AP Top Stories Dec. 31 P

A shooting in Denver leaves 4 officers hurt, 1 dead, and 2 civilians injured; Countries around the world usher in 2018; Crowds brave the cold in New York’s Times Square; and police are called on to stop a cookie-stealing squirrel.

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20.000 torchbearers storm Edinburgh for New Year celebrations

Vikings and bagpipers lead 20,000 torchbearers through Edinburgh to mark the start of Scotland’s New Year celebrations.

Hong Kong celebrates the start of 2018

Hong Kong welcomes in the new year with a fireworks display in the city’s harbour. IMAGES

18 dead in attack on Afghan funeral: officials

An explosion at a funeral in Afghanistan’s restive east on Sunday killed at least 18 mourners and wounded another 13, officials said, capping a deadly year for ordinary Afghans.

Turkey tightens security ahead of New Year attack anniversary

Istanbul will deploy over 40,000 members of the security forces for the night of New Year’s Eve, one year after a deadly attack on a nightclub claimed 39 lives. The authorities have banned any New Year celebrations in Taksim Square in the heart of the European side of the city while a similar measure has been imposed for the lively district of Besiktas. IMAGES

Istanbul residents honour New Year attack victims one year on

Dozen of people held commemorations to mark the one year anniversary of the terror at an Istanbul nightclub that left 39 dead. Most of the victims were foreigners who were celebrating the New Year in the posh nightclub, frequented by tourists and celebrities.

Snow and security on New York’s Times Square ahead of NYE

The toughest security presence in years will safeguard New Year’s Eve festivities in New York’s Times Square, where around two million people are expected to congregate in the area.

George Weah promises to “improve the lives of Liberians”

Liberia’s president-elect George Weah vowed Saturday to “improve people’s lives” after the former star footballer secured a stunning run-off victory in the country’s first democratic transfer of power in decades.