Shanghai cancels iconic lantern festival after New Year stampede

January 12, 2015 4:42 AM

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SHANGHAI (Reuters) - China's cosmopolitan financial center of Shanghai has canceled a two-decade old lantern festival held at its central Yu Garden, over safety concerns sparked by a New Year's Eve stampede that led to the deaths of 36 people.

The official response to the tragedy, the city's worst loss of life since 2010, has drawn global attention, with critics saying it could tarnish Shanghai's reputation and set at risk an ambition to become a world financial center by 2020.

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