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New Year's Call of Duty

New Year 2006 is only hours away, and our editors and reporters are waiting for the moment with hushed excitement, and a spirit of professionalism.

Every year this time, people plan their crazy activities for the night -- shopping, singing, drinking, dancing or wandering on the streets to enjoy the wonderful sights. But our journalists' responsibility is to record every happy moment of this special night, instead of enjoying their own moments.

Dong Zhen, our public security reporter, will go to Times Square to cover the apple countdown for the New Year. The place will be awash with people eager to see the artificial snowfall, because real snow seldom makes an appearance in Shanghai. This cute and brave reporter may well struggle to take in every scene of the night among the excited hoardes, regardless of her own safety, but we hope she will enjoy her own romantic moment under the big apple.

Xu Wei, a features reporter, will go to Xintiandi, where many pop stars will make their appearance tonight. Readers, who won't or can't make it to Shanghai's party spot tonight, can relive the great scenes and moments, as she brings the events to life.

Visitors can knock a big ancient bell at Longhua Temple from 10pm today to tomorrow morning, which is a long local tradition. Shanghai Daily will send Fu Yingqing, our tourism reporter, to the spot to capture the loud chimes of the bell heralding the new year.

Reporters will also fan out to other places around Shanghai holding big events, including the Bund and Century Plaza, so you, dear reader, won't miss out on anything.

Good stories are incomplete without pictures, so all our four staff photographers -- Wang Rongjiang, Shen Kai, Dong Jun and Zhang Suoqing -- will carry their heavy cameras to record the beautiful scenes on the streets and the smiles on people's faces.

While our team of reporters and cameramen will stay out until tomorrow morning, in the news room, editors will eagerly wait for their news. Wu Zheng, a deputy editor, said she has spent all her New Year's Eve in office since the newspaper was launched in 1999, along with Jiang Jianjun, the managing deputy editor.

Festivals always synonymously mean hectic work for Shanghai Daily staff. But we willing witnesses of every important moment and it gives us great joy to share them with our readers.

Last but not the least, here is a very popular and funny flash in our newsroom today, to celebrate the passing of this year.

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