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Ringing In 2016 Around The World

New Year's fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.
Rob Griffith
New Year's fireworks explode over the Harbour Bridge and Opera House in Sydney.

Time zone by time zone, the planet is saying goodbye to 2015.

The end of the year is still hours away in the U.S., but Australia has already hailed the new year with fireworks like those (see above) in Sydney Harbour.

In Japan's capital, balloons were released from Tokyo Tower.

A few highlights from other celebrations planned around the globe:

  • Pyongyang, North Korea, will have a live fireworks display at 10:30 a.m. EST. (North Korea turned its clocks back by 30 minutes this summer, apparently marking the 70th anniversary of its liberation from Japan. When Japan colonized Korea more than 100 years ago, Korea's clocks were shifted to match Japan's time zone.)
  • Taipei, Taiwan, will be shooting fireworks from Taipei's tallest building, the Taipei 101 — which was the tallest building in the world, until the Burj Khalifa was built in Dubai in 2010.
  • The Burj Khalifa, of course, will also be the site of a fireworks spectacle — as will Dubai's Burj Al Arab and the city's marina. (Update: The fireworks went off as planned despite a fire that engulfed much of a 63-story hotel and residential building near the Burj Khalifa.)
  • Beijing will be celebrating with fireworks at the Imperial Ancestral Temple in the Forbidden City.
  • Shanghai will be having muted celebrations this year, after a stampede at last year's festivities killed dozens of people. Subway stations near the city's waterfront, the site of the disaster, will be closing before midnight.
  • In Cairo, fireworks will light up the sky over the pyramids of Giza.
  • In Rio de Janeiro, New Year's Eve festivities will be paired with some pre-Olympics pomp and circumstance: The Olympic Rings will be unveiled by Copacabana Beach. (Some drunken swimming mishaps are also anticipated.)
  • In many cases, New Year's Eve celebrations are taking place amid heightened security. Malaysia's biggest city, Kuala Lumpur, and Indonesia's capital, Jakarta, are among the cities that have bolstered security after foiling various plans for Islamist militant attacks, according to authorities.

    Fireworks explode over the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta, Indonesia.
    Anadolu Agency / Getty Images
    Getty Images
    Fireworks explode over the National Monument (Monas) in Jakarta, Indonesia.

    About 60,000 law enforcement and military personnel will be deployed across France on New Year's Eve, reports The Associated Press, and Paris has canceled its customary fireworks display.

    Belgium also canceled planned fireworks in Brussels, after arresting several people for allegedly plotting a New Year's Eve terrorist attack.

    In Turkey, where authorities similarly say they foiled a planned New Year's Eve bombing, the celebrations are set to go ahead as planned.

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    Camila Flamiano Domonoske covers cars, energy and the future of mobility for NPR's Business Desk.
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