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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

Iran does not have any replacement for its newly-proposed UN ambassador who has been denied entry visa by the US, the Iranian government said Saturday. Iranian deputy foreign minister for legal affairs Abbas Araqchi said "We do not have a replacement for Hamid Aboutalebi. We will pursue the issue through the available legal mechanisms in the United Nations." On Friday, the White House said the US has informed Iran that it would not grant a visa to its newly appointed UN ambassador Hamid Aboutalebi, a member of the group responsible for the 1979 takeover of the US embassy in Tehran. Tens of thousands of people took part in protests in central Paris and Rome on Saturday organized by hard-left parties against government economic reform plans and austerity measures. The protest in Rome turned violent when a large splinter group, many wearing masks and helmets, threw rocks, eggs, firecrackers and oranges at riot police in front of the industry ministry. Riot police with batons charged the group, with protesters fighting back with rocks and firecrackers. One man lost a hand when a firecracker exploded before he could throw it. Police said there were dozens of lighter injuries among police and protesters, and at least six arrests. Republicans eyeing the 2016 White House race battered President Barack Obama's health care law and nicked each other Saturday, auditioning before a high-profile gathering of conservatives that some political veterans said marked the campaign's unofficial start. A speaking program packed with potential presidential candidates weighed in on the House Republican's controversial budget, the party's struggle with Hispanics, the GOP's future and the upcoming midterm elections while taking turns on a conference room stage facing hundreds of conservative activists gathered in New Hampshire's largest city. The summit comes as prospective presidential candidates begin to step up appearances in key states ahead of the 2016 presidential contest. Qaeda-linked Nusra Front used toxic gas in the central province of Hama, killing at least two people and causing suffocation to hundred others, official Syrian media said Saturday. According to Syria's official TV, the Nusra Front fighters used the Chlorine gas against the town of Kafr Zaita in the countryside of Hama, Xinhua reported. Meanwhile, the opposition activists turned the accusation against the Syrian government, saying that at least six people were killed and 100 others affected by the government forces' use of poisonous gas in Kafr Zaita and the Harasta suburb, in the countryside of the capital Damascus.

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