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New Year's Eve: World Begins Celebrating the Arrival of 2015

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LONDON — It's out with the old and in with the new, as revelers around the world begin to ring in the new year with parties and celebrations. From the beaches of Brazil to the shores of Sydney Harbor and the potentially snowy streets of Las Vegas — yes, really — 2015 is being welcomed with a bang and a cheer.

The first major celebrations took place in New Zealand, with midnight local time falling at 6 a.m. ET. A giant clock on Auckland's landmark Sky Tower structure counted down the minutes until the new year, with a huge fireworks display launching from the tower at midnight. The next taxi off the rank was Australia, where the iconic Harbor Bridge in Sydney lit up with a spectacular fireworks display.

In the U.S., New York will drop its Waterford crystal ball at midnight, while in the west Sin City might be celebrating the new year under flurries of snow. Forecasts in Las Vegas pin the area's chances for New Year's Eve snow at 70 percent.

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— The Associated Press

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