USD $1.1 trillion spending bill passes, funding all government until September 2015, minus Homeland Security (breakdown). FCC to increase spending on high-speed internet for schools and libraries in poor + rural areas. CIA-launched website defends enhanced interrogations, which "saved American lives". Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote authorizes Obama's war on ISIS. Obama meets with advisers to simplify business tax code, create manufacturing hubs promoting innovation via public / private partnerships, and expand manufacturing apprenticeship program.
Retail sales up 5% year-over-year, thanks in part to low gas prices. Ruble falls to record low against dollar despite Russia's interest rate hike to 10.5%. Spain's new law requiring payment for links means no more Spanish newspapers on Google News. Following Toyota, Honda / Nissan / Mitsubishi recall vehicles affected by Takata's potentially deadly airbags. Brazil prosecutors charge 35 former Petrobas officials and contractors in mega corruption scheme.
Sony Pictures Entertainment execs, whose inappropriate emails were leaked after the Sony hack, apologized to President Obama and Angelina Jolie. California sues Uber for the startup's iffy background-check claims, while competitor Lyft is settling its own lawsuit; Uber suspends Dehli operations after driver rapes passenger. With over 100 million new users in 2014, Instagram is now officially bigger than Twitter (300 vs. 284 million users). Microsoft announces January 21 event dedicated to Windows 10.
Islamic extremist bombs kill 31 in Jos, Nigeria; third bomb safely disarmed in Kano, second largest city. Sharp domestic criticism of USA's 2009 attempt at recruiting notorious Cuban rapper to unite youths against their communist government. Swiss Ebola vaccine trials suspended after 7% of volunteer patients complain of joint pains; grim discovery by WHO of numerous Ebola deaths in eastern Sierra Leone. Hong Kong police dismantles pro-democracy protesters' encampment and arrests 209.