We track four people on their journey.
We explore the new US-Cuba relationship
01 Jan 2013 08:56 GMT
Fireworks lighted up the sky from The Sydney Harbour Bridge at midnight during New Years Eve celebrations in Sydney, Australia, December 31.
Tens of thousands of people lined Hong Kong(***)s Victoria Harbour to view a $1.6m fireworks display, said to be the biggest ever in the city.
After nearly five decades under military rule that discouraged or banned big public gatherings, about 90,000 people witnessed Myanmar(***)s first New Year(***)s Eve countdown in a field in the largest city of Yangon.
People gathered to celebrate the New Year at Imjingak in Paju near Panmunjom, which borders South and North Korea.
Two revellers kissed each other as they celebrated the new year during a count-down event at the Summer Palace in Beijing.
Indians lighted candles to welcome the New Year across cities like Allahabad. Celebrations in the country were muted following the recent gang rape of a young woman that triggered mass protests.
Egyptian activists held candles as they took part in a rally on the second anniversary of the attack on the All Saints Church (al-Qiddissine) in the city of Alexandria.
Pope Benedict XVI visited the Nativity at St Peter(***)s Square in the Vatican. He said that despite all the death and injustice, goodness prevails.
Palestinians waved their flag as they celebrated New Year(***)s Eve in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
Spanish inhabitants of Campello, a town near the southeastern city of Alicante, posed with a banner reading "Happy New Year 2013" as they welcomed the New Year.
Tens of thousands of people gathered to celebrate the New Year in front of St Basil cathedral at Red Square in Moscow.
West Bengal long suffered cancerous effects of arsenic-laced water, but projects to provide clean water show promise.
Health, Poverty & Development, Environment
Muslim fashion designers reflect on a rapidly growing industry.
Arts & Culture, Islam, Business & Economy
Americans' passports could be seized if they owe more than $50,000 in taxes, but could this law be unfairly applied?
Business & Economy, United States, Politics
How peat swamp destruction in Malaysia is causing devastating health problems and irreversible environmental damage.
Environment, Climate Change, Climate SOS
How improving relations between communist Cuba and the capitalist US will change the lives of people on both sides.
Politics, United States, Cuba
Mayotte is a magnet for Comoros islanders who risk their lives crossing hazardous seas in search of a better life.
Poverty & Development, France, Refugees
The WHO has declared the spread of the Zika virus a global public health emergency, so how big a threat is the virus?
Health, Zika virus, US
A three-part series looking at the history of France's black community and their long struggle for recognition.
Politics, US & Canada, France