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Katy Saunders, left, Alex Mueller, center left, Rebekka Frank and Arina Motamedi, right, play with sparklers ahead of welcoming in the new year during the 2013 Edinburgh Hogmanay celebrations, Scotland, Monday December 31, 2012. (AP Photo/PA,Danny Lawson) Copyright 2012, The Associated Press

World giving enthusiastic welcome to 2013

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LONDON (AP) — Lavish fireworks displays ushered in 2013 across the Asia-Pacific region on Tuesday, and Europe was holding scaled-back festivities and street parties in the hope of beginning a new year that will be kinder to its battered economies.

Asian cities kicked off New Year's celebrations in style and an atmosphere of renewed optimism, despite the "fiscal cliff" impasse of spending cuts and tax increases threatening to reverberate globally from the United States.

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