Saint Kitts and Nevis: Sir Cuthbert Sebastian takes office as governor-general.
Switzerland: Jean-Pascal Delamuraz takes the office of president for the year 1996.
Austria: Finance Minister Andreas Staribacher (SPÖ) resigns. The next day he is succeeded by Transport Minister Viktor Klima (SPÖ).
Egypt: The cabinet of Prime Minister Atef Sedki resigns. Planning Minister Kamal Ganzouri is appointed new prime minister on January 3 with a cabinet including Muhyi al-Din al-Gharib as finance minister. The new government is sworn in on January 4.
Mauritania: President Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya appoints the fisheries minister Cheikh El Avia Ould Mohamed Khouna as new prime minister.
Algeria: The new prime minister, Ahmed Ouyahia, presents his government. Ahmed Attaf is foreign minister.
Czech Republic: Former Czechoslovak foreign minister (1953-68) Václav David dies.
Japan: Prime Minister Tomiichi Murayama announces his resignation. On January 11 the minister for industry and foreign trade, Ryutaro Hashimoto (LDP), is elected prime minister. Yukihiko Ikeda becomes foreign minister; Hideo Usui, defense minister; Wataru Kubo, finance minister; Hiroyuki Kurata, home affairs minister.
Lithuania: Foreign Minister Povilas Gylys and Defense Minister Linas Linkevicius offer their resignations.
Poland: Stanislaw Dobrzanski becomes new defense minister, succeeding Zbigniew Okonski.
Russia: Foreign Minister Andrey Kozyrev is dismissed. On January 9 Yevgeny Primakov succeeds him.
Guatemala: The runoff election for the presidency is won by former (1991) foreign minister Álvaro Arzú Irigoyen with 51.2% against 48.8% for Alfonso Portillo Cabrera. Turnout is a record low 36.9%. Arzú takes office January 14. Eduardo Stein Barillas becomes foreign minister.
Hungary: Károly Grósz, former prime minister (1987-88) and general secretary of the Hungarian Socialist Workers' Party (1988-89), dies.
Falkland Islands: Richard Ralph is sworn in as governor.
France: Former president (1981-95) François Mitterrand dies.
United States: Mike Foster (Republican) is sworn in as governor of Louisiana.
Peru: Gen. Tomás Castillo Meza becomes defense minister, succeeding Gen. Víctor Malca Villanueva, who had resigned along with the justice and transport ministers the previous day.
Italy: Prime Minister Lamberto Dini again announces his resignation.
Portugal: The Socialist candidate, Jorge Sampaio, wins the presidential elections with 53.8% of the vote against 46.2% for former prime minister Aníbal Cavaco Silva. Turnout is over 66%.
Greece: Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou resigns because of ill health; on January 18 Kostas Simitis is elected to succeed him. The new cabinet is sworn in on January 22; Theodoros Pangalos is the new foreign minister.
Lesotho: King Moshoeshoe II dies in a car accident. On January 18 the assembly of chiefs designates Crown Prince David Mohato Bereng Seeiso (Letsie III) to succeed him. His mother, Queen 'MaMohato, acts as regent until his enthronement.
Sierra Leone: Head of state Valentine Strasser is deposed by his deputy, Julius Maada Bio. General Bio is formally sworn in on January 17. In a cabinet reshuffle on January 19, Melvin Chalobah becomes foreign minister and Samura Kamara finance minister.
Germany: Edzard Schmidt-Jortzig (FDP) is sworn in as new justice minister, succeeding Sabine Leutheusser-Schnarrenberger (FDP), who had resigned.
Finland: Finance Minister Iiro Viinanen resigns.
India: Former chief minister of Andhra Pradesh (1983-84, 1984-89, 1994-95) N.T. Rama Rao dies.
Guinea-Bissau: Fernando Delfim da Silva becomes foreign minister.
West Bank + Gaza Strip: In elections to the Palestinian Authority held January 19-20, the Fatah movement gains 50 of the 88 seats. PLO leader Yasir Arafat is elected president with 87.1% of the votes against 9.6% for Samiha Khalil. Turnout is 75% in the West Bank and 93% in the Gaza Strip.
Austria: Waltraud Klasnic (ÖVP) is elected premier of Steiermark, replacing Josef Krainer (ÖVP), who had resigned.
Poland: Prime Minister Józef Oleksy declares his resignation.
Canada: Lloyd Axworthy replaces André Ouellet as foreign minister.
Tonga: In parliamentary elections held January 24 and 25, the pro-democracy People's Party of 'Akilisi Pohiva wins 6 out of the 9 elected seats in the 30-member parliament.
Canada: Brian Tobin (Liberal) is sworn in as premier of Newfoundland, replacing Clyde Wells (Liberal), who resigned.
Comoros: Said Mohamed Djohar returns from Réunion (where he lived since Oct. 6, 1995, following his deposition in a coup) to become president again until elections in March.
Niger: President Mahamane Ousmane is ousted in a military coup. The army chief of staff, Col. Ibrahim Baré Maïnassara, puts himself at the top of a National Salvation Council. On January 30 the council appoints Boukary Adji as prime minister.
Saint-Pierre and Miquelon: Jean-François Carenco becomes prefect.
India: Former Bihar governor (1971-73) Dev Kanta Borooah dies.
Myanmar: San Yu, president of Burma from 1981 to 1988, dies.
Canada: Lucien Bouchard becomes premier of Quebec, succeeding Jacques Parizeau.
Saudi Arabia: Ibrahim al-Assaf is appointed finance minister.
Argentina: Former federal interventor in Catamarca (1991) Luis Adolfo Prol dies.
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Hasan Muratovic becomes prime minister, replacing Haris Silajdzic, who resigned. Jadranko Prlic succeeds Muhamed Sacirbey as foreign minister and Mirsad Kikanovic becomes finance minister. On January 31 Izudin Kapetanovic succeeds Silajdzic as prime minister of the Muslim-Croat federation.