New Year Celebration over the World
The United States welcomed in New Year's Day 2015 with the traditional celebration in New York City's Times Square.
Hundreds of thousands of revelers gathered in the city's iconic tourist attraction to watch Mayor Bill de Blasio and his family push the button that dropped a giant crystal ball one minute before midnight. New Year's celebrations were also taking place in many other cities across the United States located in different time zones.
Hours earlier on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, Londoners gathered on the banks of the River Thames to watch a spectacular fireworks display over the Houses of Parliament, as the iconic Big Ben clock chimed at the stroke of midnight.
In the Asia Pacific region. a giant clock on Auckland's landmark Sky Tower counted down the minutes until the New Year, before fireworks launched from the tower lit the nighttime sky.
In Sydney, more than 1.5 million revelers massed in warm summer weather along the shores of the city's harbor to watch a spectacular eruption of pyrotechnics that featured depictions of shimmering gold and silver palm trees.
Splashy bursts of color from the fireworks filled the sky over Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong.
Beijing counted down to 2015 with a figure skating exhibition aimed at promoting China's bid to host the 2022 Winter Olympics, while the Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai readied what it said would be the largest-ever LED-illuminated facade, on the world's tallest building.
The Brazilian tourist attraction of Rio de Janeiro was expecting more than one million revelers to crowd its Copacabana Beach for rock concerts on three stages.
But in Indonesia, in the aftermath of the crash of the AirAsia passenger jet into the depths of the Java Sea, prayerful remembrances took precedence in Jakarta, and other cities canceled their normal New Year celebrations.
Kim Jong Un open to talks with his rival
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un says he is open to expanding "dialogue and cooperation" with the country's rival, South Korea.
During a traditional New Year's Day speech, Mr. Kim said he would consider resuming "stalled high-level meetings" with Seoul.
It is not clear at what level the talks proposed by Mr. Kim would take place.
The proposal comes after South Korea this week offered to hold high-level meetings with North Korea in January.
Seoul's Unification Ministry on Thursday welcomed Mr. Kim's comments, saying if he is "sincere" then he would accept the South's offer of talks.
The last high-profile inter-Korean meeting occurred in February. The two Koreas agreed in October to restart the dialogue, but did not follow through.
The talks traditionally have covered areas of cooperation, such as resuming reunions between families separated by the 1950s Korean War.