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Top 3 Political Stories of the Day

Amid a deepening conflict between Bangladesh’s two main political parties, the scene here in the capital as polls opened for the general elections on Sunday was ominous, with black-clad special forces units and soldiers in combat gear patrolling nearly empty boulevards. The official nationwide figures were still being compiled, but several Dhaka polling places visited on Sunday reported voter turnouts below 25 percent, a steep decline from the more than 87 percent who voted in the previous general elections. Nineteen people were reported to have been killed in political violence, and 148 polling places were closed early because of security concerns. Bangladeshi television stations broadcast images of rural polling places charred by arson attacks and of bodies wrapped in red blankets. Calling himself a thorough optimist, Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi said Sunday, that the word "disappointment" is not in his dictionary. He was speaking as the chief guest at the foundation day celebrations of yoga guru Ramdev's Bharat Swabhiman Trust in New Delhi's Talkatora Stadium. Ramdev later announced his support for the BJP in the Lok Sabha elections and Modi as the prime minister. Benjamin Netanyahu's hardline coalition partners on Sunday, stepped up pressure on the Israeli prime minister, threatening to topple the government if he caves in to American pressure to accept a key Palestinian territorial demand in U.S.-backed peace talks. The warnings came as U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry took a brief break after three days of talks with Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, jetting off to the Arab world to discuss his efforts before an expected return to Jerusalem later Sunday.

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