-Qaeda members meeting in a building across the street from a mosque, but deny that a nearby mosque was hit by the airstrike.

A human rights group has alleged that as many as 42 people were killed in an airstrike on a mosque in a rebel held village in Idlib Province. U.S. Central Command said several al-Qaeda militants were killed in the airstrike.

“U.S. forces conducted an airstrike on an al-Qaeda in Syria meeting location March 16 in Idlib, Syria, killing several terrorists,” read a statement released Thursday night by CENTCOM.

“Idlib has been a significant safe haven for al-Qaeda in recent years,” the statement added.

Located west of Aleppo, Idlib Province is held by various rebel groups. The U.S. military has previously targeted al-Qaeda members who it said gravitated there to take advantage of the security vacuum created by the Syrian civil war to plan overseas terror plots.

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a human rights monitoring group based in the United Kingdom, said Thursday that an airstrike on a mosque in al Jina, a village near Aleppo, had killed 42 people and injured dozens of others.

But several U.S. military officials disputed that allegation saying the airstrike targeted a building near a mosque where the al-Qaeda members were gathered. They stressed that the mosque itself was not damaged by the airstrike.

“We did not strike nor did we hit the mosque that was within 50 feet of the half of the building that we struck where a meeting of al-Qaeda in Syria was taking place,” said CENTCOM spokesman Colonel John Thomas.

A military official said they targeted “a significant-sized gathering” of al-Qaida members. The official said that an assessment is underway to determine how many al-Qaeda members may have been killed in the strike and will look at the allegations of possible civilian casualties from the airstrike. Another military official said it was indeed possible that dozens of al-Qaeda militants may have been killed in the airstrike.

In its statement, CENTCOM noted an airstrike in January had destroyed an Al Qaeda terrorist training camp in Idlib Province that killed more than 100 fighters it said were being trained in terror tactics.

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BernardaSv/iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Thomas Rutledge, CEO of Charter Communications, will get $98.5 million as part of a new employment agreement with the company that will keep him on for at least four more years.

Bloomberg News reports that the deal was signed in 2016.

The 63-year-old Rutledge is also the company’s chairman. He received $78 million in stock options, according to a regulatory filing on Thursday, and earned $16.4 million in total pay in 2016. He will earn no compensation besides the options through 2020.

According to Bloomberg, those options would vest if the company’s average share price “reaches hurdles ranging from $289.76 to $564.04 over a 60-day period.” They will not vest before April 2019.

Charter completed its takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks last year, giving them 13 million new customers in New York City and Los Angeles.

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the_guitar_mann/iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) — U.S. Central Command has confirmed an airstrike conducted on Thursday against al Qaeda in Syria.

The strike targeted a meeting location in Idlib, Centcom said. Several terrorists are believed to have been killed.

Centcom notes that Idlib has been a “safe haven” for al Qaeda. In January, a strike destroyed an al Qaeda training camp.

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BernardaSv/iStock/Thinkstock(SYDNEY) — An Australian consumer rights group is fighting against businesses that hide unfair terms within exceedingly long contracts and agreements by showing just how long it takes to read the fine print.

The group CHOICE hired an actor to read the terms and conditions required of a Kindle user, and found that reading each of the 73,198 words would take about nine hours. Hidden in those words, CHOICE says, are “nasty and legally dubious clauses, like one that demands that all complaints are resolved through an arbitration system in the U.S.A.”

The group also posted full video proof of the actor’s performance to YouTube.

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KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images(CAIRO) — In a case of mistaken identity, Egypt’s antiquities minister says that a statue pulled from the mud is not of Pharaoh Ramses II, as believed, but could be another king.

BBC News reports that Khaled el-Anani said at a Thursday news conference that the statue was likely Psamtek I, who ruled from 664 B.C. to 610 B.C. It had been thought that the statue portrayed the leader known as Ramses the Great due to its proximity to a temple dedicated to that leader.

However, one of the names of Psamtek I was found engraved on the statue Thursday.

The 29-foot tall artifact was moved from a pool of groundwater to the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It was there that the engraving was spotted.

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Roberto Lo Savio/iStock/Thinkstock(ROME, Italy) — Tourists and reporters were caught in an eruption on Italy’s Mount Etna on Thursday.

BBC science reporter Rebecca Morelle tweeted about the incident, saying that her group had been “pelted by rocks” and had to dodge “burning boulders and boiling steam.” She said about eight people were hurt and some had to be evacuated by rescue teams.

Caught up in incident at Mount Etna – bbc crew & tourists caught up in huge explosion – caused injuries and evacuation from scene. (1)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

Lava flow mixed with steam – caused huge explosion – group pelted with boiling rocks and steam. (2)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

Many injured – some head injuries, burns, cuts and bruises. Volcanologist said most dangerous incident experience in his 30 year career (3)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

Incident could have been worse – explosions like this have killed – but seems minor injuries for now. (4)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

Bbc team all ok – some cuts/ bruises and burns. Very shaken though – it was extremely scary. (5)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

BBC News reports that lava flow mixed with steam to cause the explosion.

Running down a mountain pelted by rocks, dodging burning boulders and boiling steam – not an experience I ever ever want to repeat (8)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

An estimated 8 injuries logged by medical team here. An amazing 78 year old lady was very close – but safely got away (10)

— Rebecca Morelle (@BBCMorelle) March 16, 2017

Mount Etna is among the more active volcanoes in the world.

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