Ringing in the new . . .
Bidding farewell to a year filled with natural disasters and economic hardships, the world welcomed 2012 with a hope for better things to come.
Church services, celebrations and fireworks marked the grand occasion from the South Pacific island nation of Samoa – where revellers were the first in the world to usher in the new year – to Australia, Asia, Europe, New York and Barbados, as the new year dawned.
Here, several people watch fireworks explode during the New Year celebrations at Independence Square in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.