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The city’s mayor — in conjunction with telecommunications company Vodafone — said this year’s explosive display would come packed with peach-flavored snow, edible banana confetti and orange-scented bubbles, allowing people to feast with more than just their eyes. The multisensory display will also include scratch-and-sniff programs, LED wristbands and fruit-flavored sweets.
More than 260 people had been injured by firecracker blasts and celebratory gunfire in the Philippines.
Department of Health spokesman Dr. Eric Tayag said he expected the number of injuries to rise sharply as Filipinos commemorate the end of a year marked by tragic disasters, including a Nov. 8 typhoon that left more than 6,100 dead and nearly 1,800 missing.
"Many here are welcoming the new year after losing their mothers, fathers, siblings and children so you can imagine how it feels," said village chief Maria Rosario Bactol of Anibong community in Tacloban, the city worst hit by Typhoon Haiyan. "I tell them to face the reality, to move on and stand up, but I know it will never be easy."
In New York City, outgoing Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who hobnobbed with celebrities during past Times Square celebrations, was sitting out this year’s festivities to spend time with family and friends. Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio will be sworn in at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at his Brooklyn home.
Sotomayor, a New York City native, will lead the final 60-second countdown and push the ceremonial button to drop the ball.
Associated Press writers Rod McGuirk in Canberra, Australia; Jim Gomez in Manila, Philippines; Kelvin Chan in Hong Kong; Ali Kotarumalos in Jakarta, Indonesia; Ken Moritsugu, Yuri Kageyama and Eric Talmadge in Tokyo; Louise Watt in Beijing; and Colleen Long in New York City contributed to this report.
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