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NATIONAL OPTIMISM

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Jason Cash, of Promethium Fire Troupe, performs on Broad Street in Augusta. Some downtown streets were blocked off for New Year's Eve celebrations.  ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/STAFF
Jason Cash, of Promethium Fire Troupe, performs on Broad Street in Augusta. Some downtown streets were blocked off for New Year's Eve celebrations.

Throngs of revelers flooded into the streets in and around New York’s Times Square amid tight security on Saturday to send off a year marked by a grim anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks on the city and give a boisterous welcome to 2012.

“2012 is going to be a better year. It has to be,” said Fred Franke, 53, who was visiting New York with his family even after losing his job in military logistics this month at a Honeywell International division in Jacksonville, Florida.

GLOBAL CAUTION

The mood was a bit less bright in Europe, where leaders set the tone for a continent hammered by an unprecedented economic crisis, offering New Year’s messages that 2012 will bring more financial hardship.

“A very difficult year is coming: we must continue our effort decisively. So that our sacrifices will not have been in vain,” said Greece Prime Minister Lucas Papademos. COVERAGE, 8A

– From wire reports


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