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You're reading: World rings in 2012, bids adieu to tough year
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In Sydney, more than 1.5 million people watched the shimmering pyrotechnic display designed around the theme "Time to Dream" — a nod to the eagerness many felt in moving forward after the rough year. New York’s Times Square was awash in optimistic sentiments as it prepared to welcome hordes of New Year’s Eve partiers.

The mood was less bright in Europe, where leaders set the tone for a continent hammered by an unprecedented economic crisis that has put the euro’s existence in question, turning in New Year’s messages that 2012 will bring more financial hardship.

Hannah Magauer, a 26-year-old German who was visiting London for New Year’s, tried to put a hopeful spin on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s warning that 2012 would be more difficult than 2011.

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