The world began ushering in the New Year Thursday, with pandemic controls muting celebrations for billions of people eager to bid farewell to a virus-ridden 2020.After a grinding year that has seen at least 1.7 million people die from Covid-19, fresh waves of infection have sparked renewed lockdowns and forced would-be revellers to extend their 2020 tradition of watching events from the sofa.The eagerly awaited first lights of 2021 fell on the Pacific nations of Kiribati and Samoa from 1000 GMT…


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