Xinhua world news summary at 0030 GMT, Dec. 30

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WASHINGTON -- A more contagious variant of COVID-19 that was first discovered in Britain was identified in the U.S. state of Colorado on Tuesday, according to the state's governor.

It is the first time the variant strain has been identified in the United States, according to media reports.

The COVID-19 variant was identified in a Colorado man in his 20s, with no travel history, said Colorado Governor Jared Polis in a statement. (U.S.-Coronavirus-Variant)

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STOCKHOLM -- Nearly 3,000 people have been turned away at the Swedish-Danish border in the first week after Sweden introduced an entry ban from neighboring Denmark, Swedish Television reported on Tuesday.

Most were stopped while trying to cross the Oresund bridge by car from Denmark to southern Sweden and long queues have formed on the bridge, where so far over 200 people have been told to return to Denmark per day. Normally, border police reject around 100 people per week, according to the report. (Sweden-COVID-19-Border)

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RIO DE JANEIRO -- Four people died after a small plane crashed in a rural area in the central region of Parana state in southern Brazil, the Civil Defense announced Tuesday.

According to authorities, the aircraft fell into a river between the cities of Roncador and Mato Rico on Tuesday morning for reasons still unknown. (Brazil-Plane crash)

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SAN FRANCISCO -- American Airlines on Tuesday flew a Boeing 737 Max from Miami to New York with paying passengers on board, making the first commercial flight almost 2 years after the worldwide grounding of the troubled aircraft.

American flight 718 carried about 100 passengers and landed Tuesday afternoon at LaGuardia Airport, according to an airline spokeswoman. (U.S.-Boeing 737 Max)

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LONDON -- Britain recorded more than 50,000 coronavirus cases overnight for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the world, according to official figures released Tuesday.

Another 53,135 people in Britain have tested positive for COVID-19, marking a new record daily increase in coronavirus cases in the country, according to the official figures. (UK-Coronavirus) Enditem

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