World News

New Year's Celebrations Continue Across America

The parties and fireworks displays to ring in 2014 are continuing as the clock strikes midnight across North and South America, concluding a day of celebration that started on the other side of the world.

About a million New York City revelers braved frigid temperatures and high security, waiting hours in Times Square for a giant Waterford crystal ball to drop at the stroke of midnight.

With neither the current nor the incoming New York City mayor present to push the button to start the ball drop, the honors were performed by Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, a New York native.

The city of Nashville, Tennessee dropped a giant music note at midnight, while the city of Vincennes, Indiana, dropped 14 watermelons in tribute to 2014. From space, the crew of the International Space Station -- two Americans and a Japanese crew member -- sent their greetings to Times Square and the rest of the world via a NASA video.

Crowds gathered in public spaces around the world, including Moscow, Dubai, and London. London's partiers were treated to edible banana-flavored confetti as they watched fireworks over Trafalger Square.

Dubai created what it called the world's largest fireworks show, igniting 400,000 fireworks that aimed to set a new world record. Kuwait set last year's record of 77,000 fireworks.



Fireworks erupted from Auckland's Sky Tower as people danced in the streets of New Zealand's biggest city. In Sydney, Australia, more than a million people watched fireworks launched for the first time in more than a decade from the sails of the city's famed waterfront opera house. Billowing fireworks soared over Hong Kong's skyscrapers.

In Japan, some celebrators ate noodles and seafood -- thought to bring good luck in 2014 -- and offered prayers at Buddhist shrines and temples.

Celebrations were somewhat muted in the Philippines, where officials say about 260 people were injured by fireworks or stray bullets in the days leading up to New Year's Eve. The mood also was somber in areas still recovering from Haiyan, a November typhoon that killed thousands of people.

Cape Town, South Africa, had a particularly poignant celebration to include a tribute to anti-apartheid leader Nelson Mandela, who died December 5.

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