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UNDATED (AP) — At midnight Eastern Time tonight, the big crystal ball drops in Times Square to welcome in 2015. But first, New Zealand rings in the new year (at 6 a.m. Eastern Time), and Australia says "Happy New Year" two hours later, with the annual celebration in Sydney Harbour. And for Las Vegas, meteorologists are telling people to bundle up. It's expected to be 32 degrees tonight.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — January 1 will bring new laws across the U.S. In California, driver's licenses will be available for people in the country illegally. The minimum wage goes up in Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. And in California, a "yes means yes" standard for sex between college students takes effect, requiring what the law calls "an affirmative, conscious and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity."
SURABAYA, Indonesia (AP) — Seven bodies have now been recovered from the AirAsia plane crash in the Java Sea. The plane went down Sunday in bad weather while flying from Indonesia to Singapore. There were 162 people on board. Officials say sonar images have identified what appear to be large parts of the plane, but strong currents are moving the wreckage. And the plane's cockpit voice and flight data recorders have not yet been recovered.
WASHINGTON (AP) — A new poll suggests that most Americans favor labeling calories on menus in fast food and sit-down restaurants. But an Associated Press-GfK poll conducted in December found that less than half of those surveyed approve requiring the calorie postings in other dining locations such as coffee shops, vending machines, movie theaters or amusement parks. Under new rules announced recently, all these will be required to post calorie amounts. When judging whether a food item is healthy, 55 percent of Americans surveyed say how many calories it contains is a key consideration.
PARIS (AP) — As of today, France has completely dropped its hefty tax on millionaires. Socialist President Francois Hollande's super tax was supposed to force millionaires to pay tax rates of up to 75 percent. But it was rejected by a court, rewritten and ultimately netted just a sliver of its projected proceeds. And now a critic from the banking industry, who called the tax "Cuba without the sun," has become Hollande's economy minister. He's trying to undo the damage to France's image in international business circles.
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