每日跟讀#764: The beat goes on: fireworks, smoke and tear gas start new decade


· 每日跟讀單元 Daily English

每日跟讀#764: The beat goes on: fireworks, smoke and tear gas start new decade

New York dropped its traditional crystal-encrusted ball to ring in 2020 in a packed Times Square, after crisis-marred celebrations in other countries ended a year of worldwide upheaval that saw strike-hit Paris welcome the new decade with fireworks, and London’s Big Ben ring out after a long restoration. Billions around the world cheered in 2020 after a tumultuous year dominated by demonstrations calling for political revolt and action on climate change.


Chile saw thousands of demonstrators gather at Santiago’s Plaza Italia — the epicenter of protests against President Sebastian Pinera’s right-wing government since October last year — to celebrate a “New Year with Dignity.”


In the French capital, tens of thousands gathered on the Champs-Elysees, despite a grueling transport strike that has spelled weeks of misery for commuters. They came on foot, by bike, taxi — and a few by Metro — to ring in the new decade as a dazzling light show lit up the Arc de Triomphe.


In the British capital, thousands of revelers lined the Thames to watch fireworks fired from the London Eye for the last new year before Brexit. Big Ben rang out 12 times after the bell had fallen mostly silent in 2019 because of renovation work. It followed a year of political wrangling that led to the resignation of Prime Minister Theresa May and culminated in Conservative Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s pledging to leave the EU on Jan. 31.


Smoke-choked Sydney ushered in the New Year with an enormous fireworks display, despite a petition to cancel it that received more than 280,000 signatures as devastating bushfires raged across the country. But the show did go on: more than 100,000 fireworks lit up the skyline for the hundreds of thousands of spectators thronging the city center.


After more than six months of near-daily demonstrations, Hong Kong ushered in 2020 with tear gas and water cannon. Pro-democracy protesters took their movement into the new year with midnight countdown rallies and a massive march planned for Wednesday. Demonstrators at the harborfront counted down chanting “Ten! Nine! Liberate Hong Kong, revolution now!” in a sea of light from their mobile phones. Smaller crowds of protesters in the Mong Kok district set fire to barricades and riot police unleashed their first volleys of tear gas for 2020 in response.


Source article: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/lang/archives/2020/01/07/2003728808



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