Military leaders honored President Obama at the armed forces full honor review farewell ceremony in Virginia on Jan. 4. Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, thanked President Obama for his commitment and accomplishments as Commander-in-Chief.
Crews in New York City started work on the Waterford Crystal ball set to drop over Times Square on New Year's Eve, and performed their annual Confetti Test in preparation for New Year's Eve festivities.
During services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Pope Francis, leader of 1.2 million Roman Catholics worldwide, called for peace in the world's conflict zones and also addressed the gap between the rich and poor.
The Church of Nativity, where many Christians believe Jesus Christ was born, in Bethlehem, West Bank, is currently undergoing a major renovation. The Palestinian Presidential Committee for the Restoration of the Nativity Church commenced a massive rehabilitation of the church with the blessings of the Catholic, Greek Orthodox and Armenian Churches, in September 2013. The work is being done by Piacenti, an Italian restoration company, and should be completed in 2018.
Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos attends the Nobel Peace Prize Award Ceremony at City Hall in Oslo on December 10, 2016. Santos was awarded the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize for reaching an accord with Marxist rebels to end a 52-year civil war.
Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), delivered his farewell speech to the Senate on Dec. 8 ahead of his retirement in January, marking the end of 30 years on Capitol Hill. Vice President Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell were on hand for the tribute to Reid, which included the unveiling of a portrait of Reid which will hang in the Capitol.
The First Family lit the National Christmas Tree in the White House's annual tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 in Washington, D.C. Garth Brooks, Trisha Yearwood, Marc Anthony, Chance the Rapper, Yolanda Adams, James Taylor, and Kelly Clarkson performed at the ceremony which was hosted by actress Eva Longoria.
Israelis inspect the burnt remains of their homes in the Hamalish Settlement, West Bank, on November 27, 2016. Several firebombs were found in the area of the settlement where forty-five homes were damaged and eighteen completely destroyed.
Chinese salespeople assist shoppers at a pop-up Amazon Prime tent aimed at promoting 'Black Friday' sales deals in Beijing on November 25, 2016. Leading international e-commerce platforms, including Amazon Prime, are aggressively promoting their services and products in China during Black Friday and the upcoming Christmas shopping season.
President Barack Obama took to the East Room of the White House to award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to 21 distinguished innovators, entertainers athletes and philanthropists, including Tom Hanks, Ellen DeGeneres, Michael Jordan, and more.
Marking the first anniversary, people gathered to pay tribute to the victims of the November 13, 2015, terror attacks which took place across the French capital of Paris. Some 130 were killed, 90 of them at Bataclan concert hall, when Islamic militants went of the rampage in the heart of the French capital.
An estimated crowd of up to 10,000 people marched through downtown Los Angeles on November 12, 2016, as they protested the election of Donald Trump. Demonstrations have sprung up across the country, in Portland where police made more than 20 arrests and used flash bang grenades and other less-than-lethal force to clear the streets, to New York City, Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, Philadelphia and Baltimore.
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