The U.S. opposition political party has delivered a message of optimism for the new year.
Speaking for Republicans in their weekly address, Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell says better days are ahead for the United States, despite political disagreements.
He says "powerful forces may be aligned against" the country, after a year that has included skyrocketing unemployment, massive bank failures, record troop deaths in Afghanistan, and a Christmas Day terrorist attempt against a U.S.-bound passenger plane.
But McConnell cites historical examples and says, "when challenges are greatest, Americans always join ranks" to overcome them.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.