- Marines Secure Taliban Compounds (Jan. 1): Two hundred soldiers leave Kandahar to wage extensive American ground operation.
- Argentina Gets Fifth President in Two Weeks (Jan. 1): Congress appoints Sen. Eduardo Duhalde of the Peronist party to complete the term of Fernando De la Rua, who resigned in December amid protests over the failed economy.
- Euro Makes Smooth Debut (Jan. 2): Europeans start using common currency without significant problems.
- Israel Eases West Bank Blockade (Jan. 3): Relaxes military presence in various areas as U.S. peace envoy, Anthony Zinni, returns.
- Israel Seizes Ship Loaded with Arms (Jan. 3): Says Palestinians are involved in the shipment of 50 tons of weapons and explosives that was intercepted in the Red Sea.
- U.S. Builds Up Bases in Afghan Region (Jan. 8): Prepares for long-term presence in Central Asia. War in Afghanistan appears to be winding down, but U.S. continues to search for al-Qaeda and Taliban resistance fighters.
- U.S. Takes War Captives to Cuba Base (Jan. 10): Taliban and al-Qaeda prisoners flown from Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay in first transport of detainees.
- Russia Rejects Nuclear Storage Plan (Jan. 10): Opposes Bush's plans to mothball rather than destroy large number of nuclear warheads.
- U.S. and Philippines Join to Fight Terrorism (Jan. 15): Agree to have U.S. troops train Filipino soldiers to eliminate Abu Sayyaf, an Islamic terrorist organization.
- Arab Gunman Kills Six Israelis (Jan. 17–18): Palestinian also wounds 30 in crowded reception hall in Hadera. Israeli forces retaliate by bombing governor's office in Palestinian-controlled town of Tulkarm on West Bank.
- Mass Killing in Chechnya Reported (Jan. 22): Local officials contend Russian troops continue to execute civilians and loot property nearly two years after end of major hostilities.
- U.S. Reporter Kidnapped in Pakistan (Jan. 23): Wall St. Journal South Asia bureau chief Daniel Pearl disappears while investigating alleged shoe bomber Richard Reid's ties to Muslim fundamentalists.
- Iraqi Opposition Seeks U.S. Aid (Jan. 31): Insurgent leaders call on Bush administration to train forces seeking to overthrow Saddam Hussein.
- FBI Extends Terrorist Alert (Jan. 3): Tells nation's police to maintain security alert through Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City and March 11, six months after Sept. attack.
- Funds to Dismantle Nuclear Arms Sought (Jan. 8): White House plans to ask Congress for 37% increase over 2001 for Energy Department programs to store and destroy weapons-grade materials.
- President Signs Education Bill (Jan. 8): Measure, central to Bush's campaign, will broaden federal role in public education and mandate national testing.
- Judge Bars Fingerprint as Scientific Testimony (Jan. 11): Federal judge in Philadelphia rules fingerprint evidence, used for 90 years, does not meet standards set for scientific testimony.
- President Warns World Terrorists (Jan. 29): In first State of Union address, Bush says war against terrorists is “just beginning.” Address, broadcast to nation, focuses on Iran, Iraq, and North Korea. He charges that the three constitute “an axis of evil.” And Bush asserts that if he thinks necessary, he will wage war against states developing weapons of mass destruction.
- 2001 Sets Box-Office Record (Jan. 2): Ticket sales tally $8.35 billion, up 8.4 percent from 2000's $7.7 billion in receipts.
- Ford Plans to Close Five Plants (Jan. 11): Announces most drastic cutbacks in two decades, with 35,000 layoffs and the elimination of four models.
- Enron Collapse Takes Heavy Toll (Jan. 12): Investors and employees hard-hit by one of the largest bankruptcies in the history of American business. They seek to learn how much executives profited by selling stock when the price was still high. (Jan. 23): Kenneth L. Lay resigns as Enron chairman and chief executive under pressure from outside creditors. (Jan. 24): Lawyers investigating the company's demise report that Enron's auditor, Arthur Andersen, shredded important documents in anticipation of a lawsuit.
- Four Former Radicals Face Trial (Jan. 16): Sara Jane Olson and three others charged with murder in killing of woman in 1975 bank robbery in California.
- Debris Confirmed as Cause of Concorde Crash (Jan. 16): French aviation safety experts, in final report, agree that metal left on runway caused disaster in July 2000.
- Rains Stem Forest Fires in Australia (Jan. 16): Heavy downpours douse most of blazes outside Sydney.
- Defrocked Priest Convicted (Jan. 18): John Geoghan, former Massachusetts priest, found guilty of indecent assault and battery for fondling a young boy in 1991. He's accused of sexually molesting about 130 children.
- Panel Opposes Cloning of Babies (Jan. 18): Scientific experts call procedure unsafe, but support cloning techniques for treatment of disease.
- Fed Ends Series of Interest Rate Cuts (Jan. 30): Reserve apparently finishes year-old campaign as economy shows signs of recovery.
- Stephen King Announces Retirement (Jan. 30): The master of horror says he will retire when his contract expires, after the publication of five more books.