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Top 3 Political Stories of the Day

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said India is in talks with the US to resolve the standoff over the treatment of an Indian woman diplomat as they do not want ties to be affected, even as US made no move to drop charges against her or apologize. A Syrian photographer who took pictures for Reuters on a freelance basis has been killed while covering fighting in Aleppo, activists said. Molhem Barakat died on Friday as he took photographs of a battle over a hospital between rebels and forces loyal to President Bashar al-Assad. As well as covering the conflict, Barakat took pictures showing the life of ordinary Syrians in the divided city, which used to be Syria's commercial hub. The civil war in Syria has claimed the lives of well over 100,000 people since 2011 and driven millions into neighboring countries. Thailand's major opposition Democrat Party decided to boycott the upcoming general election slated for Feb 2. Abhisit Vejjajiva, Democrat Party leader said the party will not field any candidates in the election. The registration venue will be well protected by the police, election commission member Somchai Srisuthiyakorn said after a meeting with Thai caretaker Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. The election commission had earlier proposed that the caretaker government and protesters reconsider the election date to prevent possible escalation of unrest and disputes over election results.

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