Valentines Day was celebrated in New York by either tying the knot in the Empire State Building or "Getting some" of the newly-unveiled official condoms.
Thirteen couples were due to exchange vows in the city's tallest skyscraper during the day and enjoy a Champagne toast on the building's 86th-floor observation deck, braving temperatures below freezing.
AdvertisementHealth authorities were meanwhile handing out brightly packaged city condoms at subways and landmarks as part of a safe sex campaign labeled "Get Some."
The city gave out 36 million condoms last year -- the equivalent of more than four for every man, woman and child in New York and health officials are hoping to give away even more this year.
Less romantically, at the United Nations, campaigners were due to highlight the poor conditions of laborers in developing countries that supply traditional gifts such as chocolate and flowers to Valentines Day consumers.
According to the International Labor Rights Forum, which runs a Fairness in Flowers campaign, workers -- among them thousands of child laborers -- are routinely denied labor rights and forced to work in poor conditions.
The group also campaigns for ethical cocoa sourcing, to ensure that Valentine's Day chocolates need not be a guilty pleasure.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation also put something of a damper on the festivities, with a warning that romantic e-greetings could deliver a destructive "Trojan horse" that hijacks users' computers.
"If you unexpectedly receive a Valentine's Day e-card, be careful," the FBI warned this week, urging Internet users to "be on the lookout for spam emails spreading the Storm Worm malicious software (malware)."
The Department of Homeland Security meanwhile said it would be on the lookout for insects lurking in imported cut flowers, having intercepted more than 5,000 pests in plants flown into New York's Kennedy airport last year.
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