US & World

New Year's Eve celebrations around the world

New York, NY - 2017 is beginning its march across the globe, arriving already in New Zealand and many Pacific Islands.

Sydney, Australia's celebration features fireworks set to the music of Prince and David Bowie, two of the many entertainers who sided in 2016.

China is trying to keep things low-key but  Chinese President Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) says his government will continue to focus on poverty alleviation at home and resolutely defending China's territorial rights on the foreign front.

Xi made the televised remarks Saturday in his annual New Year's Eve address, in which he touted China's scientific accomplishments, highlighting its large new radio telescope and space missions, and the country's growing role as a leader in global affairs.

Xi struck a populist tone, saying he was above all concerned about the living conditions of the people and vowed that improving employment, education, housing and health care would be a responsibility that his ruling Communist Party would never shirk from.

In New York City,  a million revelers are expected to navigate through high security in the blocks around New York City's Times Square to cheer on the new year with entertainers including Mariah Carey.

The annual minute-long midnight descent of the famed glittering crystal ball is the highlight of a celebration watched around the world.

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon (bahn kee-moon) will launch the ball with a press of a button.

Security has gradually been tightened for the event over the last two decades.

Recent deadly truck attacks in Germany and France brought about another security upgrade this year. Dozens of 20-ton sanitation trucks weighted with an extra 15 tons of sand will block off streets leading to the celebration zone.

About 7,000 police officers will be there, too.

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