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(From Agence France Presse)
New Year celebrations around the world are shaping up to be exuberant, extravagant and often pyrotechnic -- but also highly security conscious in some of the major capitals due to persistent fears of terror attacks.
With the war in Iraq, the earthquake in Iran and images of various conflicts and political upheavals dominating memories of 2003, traditional end-of-year festivities in many countries are expected to be especially vibrant as collective hopes of a happier and more peaceful 2004 are cast.
But authorities are taking no chances.
US-occupied Iraq will be under particular scrutiny.
The US …