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Top 3 Political Stories of the Day

The battle over Scottish independence is tightening, with a new poll on Wednesday showing independence supporters gaining ground slightly as more Scots get involved in the debate. The latest poll by TNS showed 29 percent of Scots intended to vote "Yes" to independence in the September 18 referendum, up from 28 percent a month ago, while 41 percent planned to vote "No," down from 42 percent. The head of TNS Scotland, Tom Costley, said the poll of 988 people showed a continuing gradual narrowing in the polls, with a gap now of 12 percentage points between the two sides compared to 19 points in September when the polling series began. The Obama administration is raising concern about the value of China's currency but is declining, as in recent years, to accuse Beijing of manipulating it. The Treasury Department says China's currency, the renminbi, has appreciated but not as fast or as much as needed. Treasury reaches that conclusion in its twice-yearly report on whether nations are manipulating currencies to gain trade advantages. The issue has been a point of conflict because a weaker Chinese renminbi makes Chinese goods cheaper for Americans and U.S. goods costlier in China. The United States adopted a harsher tone toward Iran's proposed U.N. ambassador on Tuesday, calling Tehran's choice of Hamid Abutalebi "unacceptable" and tying him to the 1979-1981 U.S. hostage crisis in Tehran. While it did not detail what the veteran diplomat may have done during the period, when radical Iranian students seized the U.S. embassy and held 52 U.S. hostages for 444 days, the State Department for the first time linked the U.S. decision not to issue him a visa to those events. Abutalebi has said that he acted only as a translator.

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