News Wrap: New Downpours Douse Gulf Coast, Florida Panhandle
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HARI SREENIVASAN: From fire in the Southwest to heavy rain in the Deep South — new downpours moved across the Gulf Coast and Florida Panhandle today, inundating already flooded areas. That was on top of record rain over the weekend.
In Pensacola, more than 13 inches fell on Saturday, followed by two more on Sunday. Entire apartment complexes were flooded, cars were stranded in high water, and riptides were forecast along the coast. One person drowned in the rough surf on Sunday.
The sexual abuse trial of a retired Penn State football coach began in earnest today. Prosecutors branded Jerry Sandusky a predatory pedophile who molested 10 boys over 15 years. The defense suggested the alleged victims had a financial motive. One man now 28 years old testified that Sandusky repeatedly abused him during showers, starting in 1997. And he said the former coach sent him — quote — “creepy love letters.”
Violent crime reported to police fell in 2011 for a fifth straight year. The FBI reported the 4 percent drop today. It said the decrease was seen in all four regions of the country. Property crime was down for the ninth straight year, falling nearly 1 percent.
Commerce Secretary John Bryson is under investigation for two traffic accidents in the Los Angeles area on Saturday. Police said today he has been cited for felony hit-and-run in the crashes that happened within minutes of each other. Commerce Department officials said he suffered a seizure while driving.
A Los Angeles County sheriff’s spokesman said officers found Bryson alone in his car after the second collision.
DEPUTY TONY MOORE, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department: When he struck that vehicle, he was basically unconscious behind the wheel. Los Angeles County Fire Department paramedics did respond and treated him at the scene. However, he was transported to a local hospital, where he was admitted for observation.
HARI SREENIVASAN: Bryson is now back in Washington. The people who were hit were treated for minor injuries.
Hosni Mubarak, the former president of Egypt, faced a new health crisis today in a Cairo prison hospital. Security officials said doctors had to revive him twice with a heart defibrillator when they could not find a pulse. Mubarak is 84 years old and suffers from high blood pressure, depression and breathing ailments. He is now serving a life sentence for failing to prevent the killing of protesters in last year’s uprising that forced him from office.
U.S. negotiators are leaving Pakistan, after failing to get a deal that reopens military supply routes into Afghanistan. White House officials confirmed the move today, following a month of fruitless talks. They said the next move is up to Islamabad. Pakistan closed the supply routes last November, when a U.S. airstrike killed two dozen Pakistani troops.
On Wall Street, a bank bailout in Spain did little to encourage investors. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 143 points to close at 12,411. It had been up 100 points in early trading. The Nasdaq fell 48 points to close at 2,809.
Those are some of the day’s major stories.