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World rings in 2012 and bids adieu to a tough year

(China Daily)

10:46, January 01, 2012

Revellers cheer as confetti falls during New Year celebrations at Times Square in Hong Kong January 1,2012. [Photo/Agencies]

NEW YORK - With glittering fireworks and star-studded celebrations from New Zealand to Times Square, the world eagerly welcomed a new year and hope for a better future Saturday, saying goodbye to a year of hurricanes, tsunamis and economic turmoil that many would rather forget.

Revelers in Australia, Asia, Europe and the South Pacific island nation of Samoa, which jumped across the international dateline to be the first to celebrate, welcomed 2012 with booming pyrotechnic displays. Fireworks soared and sparked over Moscow's Red Square, crowds on Paris' Champs-Elysees boulevard popped Champagne corks at midnight, and up to a million revelers were expected to jam New York's Times Square for the famed crystal-paneled ball drop.

But many approached the new year with more relief than joy, as people battered by weather disasters, joblessness and economic uncertainty hoped the stroke of midnight would change their fortunes.

"Once the ball drops, I won't give 2011 another thought," said Kyralee Scott, 16, of Jackson, New Jersey, whose father spent most of the year out of work. "It was a pretty tough year, but God was looking after us and I know 2012 has got to be better."


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