2016 to Dawn Amid Terror Warnings, Tight Security
Security has been tightened in cities around the world because of possible terror threats as they prepare for public celebrations marking the start of the new year.
Sydney, Australia will be one of the first cities to mark the start of 2016, with its biggest fireworks display ever -- seven tons of fireworks at a cost of $5.1 million for the 12-minute show.
But Jakarta, Indonesia, is on high alert this year, after police uncovered plans for an alleged terror attack on the Indonesian capital during the festivities.
Brussels' mayor canceled the Belgian capital's annual New Year's Eve celebration because of a terror threat.
Mayor Yvan Mayeur said according to a crisis center analysis, it would not be possible to screen the tens of thousands of people who were expected to turn out for fireworks.
Meanwhile, Belgian police announced Thursday they have arrested a 10th suspect in the November 13th Paris attacks in which 130 people were killed. Belgian police arrested two people earlier this week suspected of plotting a New Year's Eve terror attack on what they call "emblematic" targets.
Four of the Islamic extremists who killed 130 people in multiple terrorist attacks in Paris in November were from Belgium.
Paris has also cancelled its fireworks show and cut back on plans for the evening, closing off the famed Champs Elysees avenue to cars for only one hour instead of three. But the light show projected on the Arc de Triomphe will be go on as scheduled. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told a French publication ((the weekly Journal du Dimanche)) that France needs its symbolic passage into the new year, to "send a signal to the world" as it continues to recover from the attacks.
In Turkey on Wednesday, authorities detained two suspected Islamic State members believed to be planning suicide attacks on New Year's celebrations in the Turkish capital, Ankara. The alleged plot involved suicide bombings in central Ankara where crowds gather to celebrate the start of the new year.
In New York City, thousands of police officers, some armed with long guns, radiation detectors and bomb-sniffing dogs, are preparing for the city's massive New Year's celebration in Times Square, expected to draw more than a million people.
Police, the FBI, and Homeland Security officials say there are no specific credible threats to New York or any other U.S. celebrations.
Iran Warns Against New 'Illegal' US Sanctions
Iran said Thursday it would respond to any "interventionist" measures by the United States, after U.S. officials said the Treasury Department was preparing new sanctions connected to Iran's ballistic missile program.
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Hossein Jaber Ansari called the planned sanctions "unilateral, arbitrary and illegal."
The Wall Street Journal, which first reported the planned move, said the sanctions will likely be formally announced this week and include about 12 people and companies in Iran, Hong Kong and the United Arab Emirates.
The sanctions would call on U.S. banks to freeze the assets of those on the list and bar individuals and companies in the U.S. from doing business with them, according to the Journal.
Iran test-fired missiles in October and November. The U.S. and France said the October launch violated a U.N. Security Council resolution banning Iranian development of a ballistic missile. Iran rejected the allegations, saying the sanctions only applied to missiles capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and that their missiles had no such capability.
U.S. experts said the only purpose of the missile would be to deliver a nuclear warhead.