Ailing leader Fidel Castro saluted the Cuban people for their 50 years of resistance against the United States in a written message read on state television shortly before the first minutes of the New Year.
Flying 350,000km and visiting 39 countries, Ban Ki-moon has put tireless energy into his first year as UN secretary-general but has struggled to raise the profile of the much-criticized body.
Smoking has been banned in bars in the capitals of France and Germany but the laws will not be enforced immediately.
Privacy protection for individuals worsened around the globe in 2007, as governments stepped up surveillance and data-gathering to improve security, according to a report by two advocacy groups.
Russia looks to cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere with Uruguay, the country's ambassador to the Latin American state said on Monday.
Oil prices of near 100 dollars per barrel caused alarm in consuming countries in 2007 and analysts forecast another tense crude market this year with triple-figure records a real prospect.
A volcano in southern Chile erupted on Tuesday, spewing lava and ash, and forcing the evacuation of about 150 people, officials said.
For years, the joke in this country was that Brazil's economy was the economy of the future. The morose punchline, of course, was that the future never arrives. But finally, it seems, the future is now.
Crude oil rose to $100 a barrel for the first time in New York as record global fuel consumption threatens to outpace production.
Kidnappers in the north Somali region of Puntland have freed two aid workers from the Spanish branch of Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF).