January 4, 2010 (this day)
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January 4, 2010: A Day of Milestones and Disasters
On this day in history, the world witnessed several remarkable events, ranging from scientific achievements to natural calamities. Here are some of the highlights of January 4, 2010:
The Burj Khalifa, the tallest structure ever built, opened to the public in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. The skyscraper stands at 829.8 m (2,722 ft) and has more than 160 floors[^2^] [^3^]. It was designed by American architect Adrian Smith and cost about $1.5 billion to construct[^2^]. The building features a hotel, offices, residences, observation decks, and a fountain[^2^].
A 7.2 magnitude earthquake hit the Solomon Islands, causing widespread damage to hundreds of homes and triggering a tsunami warning for the Pacific region[^1^] [^3^]. The quake occurred at a depth of 35 km (22 mi) and was felt as far away as Australia and New Zealand[^1^]. No casualties were reported, but many people were left homeless and without power or water[^1^].
Large parts of northern China and South Korea were affected by the heaviest snowfall in 60 years, causing widespread disruption to transport, schools, and businesses[^3^] [^5^]. Beijing recorded its highest snowfall since 1951, with 33 cm (13 in) of snow covering the city[^5^]. In South Korea, more than 1,000 flights were canceled and thousands of vehicles were stranded on roads due to the snowstorm[^5^]. The snow also caused power outages and crop damage in both countries[^5^].
NASA's Kepler telescope detected its first five exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system[^3^] . The telescope was launched in March 2009 with the mission of finding Earth-like planets that could potentially support life. The five exoplanets discovered by Kepler were all larger than Neptune and had very short orbital periods ranging from 0.8 to 4.9 days. They were named Kepler-4b, Kepler-5b, Kepler-6b, Kepler-7b, and Kepler-8b.
These were some of the major events that took place on January 4, 2010. The day also marked other notable occurrences, such as the death of Johan Ferrier, the first president of Suriname[^3^], the marriage of Jacob Zuma, the president of South Africa, to his fifth wife[^3^], and the removal of HIV infection from the list of communicable diseases of public health significance by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services[^2^].
Another major event that took place on January 4, 2010 was the attack on a CIA base in Afghanistan by a Jordanian triple agent. The attacker, identified as Humam Khalil Abu-Mulal al-Balawi, was a doctor and a blogger who had been recruited by the Jordanian intelligence to infiltrate al-Qaeda. He was invited to the base in Khost province as a potential source of information on the whereabouts of al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. However, he detonated a suicide vest as he was being searched, killing eight people, including seven CIA officers and a Jordanian intelligence officer[^3^] . The attack was one of the deadliest for the CIA in its history and a major blow to its counterterrorism efforts in the region.
On a lighter note, January 4, 2010 also marked some cultural and sporting achievements. In music, two popular songs topped the charts in different parts of the world: TiK ToK by Ke$ha in the United States[^2^] and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga in the United Kingdom[^2^]. Both songs were catchy and danceable, reflecting the trends of electro-pop and synth-pop in the late 2000s. In sports, Boise State defeated TCU 17-10 in the Fiesta Bowl, one of the major college football bowl games in the United States[^2^]. The game was notable for being a matchup between two undefeated teams from non-power conferences, who had been denied a chance to play for the national championship due to the controversial Bowl Championship Series system. Boise State finished the season with a perfect 14-0 record and ranked fourth in the final polls.
Finally, January 4, 2010 also saw some notable deaths of famous personalities. Among them were Casey Johnson, an American heiress and socialite who was the great-great-granddaughter of Robert Wood Johnson I, the co-founder of Johnson & Johnson[^2^]; Donal Donnelly, an Irish actor who appeared in films such as The Godfather Part III and The Dead[^2^]; Sandro, an Argentine singer and songwriter who was known as \"the Argentine Elvis\" for his rock and roll style[^2^]; and Tsutomu Yamaguchi, a Japanese businessman who was one of the few people to survive both the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945[^2^]. Their lives and legacies were remembered by their fans and families. a474f39169