AP Top News at 6:45 p.m. EDT

In this image made from television, Laurent Gbagbo is seen after his arrest, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday, April 11, 2011. After a week of heavy fighting, forces backing Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara on Monday arrested strongman Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to leave the presidency despite losing elections more than four months earlier. (AP Photo/TCI via APTN)
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In this image made from television, Laurent Gbagbo is seen after his arrest, at the Golf Hotel in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, Monday, April 11, 2011. After a week of heavy fighting, forces backing Ivory Coast's internationally recognized leader Alassane Ouattara on Monday arrested strongman Laurent Gbagbo who had refused to leave the presidency despite losing elections more than four months earlier.

The bloody, four-month standoff in this West African nation ended Monday when troops loyal to the elected president routed and captured his rival, the longtime strongman who lost the vote but refused to give up power. Video of former President Laurent Gbagbo being led into a room in a white undershirt was broadcast on television as proof of his detention. He would not sign a statement formally ceding power after losing a Nov. 28 election to economist Alassane Ouattara.

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama, plunging into the rancorous struggle over America's mountainous debt, will draw sharp differences with Republicans Wednesday over how to conquer trillions of dollars in spending while somehow working out a compromise to raise some taxes and trim a cherished program like Medicare. Obama's speech will set a new long-term deficit-reduction goal and establish a dramatically different vision from a major Republican proposal that aims to cut more than $5 trillion over the next decade, officials said Monday.

BENGHAZI, Libya (AP) — Libyan rebels, backed forcefully by European leaders, rejected a cease-fire proposal by African mediators on Monday because it did not insist that Moammar Gadhafi relinquish power. A day after an announcement that the Libyan leader had accepted the truce, a doctor in rebel-held Misrata said Gadhafi's forces battered that western city and its Mediterranean port with artillery fire that killed six people.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the closest to a front-runner in a wide-open Republican field, took a major step toward a second White House candidacy Monday, formally announcing a campaign exploratory committee. He declared that "with able leadership, America's best days are still ahead," vigorously asserting that President Barack Obama had failed to provide it.

MINSK, Belarus (AP) — An explosion tore through a key subway station in the Belarusian capital of Minsk during evening rush hour Monday killing 11 people and wounding 126. An official said the blast was a terrorist act. President Alexander Lukashenko did not say what caused the explosion at the Oktyabrskaya subway station, but suggested outside forces could be behind it.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The CIA is considering greater coordination and information sharing to help restore a once-promising relationship with Pakistan's intelligence agency that was badly damaged when a CIA security contractor shot two Pakistanis dead in Lahore earlier this year, U.S. officials said Monday. The agency's tentative olive branch follows a peacemaking visit between CIA Director Leon Panetta and his Pakistani counterpart, the head of the country's Inter-Services Intelligence. The two had lunch at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., as the two spy agencies work to re-establish contacts the U.S. sees as vital to counterterrorism operations.

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Tasers. Brand-new SUVs. A top-of-the-line iPad. A fully loaded laptop. In the year since the Gulf oil spill, officials along the coast have gone on a spending spree with BP money, dropping tens of millions of dollars on gadgets and other gear — much of which had little to do with the cleanup, an Associated Press investigation shows. The oil giant opened its checkbook while the crisis was still unfolding last spring and poured hundreds of millions of dollars into Gulf Coast communities with few strings attached.

WANTAGH, N.Y. (AP) — Suspected human remains were found in two locations along a remote New York beach highway Monday, bringing to 10 the number of potential victims of a possible serial killer. The discovery came as police expanded a search from Long Island's Suffolk County westward into the Jones Beach area of Nassau County, just over the border from New York City. The expanded search was prompted by Suffolk's discovery in the past two weeks of four sets of unidentified human remains; the bodies of four women who worked as Craigslist escorts were found in the same area in December, leading authorities to suspect that they may be contending with a serial killer.

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed mostly lower Monday after the International Monetary Fund cut its estimate for U.S. economic growth. Alcoa Inc. fell in after-hours trading after reporting sales that came in below what analysts were expecting. The aluminum maker was the first major company to report first-quarter earnings.

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The federal judge handling the lawsuit against the NFL ordered the sides to participate in court-supervised mediation, while saying Monday she still is considering whether to grant the players' request for a preliminary injunction to lift the lockout. U.S. District Judge Susan Richard Nelson said formal mediation will begin Thursday before Chief Magistrate Judge Arthur Boylan at his office in a Minneapolis courthouse. He will meet with representatives of the players Tuesday, then representatives of the NFL on Wednesday.