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Main news of December 1

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* The European Union's Lisbon treaty, aimed at streamlining institutions and raising the bloc's global standing, came into force on Tuesday

* The United States could add up 34,000 soldiers to its contingent in Afghanistan, a source close to NATO's headquarters in Brussels said

* Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko described on Tuesday the visit of Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to Minsk as a "gesture of support" for Belarus from the European Union

* The International Court of Justice opened hearings on the legitimacy of Kosovo's unilateral declaration of independence from Serbia

* A Soyuz-TMA-15 space capsule carrying three astronauts from the International Space Station (ISS) successfully landed in north Kazakhstan on Tuesday, Russian Mission Control said

* Japanese businessman Yukiya Amano has officially taken up the post as the next head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to succeed Mohamed ElBaradei

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's European security pact draft will be discussed at the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council opening in the Greek capital Athens on Tuesday


* The body of the last person missing after the terrorist attack on the Nevsky Express from Moscow to St. Petersburg was found, bringing the death toll to 27 people, a Russian emergencies spokesman said

* President Dmitry Medvedev pledged that Moscow would assist Russians abroad and protect their rights

* Russia's Black Sea Fleet has terminated counterintelligence operations in Ukraine's Crimea and is sending all 'special service' officers to other posts, a Russian intelligence source said

* London's Westminster Magistrates' Court adjourned hearings into Russia's extradition request for Yevgeny Chichvarkin, the former CEO of cell phone retailer Euroset, until August 2, 2010

* Tensions between Tehran and the UN nuclear watchdog over Iran's nuclear program will not affect the construction of the Islamic Republic's first nuclear power plant, a Russian MP said

* The Ulyanovsk arms depot where 10 servicemen were killed in explosions last month will be closed by the end of next year, a spokesman for the regional governor said

* Russia's Zenit-3SLB carrier rocket has successfully put into orbit a U.S. telecommunications satellite, the Intelsat-15, a spokesman for Russia's space agency Roscosmos said


* Former owners of the defunct Russian oil company Yukos have won a crucial ruling in The Hague allowing them to seek $100 billion in damages from the Russian government, The Financial Times reported

* North Korea has redenominated its national currency, the won, taking two zeros off the nominal value of banknotes in a bid to curb inflation and fight black-market currency trading

* Russia is planning to strengthen its positions as a key supplier of weaponry in the Asia-Pacific region by seeking new customers at a major arms show in Malaysia, state arms exporter Rosoboronexport said

* Russia's Reserve Fund decreased by 1.8% to 2.238 trillion rubles ($76.87 bln) from 2.242 trillion rubles ($77 bln) in November, the country's Finance Ministry said


In a year that showed Rubin's first title was no fluke, the leading Moscow clubs and Zenit St. Petersburg were left to rue what might have been as each changed coach mid-season.

Rubin's Argentine forward Alejandro Dominguez has been named Russian Premier League player of the year.

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