Sanctions on Iran were lifted after the regime was found to be in compliance with its obligations to dismantle parts of its nuclear programme. Yet America almost immediately imposed a new set of sanctions on companies and people linked to Iran's ballistic-missile programme. Iran also freed four Iranian-Americans it had held prisoner, including a reporter from the Washington Post, in exchange for seven Iranians held in America.
The UN said that Islamic State has enslaved as many as 3,500 people in Iraq. Most of these are women and children from the minority Yazidi community. Speaking in Paris, America's defence secretary, Ashton Carter, said America and six other countries were stepping up their military campaign against IS in Iraq and Syria.
联合国称伊斯兰国（Islamic State）在伊拉克挟持了3500人作为奴隶。他们当中大多数是来自雅兹迪（Yazidi）少数民族群体的妇女和儿童。美国国防部长阿什顿·卡特（Ashton Carter）于巴黎表示，美国与其他六国将加强对极端组织伊斯兰国在伊拉克和叙利亚地区的军事打击。
Members of the two main factions in Libya's civil war formed a unity government as part of a peace process brokered by the UN. But several militias in control of different parts of the country, including some in the two main factions, rejected the deal.
In Burkina Faso jihadists attacked a hotel in the capital, Ouagadougou, killing at least 30 people. The attack, an echo of one last year in neighbouring Mali, was the first by Islamists in the country.
The letter of the law
Standard & Poor's, a rating agency, downgraded Poland's credit rating from A- to BBB+ over concerns about the rule of law in the country. The agency said changes to Poland's media law and to the composition of its constitutional court, made by the new right-wing government of the Law and Justice party, implied that institutional checks and balances could be threatened. Poland has been placed under review in a European Commission rule-of-law procedure.
标准普尔评级公司（Standard & Poor's）出于对波兰法治的担忧，将其信用等级由“A-”降至“BBB+”。该公司表示，在新上台右翼执政党法律与公正党的支持下，波兰媒体法与宪法法院构成形式的相关改革暗示着其体制制衡或将受到威胁。欧洲委员会已针对波兰开展法治程序审查。
In Britain a public inquiry into the murder in 2006 of Alexander Litvinenko, a KGB defector, found that Vladimir Putin, Russia's president, had “probably” approved the killing following a feud. Litvinenko was poisoned by tea laced with radioactive polonium-210 at a restaurant in London. Two Russian men accused of the murder deny any involvement.
英国在关于2006年克格勃（KGB）叛逃者亚历山大·利特维年科（Alexander Litvinenko）谋杀事件的公开调查中发现，俄罗斯总统弗拉基米尔·普京（Vladimir Putin）“可能”在双方不和后批准了此次谋杀行动。利特维年科在伦敦某餐厅喝下了掺有放射性钋-210的茶水后中毒身亡。两名俄罗斯人遭到指控，但他们否认参与了此次谋杀。
Franois Hollande unveiled a plan to boost job creation in France, which provides subsidies to small firms if they hire young or unemployed workers and more vocational training. Economists are sceptical of the plan. The French president has promised to bring France's unemployment rate down before running for a second term in 2017.
Fists all round
Taiwan elected Tsai Ing-wen as president, the first female one in the Chinese-speaking world. Ms Tsai's Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) also won its first majority in the island's legislature. The DPP favours Taiwan's formal independence from China, but Ms Tsai says she wants to maintain the status quo. She is likely to be more cautious than was her predecessor, Ma Ying-jeou of the Kuomintang, in pursuing free-trade and other agreements with China.
Gunmen killed 22 people and left 17 others injured in an attack on Bacha Khan University in north-west Pakistan. Four assailants were killed by security forces. It is not yet clear whether they were linked with militants who have carried out other deadly attacks in recent months.
枪手在巴基斯坦西北地区帕夏汗大学（Bacha Khan University）发动袭击，造成22人死亡，17人受伤。4名袭击者已被警察击毙。不过目前仍不清楚这些袭击者是否与近几月里其它几起致命袭击的激进分子有关。
A Swedish human-rights activist, Peter Dahlin, was shown on Chinese television apparently confessing to crimes. State media said Mr Dahlin, who works for a Beijing-based human-rights group, had “sponsored activities jeopardising China's national security”. Earlier a publisher from Hong Kong, Gui Minhai, who had gone missing in Thailand, was also shown on Chinese TV saying he had turned himself in to the authorities in relation to a drink- driving conviction 12 years ago.
China's leader, Xi Jinping, began his first trip as president to the Middle East. He travelled to Saudi Arabia and Egypt, and is also due to go to Iran. More than half of China's imports of crude oil come from the Middle East.
North Korea's official media said scientists in the country had invented an alcoholic drink that does not cause hangovers. It is said to be made of a type of ginseng and glutinous rice. Implausible claims are a North Korean staple.
Venezuela's president, Nicolás Maduro, declared a state of economic emergency and asked parliament for powers to reform the economy by decree for 60 days. After withholding the release of economic indicators for more than a year, the Central Bank reported that inflation in the 12 months to September 2015 was 141.5% and that GDP shrank by 7.1% over the same period.
Colombia's government and the FARC guerrilla army asked the UN to send an unarmed mission to monitor a ceasefire between them after a peace agreement is signed. The joint request is an indication that negotiators in Havana are close to reaching a final agreement to end a conflict that has lasted for more than 50 years.
Jude Célestin, who came second in the first round of Haiti's presidential election in October, said he will boycott the run-off on January 24th because of alleged fraud. The leader after the first round was Jovenel Mo?se, who has the backing of the current president, Michel Martelly.
10月海地首轮总统大选得票率第二位的裘德·塞勒斯坦（Jude Célestin）称，因第一轮大选疑似存在舞弊行为，他将抵制1月24日举行的决胜选举。第一轮选举得票率最高的是穆瓦兹（Jovenel Mo?se），此人得到现任总统米歇尔·马尔泰利的支持。
Overstepping his authority?
America's Supreme Court took up a case that challenges orders issued by Barack Obama in November 2014 to lift the threat of deportation from up to 5m illegal immigrants and allow them to work. The orders were blocked when 26 states, led by Texas, filed suit in lower courts against the Obama administration.
Scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration confirmed that 2015 was the hottest year on record. The average global temperature was 0.9C (1.62F) above the long-term average for the 20th century. Cold comfort for those living in the northern hemisphere as various cold snaps start to bite.
In an unusually stilted performance, Sarah Palin, John McCain's running-mate in 2008, endorsed Donald Trump for president. A day earlier Mr Trump was the hot topic in Britain when Parliament debated a voter petition to ban him from the country for making Islamophobic statements. The government said it couldn't comment on individual immigration cases.
萨拉·佩林（Sarah Pali，2008年约翰·麦凯恩的竞选搭档）异常高调宣布支持唐纳德·特朗普竞选总统。前一天，特朗普还是英国的“热点话题人物”，此前他发表仇视穆斯林言论引起公愤，英国议会决定就一份要求禁止特朗普入境的请愿书展开辩论。政府表示不能就个体移民案件发表评论。翻译：刘蕊 叶露 校对：戴秀平