Monday, December 31, 2012

World News Briefs -- December 31, 2012

New Year Revellers Begin Welcoming 2013 -- BBC

Celebrations are being held around the world to mark the new year, with the city of Auckland in New Zealand holding the first major events of 2013.

Hundreds of thousands gathered around Sydney harbour to watch the city's famous firework display.

Big shows are also planned in many other cities globally.

Celebrations will also be held for the first time in Burma, where large public gatherings were banned by its previous military rulers.

Tens of thousands are expected to attend the celebrations in Rangoon, which will feature a fireworks display and performances by Burmese entertainers.

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Assad's forces battle to retake Damascus suburb.

Syria 'facing 100,000 deaths in next year'.

Series of deadly attacks hits Iraq.

Peres: Israel would talk to Hamas if it met Quartet terms.

Al Qaida in Yemen offers bounty for US ambassador.

Report: Saudi Arabia mulls German tank deal.


Pakistan's military plays Afghan peacemaker.

Pakistan: 9 militants shot dead, dumped on road.

Pakistan releases more Afghan Taliban members: official.

India rape sets off debate over women's rights.

Japan releases Chinese caught illegally fishing.

UN peacekeepers exit East Timor.

U.N. expert condemns move to oust Sri Lanka's chief justice.


Central African Republic crisis: Bozize offer rejected.

No African leader deemed worthy of leadership award.

Libya Coptic church blast kills two Egyptians.

Sudanese army retake Golo from Darfur rebels.

North African nations take different reform routes.

Nigeria President likens nation's unrest to Syria.


Merkel warns Germans of tough economic times ahead.

Catalan leader Mas urges separatism in New Year speech.

France's 75% 'supertax' could be revived in Hollande's new year message.

Portugal braced for 'fiscal earthquake'.

Greece moves to probe list tampering.

Central Asian migrants change the face of Moscow.


Significant progress made in fiscal cliff discussions, sources say.

Clinton admitted to hospital with blood clot. NBC reporter raises Hillary Clinton questions.

Hugo Chavez suffers new complications in cancer fight, Vice President reveals.

In Mexico, a new plan to end drug violence.

Brazil debates treatment options in crack epidemic.

Colombia negotiator says Cuba offers better conditions for peace talks with guerrillas.


Danish spy seeks CIA credit for terrorist's death.

Yemen: Al-Qaida offers bounty for US ambassador.

Al-Qaida, allies carving out their own country in Mali.


Box office record for Bond: 'Skyfall' passes $1 billion mark.

2012 was a gusher year for OPEC.

2013 set for global grind but these economies could see an upside surprise.

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