Speed Reads

is it 2017 yet?

Ban Ki-moon is dropping the New Year's Eve ball in New York and is definitely capable of staying up until midnight

United Nation Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon will drop the 2017 New Year's Eve ball in New York City, Gothamist reports. "At a time when the world seems ever more fractured, divided, and disconnected, the symbolism of our global celebration highlighting the United Nations and its global goals could not be more important," said Times Square Alliance President Tim Tompkins. "Unlike too many other voices in the world today, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's legacy of bringing people and nations together, supporting refugee relief efforts, and opposing war align perfectly with New York's hopes for a better and more just world."

Other recent ball-droppers have included New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, former President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Ball-dropping responsibilities include "push[ing] the Waterford crystal button on the main stage beginning the official 60-second countdown to the New Year" and staying up until midnight.

In case anyone was concerned about the latter task, there is no question about Ban, 72, being able to stay up late enough: "I keep myself up to midnight; that's out of necessity," he told The New York Times in 2013. He added that while midnight is his "deadline," "sometimes I need to go beyond 12 o'clock."

Ban's 10-year term as secretary-general ends on Dec. 31.