This week the UK officially completes its separation from the EU, a strong earthquake causes destruction in Croatia, and Argentina legalises abortion in a landmark moment for women's rights.
A strong earthquake hits central Croatia, killing at least seven people and causing significant destruction in Petrinja, a town southeast of the capital Zagreb. 4.8 and 4.7 magnitude aftershocks have caused even further damage.
Ireland moves to highest level of Covid restrictions, with household visits banned, non-essential retail shut, and a travel limit imposed.
Seven bodies have been recovered after a landslide that destroyed homes in Ask village, near Oslo. Three people are said to still be missing.
Spain and the UK agree to keep the Gibraltar land border open. The deal enables Spanish workers to continue entering Gibraltar freely.
The post-brexit trade deal is signed, and the UK completes its separation from the EU. The agreement came into force at 23:00 GMT on 31st December.
Central African Republic:
Opposition parties in the Central African Republic have called for an annulment of the recent election saying it was marred by insecurity and fraud. Ten parties, known as the Democratic Opposition Coalition, say only about a third of all voters were able to take part.
Ghana’s main opposition candidate in the 7 December election has filed a petition at the Supreme Court seeking to annul President Nana Akufo Addo’s re-election. Former president John Mahama has said he lost unfairly to Mr Addo citing electoral irregularities and arguing that both of them did not attain a clear majority. According to the electoral commission Mr Addo garnered 51.59% of the votes while Mr Mahama got 47.37%. The opposition party NDC want the Supreme Court judges to order a re-run of the presidential election.
At least 100 killed in attacks on villages in Niger. The government said suspected jihadists ambushed two villages near Niger’s border with Mali.
South Africa passes one million Covid cases. The rise in cases comes after a new variant of coronavirus is identified in the country. The country has banned indoor and outdoor gatherings and imposed a night curfew until 15 January.
Iran is to pay compensation for victims of the shot-down Ukraine jet. Tehran will give $150,000 to the families of the 176 people killed.
Iran is to boost uranium enrichment to 20%, IAEA says: the move would be Tehran’s most serious breach of an international nuclear deal yet.
A Saudi woman activist is jailed despite international criticism from rights groups and governments. Loujain al-Hathloul was prominent in the campaign to win the right for Saudi women to drive.
At least 22 people have reportedly been killed by an explosion at Aden airport near a plane carrying cabinet ministers.
Asia and Oceania
Covid citizen journalist Zhang Zhan has been sentenced for four years in jail for her reports in Wuhan city.
China approves first general-use Covid vaccine. The Sinopharm vaccine is the first in China to be approved beyond emergency use.
India approves two coronavirus vaccines. It aims to inoculate 300m people this year in one of the world’s largest vaccination campaigns.
Pakistan coal miners killed in IS attack. The miners, who were members of a minority Shia community, were kidnapped by militants and killed.
Argentina legalises abortion: the law allows abortions up to the 14th week of pregnancy in the highly Catholic nation.
Trump signs Covid relief and spending package into law after lengthy delay. The measure restores unemployment benefits and averts a partial US government shutdown.
Boeing 737 Max passenger flights return to the skies in US. The plane was grounded in March 2019 after two separate deadly crashes within five months.
The New York Stock Exchange will delist the three Chinese companies based on claimed military links.