[Updated 3:44 p.m. ET] Ivory Coast's president has declared three days of national mourning after a New Year's Day stampede that killed 60 people.
The horror unfolded about 1 a.m. after a New Year's Eve fireworks show in Abidjan, the West African country's largest city and former capital. The dead included 26 children, 28 women and six men, Youth Minister Alain Lobognon reported via Twitter.
Many of the victims were trampled on or suffocated by the surging crowd, a senior fire official said on national television. Rescue workers were at the scene two hours later but could not save the victims, the official AIP news agency said.
President Alassane Ouattara promised a speedy investigation.
"The president of the republic offers his saddest condolences to the families and close relations of the victims and ensures them of his compassion in those painful circumstances," Ouattara's office said in a statement issued Tuesday night.FULL STORY
The International Criminal Court postponed a key hearing in the case against Laurent Gbagbo, the former Ivory Coast president who is facing charges of crimes against humanity.
A confirmation of charges hearing originally planned for Monday is rescheduled to August 13, the court said in a statement. His lawyers asked for a delay to give them more time to prepare for an effective defense.
The hearing is to allow judges to hear arguments from both sides to determine whether there is sufficient evidence for the case to proceed to trial.
Gbagbo is accused of crimes against humanity after he rejected election results and refused to step down when current president, Alassane Ouattara, was declared the winner in the 2010 poll. The standoff sparked months of violence between supporters of both sides, leaving thousands dead.
The former leader is accused of the crimes for actions committed by forces loyal to him during the standoff. He says he is innocent.Former Ivory Coast president, Laurent Gbagbo, is facing charges of crimes against humanity.
Hours after Ivory Coast's self-declared president was captured, the country's internationally recognized president said Monday that nation has "reached the dawn of a new era of hope."
Speaking in a televised address, Alassane Ouattara urged his countrymen to give up violence and lay down their weapons.
Violence erupted after Ivory Coast's disputed presidential election in November and escalated into all-out war when forces loyal to Ouattara recently launched an offensive that brought them into the city of Abidjan.
Forces stormed Gbagbo's residence on Monday and arrested the self-declared president. Ouattara said he has asked the justice minister to start legal proceedings against Gbagbo, his wife and colleagues.FULL STORY
Looming government shutdown – Congressional leaders of both parties are searching for common ground on a federal budget, working against a deadline of midnight ET Friday. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada, and their aides spent another long night negotiating, including a meeting with President Barack Obama at the White House. If an agreement is not reached in time, many federal government facilities – including national parks – and some services will shut down until funding can be re-established.
Trump – Recent "birther" convert and potential presidential candidate Donald Trump is set to meet Friday with an Arizona state lawmaker who is sponsoring a bill to require any presidential candidate to prove he or she was born in the United States. Trump, a real-estate mogul and reality TV star, told NBC that he has dispatched a team of investigators to Hawaii to establish whether Obama was born there. CNN has debunked allegations surrounding the president's birthplace.
The battle over the federal budget is dominating the talk in Washington today. CNN.com Live is there for all the latest developments.
Today's programming highlights...
9:00 am ET - House budget debate - House lawmakers will be focusing on the budget this morning when they resume their session on Capitol Hill. Senate debate resumes at 10:00 am ET.
Budget battle – President Barack Obama meets Tuesday with congressional leaders to discuss budget negotiations three days before the deadline to avoid a government shutdown. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan also will unveil a 2012 GOP budget proposal with dramatic changes to Medicare, Medicaid and other political lightning rods.
Invitations for the White House meeting went to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio; Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nevada; Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii; and House Appropriations Committee Chairman Hal Rogers, R-Kentucky.
Diplomacy – Obama also is set to meet with Israeli President Shimon Peres for a working lunch at the White House. The White House said Obama and Peres will discuss a range of issues, including security cooperation between the two countries and recent turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa.
House hearings on 9/11 trials – A House Judiciary subcommittee will hold a previously scheduled hearing on where and how Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and four others will be tried for their alleged roles in the September 11, 2001, attacks. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Monday that the suspects would be referred to military commissions at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, military base for trial. David Beamer, whose son Todd Beamer died on United Airlines Flight 93 on 9/11, is set to testify at the House hearing.
Wisconsin Supreme Court race – Wisconsin residents will vote Tuesday in a Supreme Court race that has become a sort of referendum on Republican Gov. Scott Walker's collective-bargaining bill. Justice David Prosser, a conservative who is considered a supporter of Walker's agenda, and Assistant Attorney General JoAnne Kloppenburg, described as a liberal, are vying for a 10-year term on the high court.
Hearing in slaying of Jennifer Hudson's relatives – William Balfour will appear in an Illinois court for a deposition hearing on a 77-count indictment in the 2008 shooting deaths of singer Jennifer Hudson's mother, brother and nephew.
Mine accident anniversary – Massey Energy will halt production and hold a "safety stand-down" at all its operations at 3:02 p.m. Tuesday in honor of the 29 miners who died a year ago in an explosion at the Upper Big Branch coal mine in Montcoal, West Virginia. Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin will participate in a memorial service at 6 p.m.
Ivory Coast – Fighters loyal to Alassane Ouattara surrounded the presidential palace of Laurent Gbagbo on Tuesday, hoping to capture the embattled leader. Fighting has escalated in recent days as Ouattara's fighters pressed closer to ousting Gbagbo from power. Ouattara has been recognized by the United States and United Nations as the winner of last fall's presidential election, but Gbagbo has refused to give up power. The aid group Oxfam reports tens of thousands of people have fled into neighboring countries to escape violence.
Libya – Rebel envoy Ali Aujali dismissed as "a ridiculous offer" a rumored proposal to have Moammar Gadhafi pass power to his son Saif al-Islam Gadhafi, who then would lead reform efforts in Libya. Aujali said the rebels are willing to offer Moammar Gadhafi and his family safe passage out of Libya in exchange for an end to the fighting – but that's as far as their offer goes. Meanwhile, rebels were calling for more coalition help in Misrata and al-Brega, where loyalist forces were pushing back hard.
Ivory Coast's air and sea borders have been closed indefinitely, according to the interior minister for internationally recognized President Alassane Ouattara, whose supporters are trying to oust Laurent Gbagbo.
The announcement came as Ivory Coast's internal war appeared to enter a decisive and final phase, with forces loyal to Ouattara making a final push to take control of the capital, Abidjan, where Gbagbo has refused to give up the presidency following a disputed November election.FULL STORY
Gadhafi fights back – Forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi are fighting to hold or regain control of rebellious areas. Two bombs were dropped Thursday on military camps in the eastern Libyan town of Ajdabiya, a tribal leader said. Another bomb was dropped in al-Brega between an oil facility and the airport, but there were no injuries or damage, witnesses said. Al-Brega, which has key oil and natural gas facilities, also was bombed Wednesday.
Three United Nations peacekeepers were shot and injured Tuesday night by the forces of self-declared President Laurent Gbagbo, the U.N. operation in Ivory Coast said in a statement on Wednesday.
The peacekeepers were returning from a patrol when they were shot, the U.N. operation said.
The shootings came a day after the United Nations Security Council condemned the violence that has erupted since the country's November 28 presidential runoff election and "urged all parties to exercise restraint."
The nation was plunged into crisis when an independent commission declared Alassane Ouattara the winner of the election, but incumbent Gbagbo refused to leave office. The United Nations and an increasing number of countries have recognized Ouattara, a former prime minister, as the rightful winner.
At least five police officers were killed Tuesday night in what authorities said was a targeted attack in an Abidjan neighborhood, a police source said Wednesday.
The attack by heavily armed gunmen occurred in the densely populated Abobo area of the city, the source said.
Amnesty International issued a statement warning of a fresh outbreak of violence in the wake of the five deaths, which it said happened early Wednesday.
"Some of the worst armed clashes so far broke out in the city of Abidjan today," the organization said. An unnamed eyewitness told Amnesty International they heard "heavy exchanges of fire" around midnight, the statement said, and this morning they saw "three military vehicles burnt out" and the body of a member of the security forces.
Tuesday, five people were killed in clashes between police and supporters of the nation's president-elect amid an ongoing political standoff in the West African nation.FULL STORY
The British government announced Thursday that it has recognized Alassane Ouattara as the democratically elected president of Ivory Coast, the Foreign Commonwealth's Office said in a statement.FULL STORY
Ivory Coast's President-elect, Alassane Ouattara, is "confident" that military action to remove self-delcared President Laurent Gbagbo is on its way, he told CNN Thursday.
Ouattara said he expects the regional group the Economic Community of West African States to intervene in the situation. But he doesn't think such military intervention will lead to civil war, he added.
Gbagbo has refused to concede power, after the internationally-accepted results of a November 28 runoff show he did not win.
Ivory Coast's Independent Electoral Commission declared that Gbagbo lost the election to challenger Alassane Ouattara, but the Gbagbo-appointed Constitutional Council invalidated the results and the incumbent leader is still clinging to power - despite repeated pleas to step down by regional and international leaders.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.
Talks between Ivory Coast's political rivals and African mediators failed to break a political impasse although the Kenyan leader acting as a special envoy said Tuesday that he remains optimistic that bloodshed can still be avoided.
Alassane Ouattara, the president-elect, will not meet face-to-face with Laurent Gbagbo, the defiant self-declared president, until Gbagbo acknowledges electoral defeat.
"Ouattara has always been clear on this issue since the beginning. He can only meet with Gbagbo once he recognizes him as president," said Patrick Achi, Ouattara's spokesman.
However, Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the envoy for the African Union, urged patience in resolving the crisis through negotiations.FULL STORY
Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the African Union mediator in Ivory Coast's crisis, arrived in the west African nation's main city Monday, an official working for Laurent Gbagbo said.
The crisis stems from Gbagbo's refusal to step down as president after an election which international observers say he lost.
Odinga Sunday warned Gbagbo to step down or face military intervention by his neighbors.FULL STORY
New York cleanup debacle – Investigators in New York want to know if four sanitation supervisors bought beer and sat in their car instead of cleaning up after last week's monster blizzard.
The New York City Department of Sanitation has drawn sharp criticism since last week's storm, which blanketed much of the Northeast. Rumors have swirled that supervisors ordered rank-and-file workers to slow down cleanup efforts in retaliation for the city's belt-tightening measures.
Ivory Coast crisis – Kenyan Prime Minister Raila Odinga, the African Union envoy to Ivory Coast, arrived in Abidjan in a bid to persuade self-declared president Laurent Gbagbo to step down.
Weather and travel: Thousands of holiday travelers remain stranded as airports, rail lines and road departments try to recover from a blizzard that struck the U.S. East Coast on Sunday and Monday.
By Monday night, at least 4,155 flights had been canceled, up to 32 inches of snow piled up in some areas, and wind gusts blew as strong as 80 mph.
"This storm was one of the most challenging storms we've had in a decade or two," Thomas Bosco, general manager of New York's LaGuardia Airport, said Monday.
CNN meteorologist Jacqui Jeras said the onslaught of snow is expected to take a break.
"The good news is, the snow is done falling, for the most part, but we're still feeling the impact from the storm," Jeras said Tuesday morning. "The strong winds will be prevalent today."
Tuesday Night Football: The storm forced the NFL to postpone Sunday's game between the Eagles and Minnesota Vikings in Philadelphia until Tuesday night.
The contest will be the first NFL game played on a Tuesday since 1946.
And it's not just another game. If Philadelphia wins, it gets to skip the first round of the playoffs.
Teena Marie autopsy: The music industry awaits autopsy results for R&B singer and songwriter Teena Marie, who apparently died in her sleep Monday at age 56.
Marie's publicist, Lynn Jeter, said Marie was taken to a hospital last month after suffering a seizure.
Marie sang under various record labels, including Motown, Epic, Stax Records and Cash Money Classics, since bursting on the scene as a 19-year-old, according to her website. Her last studio album, "Congo Square," featured several collaborations.
Ivory Coast summit: The presidents of three West African nations, along with envoys for the United Nations and the African Union, are meeting with Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo and his challenger, Alassane Ouattara, to try to resolve that country's political crisis.
Presidents Yayi Boni of Benin, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone and Pedro Pires of Cape Verde were meeting with Young-Jin Choi, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's special envoy and a representative of the African Union.
The three heads of state represent the 15-member Economic Community of West African States, which held an emergency meeting Friday in Nigeria and delivered an ultimatum to Gbagbo to step down or face possible military force.
At an emergency meeting Friday, West African leaders warned they will not hesitate to use "legitimate force" if necessary to defuse an escalating crisis in Ivory Coast sparked by incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo's refusal to cede power.
"In the event that Mr. Gbagbo fails to heed this immutable demand of ECOWAS, the Community would be left with no alternative but to take other measures, including the use of legitimate force, to achieve the goals of the Ivorian people," said a statement issued Friday by the 15-member Economic Community of West African States.
"Against the background of the parlous security situation, the Heads of State and Government hereby instruct the President of the ECOWAS Commission to convene without delay a meeting of the Committee of Chiefs of Defense Staff in order to plan future actions, including the provision of security along the Côte d'Ivoire-Liberia border, in the event that their message is not heeded," the statement said.
The regional bloc, which has already urged Gbagbo to acknowledge the results of Ivory Coast's presidential election and hand over power to his challenger, Alassane Ouattara, called an emergency meeting in the Nigerian capital, Abuja.FULL STORY
Ivory Coast President Laurent Gbagbo ordered all U.N. peacekeeping forces out of the country Saturday in a statement read on state television.
Gbagbo is coming under increasing international pressure to give up power after a disputed presidential runoff on November 28.
Ivory Coast's Independent Electoral Commission said Alassan Ouattara won the runoff, but the country's Constitutional Council invalidated those results and declared Gbagbo the winner.
The United Nations, the Economic Community of West African States, the European Union and the African Union said Ouattara won.Read CNN's coverage of Ivory Coast's political crisis
U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon on Friday called on Ivory Coast's incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo to step down and said that "any other outcome would make a mockery of democracy."
On Monday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley urged Gbagbo to step down and recognize the November 28 runoff election was won by his challenger, Alassane Ouattara.
The country's Independent Electoral Commission said Ouattara won the runoff, but the country's Constitutional Council invalidated those results and declared Gbagbo the winner.
The United Nations, African Union, European Union and other international bodies and leaders have recognized Ouattara as the winner.
This story is developing. We'll bring you the latest information as soon as we get it.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the "political stalemate" in the Ivory Coast could lead to fighting and he repeated his call for the incumbent to leave office after losing the presidential runoff election last month.
"The situation is taking a worrying turn with unfolding events that could lead to widespread violence," Ban said in a statement Wednesday.
The developments include the recent threats by some commanders of the national security forces to resort to military options and clashes on Monday between security forces and ex-rebels supporting the internationally recognized winner of the election.
Ban reiterated his call on all parties "to exercise patience and refrain from any actions that could, accidentally or deliberately, provoke violence." He said in the "currently charged political environment such actions could have unpredictable consequences, including reigniting civil war."FULL STORY