President Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in response to Moscow's alleged interference in the US presidential elections through hacking operations. Mr. Obama also said Russia had been harassing US officials. The successor Donald Trump has repeatedly played down the hacking claims but it's now said he will meet US Intelligence chiefs to be updated on this situation.
A nationwide ceasefire agreed by the Syrian government and rebel factions has come into force. While fighting was set to hold stopped in much of the country, there have been reports of some clashes between government forces and the rebels. A number of organisations are not covered by the truce including Islamic State.
Police in Rio de Janeiro have found a body inside a burnt-out car that had been rented by the Greek ambassador to Brazil, Kyriakos Amiridis. He's been missing for 3 days after traveling to Rio from Brasilia for the traditional new year celebrations.
A major breach of security at a British nuclear facility in 1988 led to censors of the base in Scotland being ordered to shoot suspected saboteurs on site. Archived government papers published today reveal a succession of security failures that allowed 3 anti-nuclear protesters to break into the base.
A full-length opera composed by an 11-year-old British girl has received its world premiere at a sold-out performance in Viena. Alma Deutscher's opera, Cinderella, relocates the traditional fairy tale to an opera house managed by Cinderella's step mother with the 2 ugly sisters reimagined as aspiring divas.
And the tennis star Serena Williams has taken to the social media site Reddit to announce her engagement to its cofounder Alexis Ohanian. Williams said that he'd taken her in a surprise trip to a restaurant in Rome where they first met more than a year ago.