Activists held a rally protesting the nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the office of secretary of state outside of the Dirksen Senate Building on Capitol Hill on January 11, 2017. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee was holding their confirmation hearing for Tillerson inside.
Hundreds of thousands of Iranians attended the funeral ceremony of former president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani in Tehran, Iran on January 10, 2017. Rafsanjani, one of the last major figures of the 1979 revolution who later pushed for reforms and rapprochement with the the West, died at the age of 82 on January 8, 2017.
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.
United Press International is a leading provider of news, photos and information to millions of readers around the globe via UPI.com and its licensing services.
With a history of reliable reporting dating back to 1907, today's UPI is a credible source for the most important stories of the day, continually updated - a one-stop site for U.S. and world news, as well as entertainment, trends, science, health and stunning photography. UPI also provides insightful reports on key topics of geopolitical importance, including energy and security.