(Canadian Press Broadcast Wire (Canada) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) (New-Year's-Celebrations)
The brand new year has arrived with hope for renewal and a better future.
Thousands of Canadians braved chilly temperatures to ring in 2013 at two of the country's biggest parties in Toronto and Niagara Falls.
From the glittering ball drop in New York's Times Square, to joyous fireworks in London, and cheers in the once-isolated Myanmar, revellers bid farewell to 2012 with its economic uncertainty, violence and natural disasters.
Pope Benedict says he is convinced that peace will prevail in 2013, despite the terrorism, criminality and the inequality between the rich and poor that afflict the world today.
The Pope celebrated mass at St. Peter's Basilica to mark the Catholic church's world day of peace. (4)
The U-S Senate has approved a compromise to avoid the impact of the fiscal cliff.
But even if the House passes legislation today or tomorrow to avert across-the-board tax hikes and spending cuts, it's not the end of the issue.
The measure that passed in the Senate overnight ensures that lawmakers will have to revisit difficult budget questions in just a few weeks. (4)
(YEAR-Taxes) (Audio: 54)
Working Canadians can expect another hit to the wallet as we welcome 2013, compliments of the taxman.
The Canadian Taxpayers Federation says Employment Insurance premiums will rise $51.50 per year for anyone earning just over 47-thousand dollars.
And Canada Pension Plan premiums will rise by nearly 50 bucks for anyone earning at least 51-thousand.
Some additional premium hikes and various tax increases will be slapped on people in B-C, Manitoba, Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia and P-E-I. (4)
The deadline for Ontario teachers to reach agreements with their local school boards passed just before midnight last night.
Under Bill 115, Education Minister Laurel Broten now has the power to impose contracts in cases where deals haven't been reached.
But she hasn't said if she plans to act today.
Broten says 65 ratified local agreements have been submitted so far, and she's hoping others will follow.
Bill 115 freezes the pay of most teachers, reduces their ability to bank sick days and limits their right to strike.
It has also prompted rotating one-day strikes and an end to extracurricular activities. (4)
(Mobile-Threats) (Audio: 42)
Experts say 2013 may be the year that smartphones start coming under serious attack by cyber criminals.
Tony Anscombe with anti-virus software maker A-V-G says Google's popular Android platform is already being targeted.
He says scammers can hijack a phone and then steal personal information or send premium rate text messages to make money from their victim. (4)
Hundreds of people across Ontario will be jumping into frigid bodies of water today in traditional New Year's Day polar bear dips.
This afternoon's Courage Polar Bear Dip in Oakville is billed as the largest charity dip in Canada.
It has raised 940-thousand dollars for World Vision Canada since 1995, which has helped fund clean-water projects around the world. (4)
(NewsWatch by Karen Rebot)
(The Canadian Press)
(c) 2013 The Canadian Press
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