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Events and Birthdays on 31 January

There are 30 weeks until Christmas.

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Events on this day, 31 January

The death of Robert McCartney, killed by IRA supporters, leads to a major backlash in the Nationalist community of Northern Ireland and abroad.

Family GP Dr Harold Shipman is jailed for life for murdering 15 of his patients, making him Britain's most prolific convicted serial killer.

A lorry carrying heavy explosives crashes into a bank in Colombo bank killing more than 50 people.

Drivers and front-seat passengers must wear seatbelts under a new law designed to reduce road deaths.

The American command in Vietnam reports over 5,000 people dead after two days' intensive fighting.

A chimpanzee sent into space in a United States rocket is recovered alive and well from the sea near Florida.

A car ferry sinks in the Irish Sea in one of the worst gales of the winter, claiming the lives of up to 130 passengers and crew.

Birthdays on this day, 31 January

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