Goodbye, 2017 — hello, 2018!
This weekend, toast the year that was while the famous Times Square ball, and other weird things, drop. What to watch: Starting at 8 p.M. ET Sunday on ABC, Ryan Seacrest keeps the Dick Clark brand going with New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, scheduled to feature performances by Mariah Carey, John Legend and Demi Lovato. On Fox, Steve Harvey hosts. PBS celebrates the New Year with legendary composer Leonard Bernstein from Lincoln Center. And CNN’s Anderson Cooper is joined by Andy Cohen, replacing Kathy Griffin. Griffin was dismissed by CNN in the spring after posting a video of herself holding a mask that looked like the severed head of President Trump. Did you make a resolution yet? Here are some USA TODAY’s Editorial Board would like to see. Swipe through images from last year’s celebration from around the world.
More security than ever in Times Square, Las Vegas for NYE
Police are promising a bigger security detail than ever before in Times Square for this year’s New Year’s Eve celebration, which will cap off a year of deadly attacks on innocent crowds including a vehicle rampage at the very spot where revelers will ring in 2018. An area roughly 22 city blocks long and three long blocks wide will be sealed off from traffic with cement blocks, sand-filled garbage trucks and other vehicles blocking the streets leading into the area. Unprecedented security also will greet partygoers along the Las Vegas Strip, where celebrations will take place three months to the day after a gunman opened fire on a crowd of concertgoers in the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. History.
Final week of the NFL regular season: 3 playoff spots still up for grabs
Sunday is a big day for football. In the NFC, the final Wild Card spot will go to the Atlanta Falcons or the Seattle Seahawks. In the AFC, the Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans, Buffalo Bills and San Diego Chargers all have a shot at playing in the postseason. Plus, the New England Patriots and Pittsburgh Steelers are still fighting for the overall No. 1 seed in the AFC. Check out all the clinching scenarios and the NFL playoff picture as it stands heading into the weekend. And our experts’ picks for Week 17 give an inside look at who will be playing next week and who will be heading home for the offseason. In the meantime, Jarrett Bell breaks down the best and worst of the 2017 season and, of the teams eliminated from this year’s playoffs, which one has the brightest future?
Year-end financial housekeeping: Get it done this weekend
If you haven’t done so already, now is the time to complete any year-end financial tasks before Sunday’s Dec. 31 deadline. Moves like converting a traditional IRA to a Roth IRA, additional 401(k) contributions and taking your required minimum distributions from IRA’s need to be done by then. And with big tax changes being implemented next year and potentially fewer people itemizing deductions, consider giving more this year to your favorite charity. You could save money on your taxes and help out a worthy cause. The year-end is also good time for car shoppers as dealers offer some of the best deals of the entire year in December.
Brrrr! Cold weather is sticking around through New Year’s
The cold is expected to continue through the holiday weekend and likely longer, according to the National Weather Service, prolonging a stretch of brutal weather blamed for vehicle crashes, emergency room visits and at least one death. In the Midwest, temperatures in Minneapolis aren’t expected to top zero degrees this weekend, and it likely will be in the teens when the ball drops on New Year’s Eve in New York City. This week’s cold snap has brought record-low temperatures, freezing rain and heavy snow to much of the United States. But 2017 is still on track to be the second- or third-hottest year ever recorded globally — and scientists say climate change is to blame.
Contributing: Associated Press.
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