World begins ushering in locked-down New Year

The world began ushering in the New Year Thursday, with pandemic controls muting celebrations for billions of people eager to bid farewell to a virus-ridden 2020. After a grinding year that has seen at least 1.7 million people die from Covid-19, fresh waves of infection have sparked renewed lockdowns and forced would-be revellers to extend their 2020 tradition of watching events from the sofa. The eagerly awaited first seconds of 2021 fell on the Pacific nations of Kiribati and Samoa from 1000 GMT, with the uninhabited Howland and Baker Islands the last to tip over into the New Year, 26 hours …

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HEDGE accordingly