Revelers say hello to 2019, goodbye to an unsettling year

Revelers around the globe are bidding a weary farewell Monday to an unsettling year filled with challenges to many of the world’s most basic institutions, including politics, trade, alliances and religion. Here’s a look at how people are ushering in the new year: ___ NEW ZEALAND In Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city, tens of thousands gathered around Sky Tower as fireworks exploded from the top of the 328-meter (1,076-foot) structure. Across the southern hemisphere nation, thousands took to beaches and streets, becoming among the first in the world to usher in 2019. Fireworks boomed and crackled above city centers and harbors. ___ AUSTRALIA A thunderstorm drenched tens of thousands of people as they gathered for Sydney’s traditional spectacular fireworks display, creating a show of its own with dozens of lightning strikes. Police estimated that more than a million people would crowd Sydney Harbor to view the glittering fireworks. People began gathering early in the day at popular vantage points, including the Opera House and the ends of the Harbor Bridge. The show was to feature more than 100,000 pyrotechnic effects accompanied by music culminating at midnight with “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” made famous by Aretha Franklin,… Read full this story

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