No fireworks in Belgium, but there was a party in Iraq
In a safer Baghdad, Iraqis party for 2008
2008 arrived in a less-violent Baghdad, and residents said it was the first real party they had seen in years.
At the stroke of midnight, exuberant locals fired into the air with automatic rifles, sending red tracer fire streaking over the city, as fireworks lit up the sky.
While the city is still far from peaceful and many of the festive gatherings had a tentative feel, many said it was a happier occasion than they could have dared to hope just a few months ago.
Belly dancers also took the stage, and revelers showered a female singer with dinar notes, the Iraqi audience’s ultimate sign of approval.
Meanwhile over in Belgium, Terror fear douses Brussels party
Traditional New Year’s Eve fireworks in the Belgian capital Brussels have been cancelled because of a security alert.
The Christmas market will close at 1800 instead of staying open all night, and even the ice rink will close early.
“We are still facing a potential threat,” a spokesman for the Belgian capital said.
The alert follows police saying they had discovered a plot to free a jailed al-Qaeda suspect, Nizar Trabelsi. He has denied any such plot.
Last week police detained 14 people suspected of taking part in the alleged plot. But a judge said there was not enough evidence to hold any of them.
“Not enough evidence to hold any of them”, but let’s cancel the party anyway?
Too bad the Belgian authorities weren’t in New York City on December 31, 2001. They might have learned a thing or two.