Saturday, December 31, 2011

World News Briefs -- December 31, 2011

Dec. 31, 2011: Fireworks burst over the Sydney Opera House, right, as New Year's celebrations begin in Sydney.

World Rings In 2012, Bids Goodbye To Rough Year -- FOX News

SYDNEY – A glittering rainbow of fireworks in the shape of butterflies, hearts and a cascading waterfall exploded over Sydney's iconic Harbour Bridge on Sunday, as cheering revelers welcomed 2012 and bid a weary adieu to a year marred by natural disasters, mass protests and economic turmoil.

More than 1.5 million people crowded onto yachts and along the shores of the city's harbor to watch the shimmering pyrotechnic display that was designed around the theme "Time to Dream" -- a nod to the eagerness many felt at moving forward after the rough year.

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Iran, world powers to hold nuclear talks. Iran proposes new nuclear talks with world powers.

Iran naval commander: 'Missiles will be test-fired shortly'. Iran to test-fire missiles in key oil waterway. Iran delays missile test.

Death toll mounts in Syria as tens of thousands take to the streets.

Syrian opposition unite to chart path to democracy.

Arab League observer 'concern' at Syria snipers.

Iraq row festers as speaker denies penning op-ed.

Kurds question Turkey's deadly air raid. Kurds protest airstrike killing dozens in Turkey.

Yemen protesters demand end to southern fighting.

Maliki declares 'Iraq Day' to mark US pullout.


Over 560 ISAF troops die in Afghan war in 2011.

North Korea's new leaders lash out at South Korea and allies.

North Korea says names Kim Jong-un top military commander.

India: Pakistani troops' fire wounds border guard.

42 killed as cyclone hits southeast India.

Man dies from bird flu in southern China.

China seeks to combat hi-tech crimewave.

China: Tens of thousands of ruins 'disappear'.


Ethiopian troops capture Beledweyne from Somalia militants.

Libya's army tries to reassert itself as militias have their way.

Nigeria's Jonathan vows to "crush terrorists".

Egypt to return seized equipment and money, U.S. officials say.

Divisions emerge between Islamists in Egypt.

Rhino poaching hits record as horns worth more than gold.


Putin sends New Year's greetings, with a wink. Russian protesters set a plan for 2012.

Russia denies radiation leak in nuclear sub blaze.

'Euro will be stable' claim is ridiculed.

FTSE loses £90bn over year but eurozone fares worse.

Spain makes €9bn budget cuts to cover rising deficit.


Obama hopeful for more economic progress in 2012.

Haiti leader paves way for new elections.

World pays Ecuador not to extract oil from rainforest.

Los Angeles plagued by arson fires as authorities search for culprit.

Muslims boycott Mayor Bloomberg's interfaith breakfast.


Shabaab leader recounts al Qaeda's role in Somalia in the 1990s.

Al-Qaeda-linked faction leader killed by Israelis.

Al-Qaeda trying to recruit fighters in Libya: officials.


Dow logs gain in volatile 2011; S&P ends flat.

$6.3tn wiped off markets in 2011.

Gold's 10 percent gain in 2011 extends run to 11th year.

Rumors of new iPads heat up as 2012 arrives.

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