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FireWorks, Parties and Festivities mark New Year 2017 across the Globe

New Zealand, nearby Pacific islands, Australia and Russia were among the first to ring in the new year

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Fireworks explode over Victoria Harbor to celebrate the New Year's Eve in Hong Kong, Jan. 1, 2017. (VOA)
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Dec 31, 2016: Much of the globe has celebrated the beginning of 2017 with fireworks, parties, and other festivities, though many are somber in reflecting on the politics and popular culture of the past tumultuous year.

New Zealand, nearby Pacific islands, Australia and Russia were among the first to ring in the new year.

One of the first prominent New Year’s celebrations to start 2017 was the annual fireworks show in Sydney, which drew a crowd of over a million people who lined the waterfront to watch a show dedicated to the late entertainers David Bowie and Gene Wilder — just two of an unusually large number of celebrities who died in 2016.

NewsGram brings to you current foreign news from all over the world.

Many countries were focusing on security while anticipating big crowds at New Year’s events.

Celebrations in Istanbul, Turkey, were interrupted by an armed attack at a nightclub. Istanbul’s governor said 35 people were killed when at least two gunmen attacked the club, which was packed with New Year’s revelers.

Added security was in place in many cities because of the December 19 truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and other attacks during 2016.

The German capital added concrete barriers and armored cars near the traditional Brandenburg Gate celebration venue to protect crowds from vehicles.

In Dubai, hundreds of thousands of people watched fireworks launched from the Burj Khalifa, at 828 meters the world’s tallest building. The fireworks show was also streamed online.

Private security guards were stationed every 50 meters, and streets were blocked off from sidewalks to keep the roads clear for roaming emergency vehicles.

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In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said each person “may become something of a magician on the night of the New Year,” by treating family members, co-workers, friends and those in need with respect and mercy. “This is the whole secret,” he said, speaking in an address broadcast close to midnight, in turn, in each of Russia’s 11 time zones.

French President Francois Hollande used his televised New Year’s message to warn against the risks of rising nationalism.

Many countries were focusing on security while anticipating big crowds at New Year’s events.

Celebrations in Istanbul, Turkey, were interrupted by an armed attack at a nightclub. Istanbul’s governor said 35 people were killed when at least two gunmen attacked the club, which was packed with New Year’s revelers.

Added security was in place in many cities because of the December 19 truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market that killed 12 people and other attacks during 2016.

The German capital added concrete barriers and armored cars near the traditional Brandenburg Gate celebration venue to protect crowds from vehicles.

Check out NewsGram for latest international news updates.

In Dubai, hundreds of thousands of people watched fireworks launched from the Burj Khalifa, at 828 meters the world’s tallest building. The fireworks show was also streamed online.

Private security guards were stationed every 50 meters, and streets were blocked off from sidewalks to keep the roads clear for roaming emergency vehicles.

In Moscow, Russian President Vladimir Putin said each person “may become something of a magician on the night of the New Year,” by treating family members, co-workers, friends and those in need with respect and mercy. “This is the whole secret,” he said, speaking in an address broadcast close to midnight, in turn, in each of Russia’s 11 time zones.

French President Francois Hollande used his televised New Year’s message to warn against the risks of rising nationalism. (VOA)

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Twitter India celebrates Tamil, Malayalam New Year with emoji

Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali

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Twitter celebrates Indian festivals with emoticons. IANS

Twitter on Friday introduced its first-ever emoji that celebrates Puthandu (also known as Puthuvarusham) and Vishu — the New Year celebrations in Tamil Nadu and Kerala respectively — that fall on April 14.

Twitter to soon release Snapchat like feature. VOA
Twitter has celebrated other Indian festivals in past too. VOA

The emoji will be active from April 14 at 9 am until April 15, Twitter said in a statement. “We’re excited to celebrate Puthandu and Vishu with a special Twitter emoji which will be activated through English, Tamil and Malayalam hashtags,” said Keya Madhvani-Singh, Head of Entertainment Partnerships, Twitter India.

Various celebrities, including actor Mohanlal will join in the celebrations by wishing people a Happy Puthandu and Vishu.

Also Read: Twitter India rolls out sponsored ‘Moments’

People can tweet with the hashtags #HappyPuthandu and #HappyVishu — which will also be available in Tamil and Malayalam languages — and the emoji will appear.

The emoji is designed to represent people celebrating Puthandu and Vishu by holding diyas, symbolic of the welcoming of prosperity and happiness during the year. Twitter in the recent past has created a few emojis to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, Guru Nanak Jayanti, Ambedkar Jayanti and Diwali. IANS