Sunday, January 1, 2012

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Happy New Year to all our readers

Posted: 31 Dec 2011 04:53 PM PST

 Happy New Year to all our readers

As Britain counts down to midnight, 
here’s how others countries saw in 2012

Happy New Year to all our readers

Celebrations … cascades of colour soar into the sky in a sensational fireworks display in Sydney

AS Britain counts down to the end of 2011, sensational fireworks displays have already welcome the New Year in some parts of the world.

Dazzling pyrotechnics lit up the skies over AUCKLAND, New Zealand, and SYDNEY as well as TOKYO.

Millions partied as they were first to say hello to 2012.

The mood was jubilant, despite revellers remembering a year that was marked by upheaval in several Arab countries, economic turmoil and a string of devastating natural disasters.


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Boom … fireworks display over Sydney, Australia


Sydney’s display was designed around the theme ” A Time to Dream”, a nod to the eagerness many felt at moving forward after the rough year Australia has had.

Shapes based on butterflies, hearts and a cascading waterfall lit up the sky over Sydney’s Harbour Bridge.

More than 1.5million crowded on to yachts and along the shores of the city’s harbour to watch the shimmering display which included 7 tonnes of fireworks.


Video: Sydney heralds start of 2012

AMAZING fireworks display in Australia over famous Harbour Bridge

  • News


In Japan, many were reflecting on the giant tsunami and earthquake that left an entire coastline destroyed, nearly 20,000 people dead or missing and the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in meltdown.

People visited shrines and temples, offering their prayers for the new year. Giant hanging temple bells were to ring 108 times to purify the world of evil and bring good luck.

More than 400,000 people were expected to watch a four-minute display set to light up Victoria Harbour in HONG KONG.



Happy New Year to all our readers

Celebrations … revellers cheer as confetti falls in Hong Kong




Video: Hong Kong welcomes 2012

Fireworks explode over Hong Kong’s harbor as the clock counts down to 2012

  • News


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Spectacular … fireworks over Sydney’s opera house


And fireworks also illuminated the sky over KUALA LUMPUR as Malaysia welcomed 2012.

In TAIPEI a huge countdown ended in a display of fireworks coming off a 101 skyscraper. Hundreds of thousands of people defied cold winds to usher in the New Year.


Happy New Year to all our readers

Flaming tower … quirky display on skycraper in Taipei


Meanwhile, the mood was more subdued in NEW ZEALAND after torrential rain and thunderstorms cancelled firework displays in the capital Wellington, the North Island city of Palmerston North and at the popular Mount Maunganui beach area.

But crowds gathered around Auckland’s Sky Tower, which did hold a fireworks display. The new year is hoped to be a fresh start for the country where tragedy struck last year.


Video: New Zealand rings in new year

CROWDS take to streets of Auckland to watch fireworks over Sky Tower

  • Sky News


Two major earthquakes hit Christchurch, killing 181 in February, with another measuring 5.8 on the Richter scale shook the city just before Christmas.

Samoa and Tokelau were first to toast in 2012 after skipping a day by jumping west across the international dateline.


Happy New Year to all our readers

Stunning display … fireworks explode above Malaysia’s landmark Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur



Happy New Year to all our readers

Sparkle … fireworks illuminate the sky over Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia


Crowds flocked to pools and beaches to toast the New Year earlier than usual after the South Pacific Island nations fast-forwarded to December 31, missing out on December 30 entirely.

More than a million people are expected to pack Times Square in NEW YORK, to watch as the New Year’s Eve Ball — measuring 12ft and weighing 11,875lbs partly thanks to 2,688 Waterford crystal triangles adorning it — is dropped at midnight.


Happy New Year to all our readers

Air we go … balloons rise into the sky as Japan celebrates the New Year



Happy New Year to all our readers

Bad conditions … New Zealand was hit with heavy rains causing officials to cancel planned celebrations


Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Drake will perform – as the ball will descend in a shower of confetti and revellers will grab a partner to dance or kiss.

Revellers are also set to enjoy a stunning spectacular on the beaches of RIO DE JANEIRO, while 80,000 fun-lovers are expected to attend the world-famous Hogmanay street party in EDINBURGH.

Primal Scream are headling this year’s sold-out concert at the castle.

Fireworks in the shape of Olympic rings appeared an hour before the countdown in the party town.


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Times to celebrate … thousands are expected to gather in Times Square, New York, to watch as the ball drops at midnight



DUBAI and RUSSIA celebrated the start of 2012 together with bursts of colour.

Happy New Year to all our readers

Dazzling … Dubai’s intense fireworks diplay



New Year’s Day is the biggest holiday in the calendar for Russia and the fireworks didn’t disappoint in the capital Moscow’s Red Square.

Over in Dubai, no expense was spared in the rich Emirate as The Burj Khalifa was lit with fiery reds and pinks to kickstart the New Year.

The tallest tower in the world finished with fireworks in every colour of the rainbow. Dubai last year put on a lavish display which was the highest ever seen.

UKRAINE marked the start of 2012 with a dazzling hot pink firework display in Kiev’s Independence Square.

The country has another reason to celebrate; it is the year they co-host football’s European Championship with Poland.

The display certainly had a football flavour with a stage designed as a goal and dancing cheerleaders. There was even a mascot in the form of a fluorescent dragon.

Celebrations began earlier in the evening as top Ukrainian singers took to the stage for a four-hour set.


Happy New Year to all our readers

Spectacular … fireworks in Moscow’s Red Square



Boris Johnson has revealed this year’s LONDON fireworks displays will be the ‘biggest and best yet’.

250,000 people are expected to watch the 12,000-firework display at the London Eye, which has taken 12 months to plan.

The theme for this year’s 11-minute long celebrations is a ‘summer like no other’ as the country gears up for 2012′s Olympic games.


Happy New Year to all our readers

Build-up …. revellers wait ahead of London’s New Year fireworks display

Getty Images


A million revellers headed to BERLIN‘s Brandenburg gate for a dramatic ten-minute display.

Over 2,000 fireworks were used in the German capital’s show.

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Anonymous releases more Stratfor data

Posted: 31 Dec 2011 02:41 PM PST

Anonymous releases more Stratfor data

Anonymous releases more Stratfor dataOnline “hacktivist” group Anonymous has released a trove of email addresses and credit card numbers stolen from the website of intelligence analysis firm Stratfor and promised further attacks.

In a statement on late Thursday, members of Anonymous calling themselves “AntiSec” posted links to what the group said were 75,000 names, addresses, credit card numbers and passwords for Stratfor customers.

The group also posted links to what it said were 860,000 user names, email addresses and passwords for people who have registered on Stratfor’s website, which remained offline on Friday nearly a week after coming under attack.

Anonymous said 50,000 of the email addresses ended in .mil and .gov used by the US government.

“We call upon all allied battleships, all armies from darkness, to use and abuse these password lists and credit card information to wreak unholy havok (sic) upon the systems and personal email accounts of these rich and powerful oppressors,” Anonymous said.

Anonymous also warned in the statement on Pastebin that it will be “attacking multiple law enforcement targets from coast to coast” on New Year’s Eve.

Stratfor, in a statement on its Facebook page, said it “regrets the latest disclosure of information obtained illegally from the company’s data systems.”

“We want to assure our customers and friends this was not a new cyber attack but was instead a release of information obtained during the previous security breach,” it said.

“The latest disclosure included credit card information of paid subscribers and many email addresses of those who receive Stratfors free services,” the company said.

Anonymous earlier this week published what it said was Stratfor’s client list, which included members of the US armed services, law enforcement agencies, top security contractors and major technology firms.

Anonymous also posted images claiming to show receipts from donations made by the hackers to various charities using stolen credit card data.

Anonymous has said it was able to obtain the information in part because Stratfor did not encrypt it, which could prove a major source of embarrassment to the global intelligence firm.

Stratfor chief executive George Friedman has said the Austin, Texas-based company will not relaunch its website “until a thorough review and adjustment by outside experts can be completed.”

With the website down, Stratfor has been communicating using its Facebook page and sending its political and security analysis products to members by email.

Stratfor has also offered to provide members with one free year of identify theft protection services.

Anonymous has been involved in scores of hacking exploits including retaliatory attacks last year on companies perceived to be enemies of the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks.

Anonymous has said the latest attacks are in retaliation for the prosecution of Bradley Manning, the US Army private accused of leaking more than 700,000 US documents to WikiLeaks in one of the most serious intelligence breaches in US history.

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