Essebsi Sworn In as Tunisian President
Beji Caid Essebsi has been sworn in as Tunisia's new president, becoming the country's first freely elected leader since it gained independence from France in 1956.
Mr. Essebsi took the oath of office Wednesday at a ceremony in the parliament where his secular Nidaa Tounes party won the most seats in an October election.
The 88-year-old president won a runoff election this month, defeating incumbent Moncef Marzouki, who had served as Tunisia's interim president since the 2011 ouster of longtime leader Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali.
Mr. Essebsi has pledged to move forward with a united Tunisia and said he hopes his election marks the start of a new future for the country.
He previously served as a minister in Mr. Ben Ali's administration and as an advisor to Tunisia's first president, Habib Bourguiba.
New Zealanders among the first to usher in 2015
New Zealanders were among the first in the world to usher in 2015, with a giant clock on Auckland's landmark Sky Tower counting down the minutes until the New Year.
A huge fireworks display was launched from the top of the tower at midnight.
After a turbulent year marred by terrorism threats, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many around the globe could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.
Recent tragedies have muted celebration plans in Indonesian. Officials in Jakarta said the city would conduct prayers for the victims of AirAsia Flight 8501 and a deadly landslide in Central Java.
Other Indonesian cities have opted to cancel or tone down celebrations.
New Zealand's capital, Wellington, hosted a family-friendly celebration in a park, featuring orchestral music and iconic movie clips, culminating with fireworks.