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New Year's Eve in Times Square

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JENNIFER PELTZ and VERENA DOBNIK, Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) — Hundreds of thousands of revelers crowded into New York City's Times Square to watch the crystal-covered ball make its annual descent, ringing in the start of 2013.

The festivities joined a slew of others around the globe, from fireworks in Sydney and Hong Kong to the first public countdown in years in Myanmar.

New York City's countdown was the first in decades without television host Dick Clark, who died in April. One of the crystal panels on the ball was engraved with his name.

Some concerns from 2012 linger — even in Times Square, some revelers checked their cellphones to keep up with news of lawmakers' efforts to skirt the fiscal cliff combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts that threatened to reverberate globally.

Hours before New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the Rockettes help usher in the new year, Times Square was teeming with revelers wearing plastic "2013" glasses and snapping photos.

Organizers say an estimated million people were expected to cram the district to see the ball drop and countdown to 2013.

The ball is covered with 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles and illuminated by more than 32,000 colored LEDs.

Security was tight.  Along with an army of uniformed and plainclothes officers, police inspected vehicles, enforced a ban on alcohol and checked handbags.

Police stressed there were no specific terrorism threats related to the celebration.

NY hospital celebrates its first baby of 2013

Not long after the champagne corks started popping and confetti was tossed into the air, a Brooklyn family welcomed a new addition that was a local hospital's first baby of 2013.

New York Methodist Hospital says that Jungmin Oh and Benjamin Brown of the borough's Park Slope neighborhood became the parents of daughter Gena at 12:54 a.m. Tuesday.

The baby weighs 7 pounds, 2 ounces and is 19.5 inches long.

 

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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