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Court to rule on dentist appeal

THE High Court will give its decision in the New Year on a challenge by two dentists against the HSE's restriction of the scheme for free dental treatment for medical card holders.

Dentists Martin Reid and James Turner claim the proposed changes to the Dental Treatment Service Scheme outlined in a circular issued last April will radically confine the services they can offer to medical card holders to emergency services and one oral examination in a 12-month period.

The HSE denied the claims that it acted properly in implementing the changes.

China offers peace award

China is awarding its own peace prize to counter the Nobel that recognised imprisoned democracy campaigner Liu Xiaobo.

Organisers of the Confucius Peace Prize will honour former Taiwanese vice president Lien Chan in Beijing today for his efforts at building peace between the Chinese mainland and Taiwan.

Mr Lien's office in Taipei said he had received no formal notification of the award.

Drivers to shop across Border

One in five motorists in the Republic have said they plan to cross the Border to do Christmas shopping.

A poll by the AA showed drivers were undeterred by the budget hike in fuel prices, the weakened euro and possible queues as they prepared to travel to the North over the next two weeks. A further 6pc said they would do some or all of their Christmas shopping elsewhere in the UK.

New Year swim to attract 200

Almost 200 people are expected to plunge into the freezing Irish Sea to take part in the annual Bray Charities Sea Swim on New Year's Day.

Many participants wear fancy dress into the icy waves. The annual event has raised almost €240,000 for local charities over the past 28 years.

This year the charity will be the Society of St Vincent de Paul.

Organised by Bray Lions Club, sponsorship cards are available from John McEvoy at john@aravon.com or 086 8561888.