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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

Chinese President Xi Jinping Tuesday urged the country's armed forces to assume their responsibility courageously in safeguarding national sovereignty and interests. Xinhua quoted Xi as saying: "We expect peace, but we shall never give up efforts to maintain our legitimate rights, nor shall we compromise our core interests, no matter when or in what circumstances." Xi made his remarks while joining a plenary meeting of the People's Liberation Army delegation at the ongoing legislative session. Xi, who is also chairman of the Central Military Commission, called on the armed forces personnel to be "firm in faith and loyal in mission." Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has backtracked on a threat to shut down Facebook and YouTube in Turkey. Erdogan, who is fighting allegations of corruption, said last week that the government was considering steps to prevent secretly wiretapped recordings from being leaked on the Internet, including shutting down Facebook and YouTube. In comments published in pro-government Yeni Safak newspaper Tuesday, Erdogan said the government was determined to fight "fabricated and dubbed" recordings on the Internet but acknowledged that a total shutdown of social media is "out of question". As the campaign increased for tension-filled Crimea to split off from Ukraine in a weekend referendum and join Russia, the region's parliament said Tuesday that if voters approve the move it would first declare itself an independent state, a maneuver that could de-escalate the standoff between Moscow and the West. The move would give Moscow the option of saying there is no need for Crimea to become part of Russia while keeping it firmly within its sphere of influence. President Obama’s somewhat testy but endlessly hilarious Between Two Ferns clip with Zach Galifianakisis storming the Internet this morning, racking up more than 3 million views in just a few hours. Even more, it appears that the president’s gambit — looking a little silly — was worth it to reach a core demographic of the Affordable Care Act in order to ensure the long-term health of the law. According toTara McGuinness , who is part of the White House communications crew, FunnyOrDie, the site where the clip is hosted, is the “#1 source of referrals to right now.”

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