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Chinese Lunar Exploration Program

China National Space Administration's robotic lander Chang'e 4 successfully lands at the Von Kármán lunar crater on the far side of the Moon.

The unmanned space mission is the first landing on the side of the Moon that never faces Earth.

116th United States Congress

The 116th United States Congress, which contains a record number of women and minorities, is sworn in at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. Democrat Nancy Pelosi becomes the Speaker of the House of Representatives for the second time, the first being from 2007–2011.

Democrats are taking the majority in the House of Representatives after eight years out of power

Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi

Iran's health minister Hassan Ghazizadeh Hashemi resigns in protest against a medical budget. His resignation was accepted by President Hassan Rouhani.

The Iranian president approves the resignation of Health Minister Hassan Qazizadeh Hashemi.

Texas City, Texas

A man shoots three children to death and wounds a woman in Texas City, Texas, United States. The suspect has not been apprehended.

Prosecutor General of Russia

The Prosecutor General of Russia Yury Chaika says that France today extradited Alexei Viktorovich Kuznetsov, Алексей Викторович, a former Finance Minister of the Moscow Region who is accused of fraud and embezzlement amounting to 14 billion Russian rubles (US$200 million).

According to investigators, Alexei Kuznetsov and his accomplices inflicted damage on the Moscow Region government to the tune of over 14 bln rubles

China

China executes serial killer Gao Chengyong, who murdered eleven girls and women between 1988 and 2002.

Gao killed 11 girls and women between 1988 and 2002 - his youngest victim was only eight years old.

Mexico–United States barrier

The Department of Homeland Security requests more American troops be deployed to the Mexico-United States border in order to add 160 miles of concertina wire alongside existing border fencing.

Afghan President

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani demands clarification after U.S. President Donald Trump said yesterday that the Soviet Union was "right to be there", referring to the 1979–1989 Soviet–Afghan War.

Trump “proves to be more mad than people think,” one Afghan lawmaker said.

Somali

Somalia expels Nicholas Haysom, the most senior United Nations diplomat in the country, after accusing him of "acting like the country's ruler".

Nicholas Haysom's expulsion comes after he raised concern about the killing of protesters.

14th Street Tunnel shutdown

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announces that a complete shutdown of the 14th Street Tunnel in New York City, proposed to allow for subway repairs caused by damage from Hurricane Sandy, has been halted. Cuomo says that engineers will use a new technology from Europe to make critical repairs to the tunnel without having to close it entirely. The complete shutdown would have closed the tunnel, which is used by nearly 225,000 people each weekday, for an expected 15 months.

The closing of the subway tunnel between Manhattan and Brooklyn would have been one of the largest disruptions New York City had faced in recent years.

Interstate 75

Seven people are killed after a crash and diesel fuel spill sparked a massive fire on Interstate 75 in Gainesville, Florida, United States.

Dutch Coast Guard

The Dutch Coast Guard says 270 containers fell off "MSC Zoe" in heavy seas near the German island of Borkum and floated towards the Netherlands. Treasure hunters revel on the West Frisian islands of Terschelling and Vlieland. Three containers containing hazardous materials are still missing and ships are warned for floating containers.

Dozens of containers with items including flat-screen televisions have washed up on Dutch islands in the North Sea after a ship lost part of its cargo in heavy seas, bringing a windfall for local treasure hunters.

European migrant crisis

The mayor of Naples offers to berth a NGO-operated ship with 32 migrants who were rescued on 22 December in the Mediterranean Sea, off the coast of Libya.

2018 Magnitogorsk building collapse

The death toll of an explosion caused by a gas leak that devastated a block of flats in Magnitogorsk, Russia, rises to 39. Rescuers end their search efforts at the collapse site as there are no more missing people.

Speculation has swirled that the collapse was the result of a terrorist attack.

Dow Jones Industrial Average

The Dow Jones Industrial Average drops 660 points following a warning from Apple on weak demand and trade relations between the United States and China.

Corporate acquisitions and mergers

Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb proposes the takeover of cancer drug company Celgene for US$95 billion, including debt, the biggest biopharma deal ever.

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co said on Thursday it would buy Celgene Corp for about $74...

Syrian Civil War

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights and Syrian state media say that a U.S.-led coalition aerial attack killed 11 civilians in Deir ez-Zor Governorate.

Deir Ezzor, SANA-Eleven civilians from one family were killed on Thursday in an aggression by US-led coalition on residential houses in al-Sha'afa town in Deir Ezzor countryside. Civil sources told SANA reporter that warplanes of the US-led coalition launched an aggression on al-Sha'afa town, und