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Main news of December 15

A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours


* At least 33 people were killed on Tuesday in a suicide car bomb attack in the central Pakistani town of Dera Ghazi Khan, officials said

* A British epidemiologist said on Tuesday he was worried by close links between World Health Organization (WHO) officials and pharmaceutical companies over swine flu

* Polish police have forced 230 asylum seekers from Georgia and Chechnya to leave a train they had boarded in an attempt to illegally reach Strasbourg in a human rights protest

* Some 200 foreigners who seized a train in Poland on Tuesday to take their complaints about poor living conditions in camps to Strasbourg reached the German border, Radio Wroclaw said

* Iran on Tuesday denied foreign media reports that it is preparing to test the final component of a nuclear bomb, IRNA news agency reported

* A meeting of representatives of the Iran Six due next week to discuss Tehran's nuclear program has been canceled at China's request, Iran's ISNA news agency said

* Nauru, the world's smallest island state, has recognized the independence of the former Georgian republic of Abkhazia, with both countries signing an agreement on Tuesday on establishing diplomatic relations


* Vietnam has signed a deal with Russia to buy submarines, aircraft and other military hardware, Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung said

* The start of construction of Russia's fourth Borey-class nuclear-powered submarine has been postponed from December to the first quarter of next year, a Defense Ministry official said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev received on Tuesday Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung and said he was seeking to cooperate on several large projects with the socialist republic

* A blacklist of 80 Moscow clubs in violation of fire safety regulations was published on Tuesday by Russia's emergencies ministry, with eight of the venues already closed by court orders

* Two more victims of the horrific fire in a Russian nightclub 10 days ago have died, bringing the death toll to 148, an emergency service statement in the Perm Region, where the tragedy occurred, said


* Russian energy giant Gazprom and Vietnam's oil and gas group Petrovietnam signed on Tuesday an agreement on establishing a joint venture

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