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News Wrap: Hundreds rescued off burning Greek ferry

December 29, 2014 at 6:45 PM EDT

GWEN IFILL: Emergency crews today completed rescuing 427 people from a Greek ferry that burned off the coast of Albania. At least 10 others died. Fire broke out yesterday on the ferry’s car deck, not far from the island of Corfu, between Italy and Albania. Video from the Italian navy showed crews lifting passengers from the upper deck of the vessel onto rescue helicopters. The operation was hindered by driving rain and high winds.

In Iraq, a suicide bomber killed at least 15 people and wounded two dozen more, just north of Baghdad. It happened at a funeral for a man linked with pro-government Sunni militias. Officials said the attack bore the hallmarks of Islamic State militants.

A British medical worker was diagnosed with Ebola today after flying home from Sierra Leone. The patient arrived in Scotland last night, and only then showed symptoms. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization announced the number of cases in West Africa has passed 20,000, with more than 7,800 deaths.

The Kremlin confirms that Russia’s — Russia’s economy, that is, lost ground this year for the first time since 2009. It shrank by half-a-percent, under pressure from falling oil prices and sanctions over Ukraine. The news sent the Russian ruble tumbling another 8 percent.

Back in this country, the number three House Republican acknowledged he addressed a gathering hosted by white nationalists in 2002. The Washington Post reported Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise was then a state representative speaking on wasteful spending. His office says Scalise was unaware of what it called the sponsor’s hate-fueled ignorance.

And Wall Street had a lackluster day. The Dow Jones industrial average lost 15 points to close at 18038; the Nasdaq was virtually unchanged, closing just under 4807; and the S&P 500 added about two to finish at 2090.