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US, Europe hope the new year brings better times

  • A Russian Interior Ministry soldier peers through his snow-covered helmet as he and others block Triumphalnaya square during an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Russian opposition protests on the 31st of each month are a nod to the 31st article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    A Russian Interior Ministry soldier peers through his snow-covered helmet as he and others block Triumphalnaya square during an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Russian opposition protests on the 31st of each month are a nod to the 31st article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Fireworks explode in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral as Russians celebrate New Year on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

    Fireworks explode in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral as Russians celebrate New Year on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)

  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

    Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

  • Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

    Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

  • Fireworks explode over the ancient Acropolis Hill with the Parthenon temple during the New Year's celebrations in Athens, on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

    Fireworks explode over the ancient Acropolis Hill with the Parthenon temple during the New Year's celebrations in Athens, on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)

  • Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

    Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

  • Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

    Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)

  • An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

    An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

    An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at  Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

  • A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at  Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

  • Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom,  South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

  • Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom,  South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

  • A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

  • A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

    A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

  • People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

  • People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

    People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).

  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

    Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

    Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

  • A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

    A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

  • A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

    A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)

  • A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

    A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

  • A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

    A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)

  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • A firework display explodes off Taiwan's tallest skyscraper Taipei101 to usher in the New Year in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

    A firework display explodes off Taiwan's tallest skyscraper Taipei101 to usher in the New Year in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)

  • Fireworks explode in front of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor as celebrating the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

    Fireworks explode in front of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor as celebrating the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013 (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

  • Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

  • Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

    Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

    Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

  • A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

    Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • Katy Saunders, left, Alex Mueller, center left, Rebekka Frank and Arina Motamedi, right, play with sparklers ahead of welcoming in the new year during the 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland, Monday December 31, 2012. See PA story SOCIAL NewYear. (AP Photo/PA,Danny Lawson)UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES

    Katy Saunders, left, Alex Mueller, center left, Rebekka Frank and Arina Motamedi, right, play with sparklers ahead of welcoming in the new year during the 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland, Monday December 31, 2012. See PA story SOCIAL NewYear. (AP Photo/PA,Danny Lawson)UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES

  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

    Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

  • A Russian Interior Ministry soldier peers through his snow-covered helmet as he and others block Triumphalnaya square during an unsanctioned rally in downtown Moscow, Russia, on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Russian opposition protests on the 31st of each month are a nod to the 31st article of the Russian constitution, which guarantees the right of assembly. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Fireworks explode in the sky over St. Basil Cathedral as Russians celebrate New Year on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the pre New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
  • Greek presidential guards seen during the changing of the guards ceremony outside the Greek parliament at the t?mb of the unknown soldier in New Year’s Eve in central Athens, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. In austerity-weary Greece, New Year’s Eve festivities will be restrained, with Athens municipal officials saying their budget for this year has been contained to about a tenth of pre-crisis spending. In his televised New Year’s Eve message, Prime Minister Antonis Samaras promised Greeks that the worst of the crisis is past, and declared 2013 a “year of hope” that will see the beginning of the country’s rebirth. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
  • Fireworks explode over the ancient Acropolis Hill with the Parthenon temple during the New Year's celebrations in Athens, on Tuesday Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Dimitri Messinis)
  • Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)
  • Tourists pose as they carry umbrellas with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 on the terrace of a hotel in the backdrop of Taj Mahal in Agra, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Pawan Sharma)
  • An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
  • An Indian barber gives finishing touches to the hair style of a young boy with numbers to welcome the New Year 2013 in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
  • Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • Workers set up a stage as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at  Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • A woman passes by papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at  Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom,  South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).
  • Fireworks explode in the sky to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom,  South Korea, Tuesday, Jan 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).
  • A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • A Catholic prays behind papers, bearing New Year wishes, tied to trees at Myeongdong Catholic Cathedral in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, Dec. 31, 2102. The cathedral is Korea’s oldest parish church and the symbol of Korean Catholics. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
  • People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).
  • People gather to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near the border village of the Panmunjom, South Korea, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. About 5,000 participents prayed for a peaceful solution to the rising tension over North Korea's nuclear weapons programs and hope for an early reunification of the divided Koreas.(AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon).
  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
  • Fireworks explode at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor to celebrate the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
  • Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
  • Indian schoolgirls form numbers representing the year 2013 during a prayer ceremony in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The gang-rape and killing of a New Delhi student has set off an impassioned debate about what India needs to do to prevent such a tragedy from happening again. The country remained in mourning Monday, two days after the 23-year-old physiotherapy student died from her internal wounds in a Singapore hospital. Floral writing at the center reads "Condolence to Damini," a symbolic name given to the victim. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
  • A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
  • A Kashmiri boatman rows during the last sunset of the year 2012 at the Dal Lake in Srinagar, India, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Mukhtar Khan)
  • A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
  • A boy prays around a fire believed to invoke divine help during their first visit of the year to the Zojoji Buddhist temple in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.(AP Photo/Itsuo Inouye)
  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. The Pontiff has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
  • A firework display explodes off Taiwan's tallest skyscraper Taipei101 to usher in the New Year in Taipei, Taiwan, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013. (AP Photo/Chiang Ying-ying)
  • Fireworks explode in front of the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre over the Victoria Harbor as celebrating the 2013 New Year in Hong Kong Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013  (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
  • Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
  • Sri Lankan inmates of the Welikada prison pray during a religious ceremony on the eve of new year on Monday, Dec. 31, 2012.  Inmates of the Welikada prison, one of the largest prisons in Sri Lanka housing over four thousand prisoners, invoked blessings and ushered in the new year by engaging in Buddhist rituals. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)
  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
  • Pope Benedict XVI presides a New Year's Eve vespers service in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. Pope Benedict XVI has marked the end of a difficult year by saying that despite all the death and injustice in the world, goodness prevails. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
  • A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • A security officer walks near workers as preparations are underway for the country's first ever public New Year's countdown celebration, at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Myanmar, Monday, Dec. 31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • Merry makers cheer as they welcome the 2013 New Year, at the first ever public New Year Countdown cerebration at Myoma grounds in Yangon, Mayanmar, Monday, Dec.31, 2012. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)
  • Fireworks explode behind the Opera House during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
  • Katy Saunders, left, Alex Mueller, center left, Rebekka Frank and Arina Motamedi, right, play with sparklers ahead of welcoming in the new year during the 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland, Monday December 31, 2012. See PA story SOCIAL NewYear. (AP Photo/PA,Danny Lawson)UNITED KINGDOM OUT NO ARCHIVE NO SALES
  • Fireworks explode in the sky above Sydney Harbour during the New Year celebrations in Sydney, Australia, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2013.(AP Photo/Rob Griffith)

From teeming Times Square to an Asian capital hosting its first public New Year’s Eve countdown in decades, the world looked to the start of 2013 with hope for renewal after a year of economic turmoil, searing violence and natural disasters.

Fireworks, concerts and celebrations unfolded around the globe to ring in the new year and, for some, to wring out the old.

“With all the sadness in the country, we’re looking for some good changes in 2013,” Laura Concannon, of Hingham, Mass., said as she, her husband, Kevin, and his parents took in the scene in bustling Times Square yesterday.

A blocks-long line of bundled-up revelers with New Year’s hats and sunglasses boasting “2013” formed hours before the first ball drop in decades without Dick Clark, who died in April and was to be honored with a tribute concert and his name printed on pieces of confetti.

Security in Times Square was tight, with a mass of uniformed police and plainclothes officers assigned to blend into the crowd. With police Commissioner Raymond Kelly proclaiming that Times Square would be the “safest place in the world on New Year’s Eve,” officers used barriers to prevent overcrowding and checkpoints to inspect vehicles, enforce a ban on alcohol and check handbags.

Syracuse University student Taylor Nanz, 18, said she and a friend had been standing in Times Square since 1:20 p.m. yesterday. They hadn’t moved from their spot “because there’s a bathroom a block and a half away, but if you leave, you lose your place,” she said, shivering behind an iron barricade with a clear view of One Times Square, the building where the crystal ball hovered.

“It’s the first time – and the last time,” she said.

Elsewhere hours earlier, lavish fireworks displays lit up skylines in Sydney, Hong Kong, Shanghai, and in the United Arab Emirates city of Dubai where multicolored fireworks danced up and down the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa. In Russia, spectators filled Moscow’s iconic Red Square as fireworks exploded near the Kremlin.

Organizers said about 90,000 people gathered in a large field Yangon, Myanmar, for their first chance to do what much of the world does every Dec. 31 – watch a countdown. The reformist government that took office in 2011 in the country, long under military rule, threw its first public New Year’s celebration in decades.

“We feel like we are in a different world,” said Yu Thawda, a university student who went with three of her friends.

Parts of Europe held scaled-back festivities and street parties, the mood a bit restrained — if hopeful — for a 2013 that is projected to be a sixth straight year of recession amid Greece’s worst economic crisis since World War II. About 22,000 revelers in the Madrid square celebrated the arrival of the new year under umbrellas as rain fell steadily.

London, the often soggy British capital, was dry and clear, though, as the familiar chimes of the clock inside the Big Ben tower counted down the final seconds of 2012 and a dazzling display of fireworks lit the skies above Parliament Square. People cheered as the landmarks were bathed in the light of the display, which included streamers shot out of the London Eye wheel and blazing rockets launched from the banks of the River Thames.

There were impromptu fireworks displays throughout much of London as people remembered a year that saw Olympics glory, the queen’s diamond jubilee and the announcement that Prince William and the former Kate Middleton are expecting their first child — welcome news that offset some of the economic gloom.

To the north in Scotland, 85,000 people gathered near the base of Edinburgh Castle for the wild Hogmaney celebration, helped by five soundstages featuring a number of top bands.

Elsewhere, the atmosphere of celebration was muted with concern.

Hotels, clubs and other sites in New Delhi, the Indian capital, canceled festivities after the death of a rape victim on Saturday touched off days of mourning and reflection about women’s safety. In the Philippines, where many are recovering from devastation from a recent typhoon, a health official danced to South Korean rapper Psy’s “Gangnam Style” video in an effort to stop revelers from setting off huge illegal firecrackers, which maim and injure hundreds of Filipinos each year.

And even in Times Square, some revelers checked their cellphones to keep up with news of lawmakers’ efforts to skirt the fiscal cliff combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts that threatened to reverberate globally. And the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and Superstorm Sandy mingled into the memories of 2012.

“This has been a very eventful year, on many levels,” Denise Norris said as she and her husband, the Rev. Urie Norris, surveyed the crowd seeking to jam Times Square for a countdown show with Ryan Seacrest as host and musical acts including Taylor Swift, Carly Rae Jepsen, Neon Trees, Flo Rida and Pitbull.

About a block away, Army Sgt. Clint Evanoff waited in a black suit, red vest and red tie to get into Times Square with a couple of his friends from his unit at Fort Drum, N.Y. Evanoff, 20, is scheduled to leave for Afghanistan, his first deployment, in about two weeks.

Looking ahead to the new year, “I’m just hoping to make it back,” he said.

Elsewhere, too, hopes for 2013 were a mix of personal and political. In Boston, communications writer and editor Colin O’Brien, 25, said he was optimistic that the nation had realized it was time to make tough decisions about its finances and policy and that there might be “more common ground than people are willing to admit or accept.” In Harrisburg, Pa., warehouse worker Adam Gassner, 43, had more internal goals: “hoping to continue to get myself back on my feet.”

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Associated Press writers Colleen Long in New York; Mark Scolforo in Harrisburg, Pa.; Jay Lindsay in Boston; Aye Aye Win in Yangon, Myanmar; Rod McGuirk in Sydney; Silvia Hui in London; Ashok Sharma in New Delhi; and Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines, contributed to this report.

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