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New Year latest: 300 arrests in Berlin as thousands welcome 2024

Berlin police claim that people threw fireworks at officers and attempted to make molotov cocktails

Holly Evans,Namita Singh,Barney Davis
Monday 01 January 2024 16:04 GMT
Spectacular New Year's Eve fireworks as London welcomes 2024

Berlin police detained over 300 people on New Year’s Eve after at least 14 on-duty officers were injured as people shot fireworks at each other and police throughout the city.

One of the incidents occurred near Alexanderplatz where around 500 people were letting off fireworks at each other before police dispersed the group at the landmark Neptune Fountain, reported DW.

The crowd fired at police with pyrotechnics when they tried to check them for fireworks, according to the outlet.

In Neukölln, a number of arrests were made after people attempted to make Molotov cocktails, which police say they confiscated.

It came amid jubilant scenes in the US as tens of thousands of beaming people in New York’s Times Square, were showered with confetti and hugs and kisses after watching the descent of the colourful ball marking the birth of 2024.

The UK earlier welcomed 2024 with a bang as tens of thousands packed the streets of London and Edinburgh to watch the cities’ world-famous New Year’s Eve fireworks displays.

Tickets for the event in London sold out and official viewing areas were full. Organisers finished checks on the pyrotechnics with more than 10,000 fireworks shooting up into the night’s sky after the Big Ben countdown.

The march of midnight from time zone to time zone brought the new year first to places like Australia, where more than 1 million people watched a pyrotechnic display centred around Sydney’s famous Opera House and harbour bridge — a number of spectators equivalent to one in five of the city’s residents.


More pictures of celebrations around the world

Guangdong, China (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Bangkok, Thailand (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Dubai (AFP via Getty Images)
Jakarta, Indonesia (Anadolu via Getty Images)
Alex Ross31 December 2023 21:00

Events cancelled due to weather

The strong winds in some parts of the UK has forced some organisers to cancel New Year’s Eve events.

Both Winter Wonderland in Plymouth and an annual fireworks display in Barnstaple, in Devon, have been cancelled this evening.

Organiers of Winter Wonderland said: “As much as we are very disappointed and frustrated, your safety comes first, as well as ours, and we can’t possibly take the risk”.

And in Barnstaple, the town centre management team said: “Unfortunately due to the weather conditions and the gusting winds we will be unable to do the fireworks this evening due to safety.

“We know this is disappointing, but safety is always the priority and we unfortunately can’t control the weather.”

Tonight’s events come amidst a yellow weather warning from the Met Office for strong winds along coastal areas of southern England. The warning expires at midnight tonight.

Alex Ross31 December 2023 20:56

‘Left in a state'

We’re hearing from more people left stranded abroad by the cancellation of Eurostar services on Saturday - including some with booked tickets for New Year’s Eve events in London.l

Luke Gibbs, 32, from Kenley, south London, travelled with his wife, Kyla, cousin Liam Eton and sister-in-law Brea Melanson, from Canada, to Brussels and planned to arrive in London in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations on Sunday.

Mr Gibbs, a business development manager, paid £600 for a New Year’s Eve event in London Bridge, which is not refundable and now he cannot attend after his train from Brussels to St Pancras was cancelled.

He described the communication with Eurostar as “appalling”.

“I think the way (Eurostar) dealt with it is pretty appalling in terms of not trying to say ‘this is how you rebook it, we’ll help you out with expenses’,” Mr Gibbs told the PA news agency.

“They just said, ‘unfortunately, it’s cancelled, we’re sorry, get on with it’, which is shocking really.”

Alex Ross31 December 2023 20:32

Shock as Queen of Denmark uses New Year’s Eve speech to announce abdication

In Denmark, Queen Margrethe II used her New Year’s Eve speech to announce that she would abdicate the throne.

The shock move means she will be succeeded by her son, Crown Prince Frederik, on 14 January - 52 years to the day since she came to the throne following the death of her father, King Frederik IX, in 1972.

In her televisied speech, she explained that her decision came after back surgery she underwent in February.

She said: “The surgery naturally gave rise to thinking about the future - whether the time had come to leave the responsibility to the next generation.”

Read the full article here

Denmark’s Queen Margrethe II announces shock abdication in New Year’s Eve speech

Queen Margrethe II has been on Denmark’s throne for 52 years and is the current longest-serving monarch in Europe

Stephanie Cockroft31 December 2023 20:04

Security tightened for New Year's Eve celebrations after FBI warnings

The Governor of New York has announced heightened public safety measures for New York City’s New Years Eve celebration.

Governor Kathy Hochul’s announcement comes about two weeks after the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a Public Service Announcement warning that threats of violence against the United States are likely heightened because of the ongoing Israel-Hamas war.

The FBI specifically cited New Year’s Eve as a point of concern, as well as winter holiday celebrations.

Read the full article here

Security tightened for New Year's Eve celebrations after FBI warnings

Threats of violence are heightened because of the Israel-Hamas war, the bureau has warned

Holly Evans31 December 2023 20:00

City of Edinburgh Council leader welcomes 30th anniversary of Hogmanay

Hogamany celebrations have now sold out in Edinburgh, the event organiser has announced. Unique Assembly said all tickets had been sold for both that event and the Concert in the Gardens, which will be headlined by Britpop stars Pulp.

Cammy Day, leader of City of Edinburgh Council, said: “I’m sure I speak for the whole city when I say how excited I am for the 30th anniversary edition of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay.

“From the incredible torchlight procession through to Pulp seeing us into 2024, and so much more, we’re really fortunate to have such excellent events on offer for our residents and visitors.”

He added: “Not only is Hogmanay an Edinburgh institution but it is also a major contributor to our city’s economy, providing jobs and commercial opportunities for our local residents and businesses.

“This is a time where we can celebrate the best of our city as one year closes and look ahead with pride and positivity to the next.

“I want to thank the organisers, our partners and, of course, council colleagues who have worked tirelessly on this event and will continue to in the coming days.

“I wish everyone in the capital a fantastic Hogmanay and a very happy new year.”

Holly Evans31 December 2023 19:00

New Year’s Eve partygoers face weather chaos as 75mph winds and heavy rain to batter UK

Partygoers celebrating New Year’s Eve are likely to face heavy rain and potential snow, as the UK continues to reel in the aftermath of Storm Gerrit.

As millions ring in the start of 2024, people face damp fireworks displays as rain and wind batter the coastline areas and temperatures drop to near freezing.

Read the full article here

New Year’s Eve partygoers face weather chaos as wind and heavy rain to batter UK

A yellow weather warning is in place for wind and rain throughout Saturday and Sunday

Stephanie Cockroft31 December 2023 18:00

More pictures from Asia

More pictures have emerged of celebrations in Thailand and Japan, with Buddhist ceremonies and parades taking place to start the New Year.

Police cordon pedestrians while they cross Shibuya Crossing in Tokyo on New Year’s Eve ahead of midnight (AFP via Getty Images)
Thai people and Buddhist monks chant during a prayer rite at Wat Pathum Wanaram temple in Bangkok, (EPA)
Thai women take selfie photographs to celebrate the New Year’s Eve in Bangkok (EPA)
Holly Evans31 December 2023 17:00

Will the BBC be showing the London fireworks?

The short answer, yes. If you fancy watching the UK’s biggest firework display from the comfort of your own home, BBC One will be live broadcasting the show.

From 11.30pm onwards, BBC will be airing Rick Astley Rocks New Year’s Eve from the Camden Roundhouse, before cutting to the display shortly before the countdown starts.

More than 100,000 people are expected to watch in person next to the River Thames, with millions more tuning in online or watching on the television.

Last year, 400 drones were used to create a shape of a crown in the sky in tribute to Queen Elizabeth II, before transforming into the familiar image of the late monarch’s face on a huge coin.

Holly Evans31 December 2023 16:30

One year on: Pictures of London’s celebrations to ring in 2023

London’s skyline lit up during last year’s celebrations (iStock/Getty)
(Getty Images)
Holly Evans31 December 2023 16:00

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