North Korea Reopens Communication Channel.
In what appears to be a major diplomatic move, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reopened a dormant communications channel with the South yesterday. According to South Korea's Unification Ministry, a 20-minute phone call was placed at 3:30 local time in Seoul on a cross-border hotline that hadn't been used in over two years. Relations between the two have thawed slightly since a New Year's address from Kim, and the South signaled it would be open to talks to involve the North in next month's Winter Olympics - though analysts say this is a familiar gambit for the North. The development comes amid a Twitter tit-for-tat between Kim and President Trump. 

Frigid Temps to Remain Through Weekend.
The new year is off to an icy start with much of the US seeing record low temperatures, with wind chill warnings stretching from Canada to the Gulf Coast. The National Weather Service forecasts that temperatures will remain 10 to 20 degrees below normal through the end of the week. The duration and severity of the cold snap can be blamed on a shift in the jet stream that has pushed arctic air south, while places like Alaska are unusually warm (Anchorage was a balmy 44 degrees yesterday). It's so cold east of the Rockies that sharks are freezing to death, southern schools are shutting down, and even Niagara Falls is beginning to ice over (photos). At least 12 deaths have been attributed to the freezing temperatures. 

Longest Serving Senate Republican to Retire.

Orrin Hatch, the senior senator from Utah and longest serving Senate Republican, will retire at the end of the year. Hatch, who turns 84 this year, had gone back and forth over whether to run again in 2018. The announcement means that leadership of the powerful Senate Finance Committee, which oversees taxes, health care, and entitlement programs in the Senate and is currently chaired by Hatch, will  be open. It also fuels widespread speculation that Mitt Romney will run to replace Hatch - a potential thorn in the side for President Trump, who has developed a tumultuous relationship with the ex-Massachusetts governor. 
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Sports, Entertainment & Culture.

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Science & Technology.

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Business & Markets.

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Politics & World Affairs.

> At least 46 dead after bus collides with truck, falls off cliff in Peru (More)
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> Thomas S. Monson, head of Mormon Church, dies at 90 (More)
Beautiful time-lapse shows how light pollution affects the night sky

UNC-Duke rivalry spills into medical workers.

How to watch the Quadrantids this week,the year's first major meteor shower.

Study says sugar coma is real - glucose consumption leads to worse cognitive performance

Iceland institutes equal pay law, makes it illegal to pay men more than women

What each state Googled more than any other state in 2017

Pitchfork's 37 top albums to look forward to in 2018

The you are most likely to get killed by in each state

Library of Congress calls it quits on Twitter.

Clickbait: Man tries to skip out on 6-hour NYE cab bill from Copenhagen to Oslo

Historybook: HBD J.R.R. Tolkien (1892); US cuts diplomatic ties with Cuba (1961); Jack Ruby dies (1967); Apple is incorporated (1977); Panamanian dictator Manuel Noriega surrenders to US (1990).
-Steve Jobs
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