LONDON — Euro zone stocks opened 2017 by climbing to their highest in more than a year on Monday after data showed manufacturers in the currency bloc ramped up activity at the fastest pace in more than five years. With all of Asia's major markets closed for the New Year holiday - along with Britain and Switzerland in Europe - trade was thin, which could cause some volatility. The United States and Canada will also be closed.
Two sets of twins were born in different years over the weekend, with parents in Arizona and California getting double doses of joy in 2016 and 2017, local media reported. Twin girls were born at San Diego's Sharp Mary Birch Hospital when Scarlett Annie arrived at 11:56 p.m. on New Year's Eve and sister Virginia Rose was born right at midnight, the San Diego Union-Tribune reported, citing a hospital spokeswoman. The spokeswoman withheld the children's last name out of the parents' request for privacy.
BRASILIA—Around 60 people were killed in a bloody prison riot in the Amazon jungle city of Manaus sparked by a war between rival drug gangs, officials said Monday, in the worst violence in over two decades in Brazil's overcrowded penitentiary system. The head of security for Amazonas state, Sergio Fontes, told a news conference that the death toll could rise as authorities get a clearer idea of the scale of the rebellion sparked by a fight between rival drug gangs.
VATICAN CITY—Pope Francis has told bishops around the world they must adhere to a policy of zero tolerance for clergy who sexually abuse children and begged forgiveness for "a sin that shames us". In a letter sent on Dec. 28 but released by the Vatican only on Monday, Francis said: "I would like us to renew our complete commitment to ensuring that these atrocities will no longer take place in our midst."
CAIRO/ISTANBUL—Islamic State claimed responsibility today for a New Year's Day mass shooting in a packed Istanbul nightclub that killed 39 people, an attack carried out by a lone gunman who remains at large. It described the Reina nightclub, where many foreigners as well as Turks were killed, as a gathering point for Christians celebrating their "apostate holiday". The attack, it said, was revenge for Turkish military involvement in Syria.
HONOLULU - U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver a farewell address on Jan. 10 to reflect on his time in office and say thank you to his supporters, he said in an email statement released today. Obama, noting that the first president of the United States, George Washington, had penned a farewell address in 1796, said he would deliver his speech in his hometown of Chicago.
BERLIN - German Chancellor Angela Merkel is steering clear of the World Economic Forum in Davos, a meeting expected to be dominated by debate over the looming presidency of Donald Trump and rising public anger with elites and globalization. Merkel has been a regular at the annual gathering of political leaders, CEOs and celebrities, traveling to the snowy resort in the Swiss Alps seven times since becoming chancellor in 2005.
TBILISI/KIEV—Republican Senator John McCain said on Sunday the United States could only improve its relations with Russia by taking a tough stance with President Putin, calling for stronger sanctions against Moscow. On a tour of the Baltic states, Ukraine and Georgia, McCain and other senators assured the former Soviet-dominated countries that the United States would support them, despite President-elect Donald Trump's praise of Putin and expressions of doubts about NATO.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Sam Bradford was 25 of 33 passing for 250 yards, three touchdowns and one interception, and Kyle Rudolph had 11 catches for 117 yards and a score as the Minnesota Vikings finished the season with a 38-10 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Bradford was particularly sharp early, leading Minnesota to three touchdown drives in the first half, and the Vikings' defense accounted for five takeaways, including a fumble returned for a touchdown by Everson Griffen.
RIO DE JANEIRO - A gunman stormed a house party and killed 11 people, including his former wife and 8-year-old son, before shooting himself in the head during a New Year's party in the southeastern Brazilian city of Campinas late on Saturday. Police in the state of São Paulo said the shooter, identified as 46-year-old Sidnei Ramis de Araújo, is believed to have been angry over a split with his wife, Isamara Filier, 41, and their son João Victor.