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Top 3 Political Stories of the Day

President Barack Obama returns to Washington this weekend eager to test whether a modest budget deal passed in the waning days of 2013 can spark bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill. As he opens his sixth year in office, he also faces legacy-defining decisions on the future of government surveillance programs and the American-led war in Afghanistan. US Secretary of State John Kerry said Saturday that despite difficulties Israelis and Palestinians are facing, some progress were made in their peace talks. Kerry was also quoted as saying, "We are not there yet, but we are making progress," by Xinhua at a press conference in Ramallah following his second meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in less than 24 hours. The head of Turkey's bar association said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government is considering legal arrangements that could lead to the re-trial of hundreds of military officers including the country's former military chief, other top commanders and other people who were convicted of plotting to topple the government soon after it came to power in 2002. The legitimacy of their trials were put into question recently, after Erdogan's top political adviser suggested that those officers had been framed by groups within the police and judiciary whom the government is now accusing of orchestrating a massive corruption probe that has targeted the prime minister's allies.

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