2016 was a leap year that began on Friday. 2016 is the sixteenth year of the 3rd millennium, the sixteenth year of the 21st century and the seventh year of the 2010s.
January 1 - A two-child policy takes effect in China instead of the one-child policy.
January 2 - Saudi Arabia executes Nimra el Nimra for his role in the 2011-2012 protests.
January 3 - Iranian protesters storm the Saudi embassy in Tehran early in the morning, angry that Riyadh executed prominent Shiite cleric Nimr al-Nimr.
Saudi Arabia has severed diplomatic relations with Iran following an attack on the Saudi embassy in Tehran.
January 4 - The Kingdom of Bahrain and Sudan sever diplomatic relations with Iran and call on Iranian diplomats to leave the country within 48 hours, while the United Arab Emirates has decided to lower relations.
A strong earthquake in India and Bangladesh claimed at least 10 lives, while more than 160 people were injured.
January 5 - Kuwait withdraws ambassador from Iran over attack on Saudi Arabia's diplomatic mission.
January 6 - North Korea says it has tested a hydrogen bomb.
January 7 - Lebanon's presidential election
January 8 - Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, leader of the Sinaloan drug cartel, is arrested in Mexico.
January 9 - Clashes between police and protesters opposing the Union of Serb Municipalities escalate in Pristina; Molotov cocktails were thrown at the government building.
10-23. January - European Water Polo Championship 2016 in Serbia (in Belgrade)
10-22. January - European Women's Water Polo Championship 2016 in Serbia (Belgrade)
January 11 - Argentine Lionel Messi is named the best football player in the world for the fifth time by Fife.
January 12 - At least 10 people are killed in a bomb attack in Istanbul.
The first English district of red lanterns was opened in the West Yorkshire city of Leeds.
January 13 - Russian President Vladimir Putin says Russian scientists have developed a very effective drug against the deadly Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 11,000 lives in West Africa.
January 14 - French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo re-publishes a caricature that has provoked negative public criticism; namely, the caricature depicts racist scenes