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Main news of December 26

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* At least 19 people were wounded in a car explosion in Pakistan's commercial center Karachi, Pakistani media reported

* It is impossible to ensure 100% security for the pope without erecting a barrier between him and believers, the Vatican spokesman said after an attack at Benedict XVI earlier this week

* Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers killed three Palestinians in the West Bank and another three in the Gaza Strip, Israel's Haaretz reported

* China inaugurated a high-speed railway with the world's fastest train running at a speed of more than 380 kmh (236 mph), the Xinhua news agency said

* Russia and the European Union should guarantee sufficient gas transit through Ukrainian territory in view of their plans to build two pipelines to bypass the ex-Soviet country, Ukrainian opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych has said

* A self-proclaimed terrorist detained at Detroit airport after allegedly trying to blow up a plane has appeared on a U.S. intelligence agency's "watch-list", the ranking member of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security Committee told CNN

* U.S. intelligence officials arrested a passenger who was reportedly trying to blow up a plane after it landed at Detroit airport, American television said

* U.S. Congress will hold hearings in January on an attempted act of terrorism on a plane arriving to the United States earlier this week.

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has ordered the country's prosecutor general to investigate allegations of his conspiracy with the country's opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych ahead of Ukrainian presidential polls

RUSSIA

* Olympic gold medalist Evgeni Plushenko won the Russian Figure Skating Championships to become an eight-time national champion

* Heavy snowstorms have caused the delay of 14 flights and affected train traffic in St. Petersburg

BUSINESS

* Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko has said his country would pay for Russian gas consumed in December on schedule

* Russia's largest retail savings bank Sberbank has demanded compensation from General Motors for the failed Opel deal, threatening to sue the U.S. automaker if the demand is not met, Sberbank CEO German Gref said

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