KWAME HOLMAN: This first day of 2013 brought the traditional sights and scenes of the new year around the country today.
In Pasadena, Calif., the 124th Rose Parade kicked off this morning; 42 floats made the five-mile journey, along with 23 marching bands. An estimated 700,000 people lined the streets to watch. And in New York City, it was an early morning start for sanitation workers. Crews worked to collect tons of garbage, including the remnants of some 17 million pieces of confetti that fell on Times Square at midnight.
New Year’s celebrations turned deadly overnight in Ivory Coast, when a crowd stampeded. More than 60 people died in the crush to leave a stadium after a fireworks show in Abidjan, the country’s major commercial city. Most of the victims were children and teenagers. Some 200 others were injured. Today, the president of the West African nation called for efforts to improve public safety.
PRESIDENT ALASSANE OUATTARA, Ivory Coast (through translator): It’s a national tragedy, of course. And I really hope that we will push ourselves to investigate to see what could have prevented this tragedy, so that it will not happen again.
KWAME HOLMAN: The Ivory Coast’s government also pledged to cover the cost of hospital treatment for the injured.
A new wave of violence rocked Pakistan today, leaving nine dead and dozens wounded. In the northwest, gunmen ambushed a van in the town of Swabi, killing five female teachers and two aid workers. It followed a series of militant attacks targeting anti-polio workers. To the south, a bomb exploded near a large political rally in Karachi. At least four people died there, and dozens were hurt.
The number of civilian deaths in Iraq rose in 2012 for the first time in three years. The human rights group Iraq Body Count reported today there were 4,471 civilians killed, up more than 400 from the year before. The group said it shows Iraq remains in a state of low-level war with insurgents.
The state of Pennsylvania will sue the NCAA over sanctions against Penn State University in the child sexual abuse scandal that rocked the school. The penalties include a $60 million fine to finance child abuse prevention grants nationwide. Governor Tom Corbett said today the state wants a federal court to guarantee that all of the money is spent in Pennsylvania. The university agreed to the sanctions in July.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.