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Main news of December 30

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A roundup of what has happened in the past 24 hours

WORLD

* The Israeli Supreme Court has ordered the opening of one of the country's major highways to Palestinians, who had been barred access for seven years, the Kol Israel radio station said

* British IT consultant Peter Moore was freed on Wednesday in Baghdad after being held captive by Shia militants for 31 months

* Iran has denied a Western media report of a secret $450-million deal to procure purified uranium ore from Kazakhstan

* Around five thousand people attended on Wednesday the funeral of Yves Rocher, founder of a global cosmetics empire, who died last week at the age of 79

* The death toll from two separate bombings which hit the western Iraqi city of Ramadi on Wednesday has risen to 38, a source in Anbar province's security forces said

* U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday "a mix of human and systematic failures" was to blame for the failed Christmas Day bombing of the U.S.-bound plane with some 300 passengers

RUSSIA

* The Moscow city government has denied three opposition groups permission to hold a rally on Thursday, threatening to deal harshly with any attempts to hold it, the mayor's office said

* The Russian government will continue efforts to overcome the economic crisis in 2010, providing support for key industries, the president said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has wished his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yushchenko a Happy New Year, the Kremlin said

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has sent New Year greetings to U.S. President Barack Obama, welcoming the improvement in relations with the United States over the past year, the Kremlin said

BUSINESS

* A syndicate of four large Russian banks has provided a loan worth 6 billion rubles ($198 mln) to the Finance Ministry of Belarus, the banks said in a joint statement

* The rate charged by Ukraine for transit of Russian gas to Europe will be $2.7 per 1,000 cubic meters per 100 kilometers in 2010, up from $1.7 this year, Russian energy giant Gazprom said

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