Sydney: Revellers across the globe began to
ring in the New Year today but a Bali terror warning and a
deadly shooting in Finland stoked security jitters, already
high after a failed US bomb plot.
Police were on alert in many world cities after the
thwarted Christmas Day attack on a US-bound plane, as
party-goers from Tonga to Tijuana prepared to raise a glass to
2010 and close the door on a decade scarred by wars, terror
attacks, natural disasters and financial turmoil.
But the party spirit was alive and well in New Zealand
where fireworks burst into the night sky as the clock struck
midnight in in Auckland, the first major city to see in the
The US embassy in Indonesia said it received a warning of
a possible attack on the resort island of Bali, the scene of
multiple bombings targeting Westerners, but local authorities
denied any knowledge of such an alert.
In Helsinki, four people were killed after a lone gunman
dressed in black opened fire at a shopping centre, the third
major shooting in Finland in the past two years.
For international troops in Afghanistan, it was to be
business as usual, with soldiers maintaining their normal
schedule of operations, after two deadly Taliban attacks
claimed the lives of eight Americans and five Canadians.
In Australia, around 1.5 million people were expected to
crowd the harbour foreshore for a high-tech fireworks display
on the iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge.
First Published: Thursday, December 31, 2009, 20:21