The world welcomes 2023 and leaves a stormy year behind


Jan1 (Reuters) Times Square hosts a sell-out party and fireworks explode in European capitals in hopes of an end to the war in Ukraine and a return to post-COVID normalcy in Asia. The world welcomed the new year.

The year was marked by conflict in Ukraine, economic tensions and the effects of global warming. But it was also a year marked by a dramatic football World Cup, rapid technological change and tackling the challenges of climate change.

As 2023 sweeps across Asia, Africa and Europe, The Times in his square’s downpours, thousands of people gather in corrals, waiting for hours for the ball to drop, New York in quintessential style. New Year. A 12-foot (3.7-meter) geodesic sphere of Waterford crystal triangles slid down the pole atop the 25-story building to mark the calendar change. Meanwhile, millions of people watched the accompanying music performance and countdown on TV from dry and warm living rooms around the world.

Earlier, across the Atlantic, the London Eye turned blue and yellow to show solidarity with Ukraine when fireworks were seen over the British capital at midnight.

The celebration, which the mayor of London has dubbed Europe’s biggest celebration, also references Queen Elizabeth II, who died in September, the red and white of her England football team, and the rainbow colors of the LGBTQ pride event. In 2022, we celebrated our 50th anniversary.

Numerous explosions were heard in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine, and air raid sirens blared across the country in the early hours of New Year’s Day.

On Saturday, Russia launched a salvo of cruise missiles in what Ukraine’s human rights ombudsman described as “New Year’s Eve terror.”

Nightly curfews were still in effect across the country, and many public spaces were unable to celebrate the start of his 2023. Several local governors posted messages on social media warning residents not to break the restrictions.

In his New Year’s video message, Time magazine’s 2022 Person of the Year, Ukrainian President Volody Mirzelensky said:
“I just want to wish all of us one victory.

Russian President Vladimir Putin devoted his New Year’s speech to rallying the Russian people behind his army.

Celebrations in Moscow were low-key, without the usual fireworks display on Red Square.

Elsewhere in Europe, fireworks exploded over the Parthenon in Athens, the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, while crowds gathered on the Champs-Élysées to mark the French capital’s first New Year’s fireworks display since 2019. I tried to watch the competition. However, like many other places, the Czech capital Prague was hit hard economically, so it couldn’t hold fireworks.

Earlier, Australia kicked off celebrations with its first unrestricted New Year’s Eve after two years of COVID chaos. We welcomed the New Year with a fireworks display.

China only lifted strict COVID restrictions in December when the government abruptly withdrew its “zero COVID” policy.

China’s official death toll is slowly rising, but UK-based health data firm Airfinity estimated last week that around 9,000 people are likely dying from COVID in the country each day. But in Wuhan, where the pandemic began three years ago, thousands of people flocked despite heavy security.

Barricades were erected and hundreds of police guarded. A loudspeaker broadcasts a message on a loop urging people not to gather. But the roaring crowd paid no attention.