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Top 4 Political Stories of the Day

An insurgent ambush killed six soldiers Tuesday in eastern Ukraine as Germany moved to jumpstart a possible plan toward peace that includes launching a dialogue on decentralizing the government in Kiev. Ukraine's leadership appeared cool to the plan and U.S. officials view its prospects for success skeptically. But some analysts say Russian President Vladimir Putin is more likely to accept a deal that doesn't come from Washington. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier is in Ukraine to try to broker a quick launch of talks between the central government and pro-Russia separatists. Officials from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction and the rival Islamist Hamas group met in Gaza on Tuesday to discuss the make-up of a unity government they hope will end a seven-year schism. Officials from the two groups said they planned to propose non-politically affiliated candidates for seats in a unity cabinet which will be tasked with preparing presidential and parliamentary elections after six months. Azzam Al-Ahmed, the senior Fatah official sent by Western-backed Abbas from the West Bank, led the talks with Hamas's delegation. Many past attempts to heal the rift between Fatah and Hamas have failed. A Budapest court on Tuesday found a former senior official in the Hungarian Communist Party guilty of war crimes during the suppression of the 1956 anti-Soviet uprising. It was the first trial ever launched against a former top communist in the central European country. More than two decades after the fall of communism, 92-year-old Bela Biszku was charged over his role on a committee of the Communist Party prosecutors said was involved in ordering the shootings of civilians during protests in Budapest and in the town of Salgotarjan in December 1956. A day after several exit polls predicted a BJP-led government in India, with only the margins of victory differing, party leaders said Tuesday they were confident of an easy win. Party leaders and those close to the leadership told IANS that neither the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) nor its prime ministerial aspirant Narendra Modi were discussing government formation for now. But there was talk in the party about who would fill important ministerial posts or what would be the government's policy priorities. BJP leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi told IANS, "Right now there is no talk on government formation. Our priority is on the 16th (Friday). We are focusing on the counting (of votes)."

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