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Elsewhere, the atmosphere of celebration was muted with concern.

Hotels, clubs and other sites in New Delhi, the Indian capital, canceled festivities after the death of a rape victim on Saturday touched off days of mourning and reflection about women’s safety.

In Times Square, some revelers checked their cellphones to keep up with news of lawmakers’ tentative deal to skirt the fiscal cliff combination of expiring tax cuts and across-the-board spending cuts that threatened to reverberate globally. And the elementary school massacre in Newtown, Conn., and Superstorm Sandy mingled into the memories of 2012.

“This has been a very eventful year, on many levels,” Denise Norris said as she and her husband, the Rev. Urie Norris, surveyed the crowd.

In Times Square, Elvis Rivera, of Manhattan, was taking photos to capture the moment. He wasn’t planning to ring in the new year there but went by to take pictures.

How did he feel about the end of 2012?

“Relieved,” Rivera said, adding that there had been a death and job losses in his family this year.

His hopes for 2013?

“A better life” and more money, he said.

Associated Press writers Colleen Long and Verena Dobnik in New York; Aye Aye Win in Yangon, Myanmar; Silvia Hui in London, and Ashok Sharma in New Delhi contributed to this report.