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News Wrap: Navy Relieves Capt. Honors From USS Enterprise Command

January 4, 2011 at 4:09 PM EDT
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KWAME HOLMAN: The U.S. Navy has relieved Captain Owen Honors from command of the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise. He was cited for extremely poor judgment in making and showing lewd videos on board when he was second in command.

In Norfolk, Virginia, today, Navy Admiral John Harvey said the ouster of Captain Honors is not the end of the matter.

ADM. JOHN C. HARVEY JR., commander, U.S. Fleet Forces Command: The investigation will continue to look at all aspects of the production of the videos, to include the actions of other senior officers who knew of the videos and what they did or didn’t do in response.

Captain Honors has been reassigned to administrative duties with the commander Naval Air Forces Atlantic.

KWAME HOLMAN: The Navy had known about the videos when they were made
several years ago, but the admiral today offered no explanation for the delay in taking action.

The governor of Pakistan’s most populous province, Punjab, was assassinated today by one of his own guards. Salman Taseer was shot multiple times outside a shopping center in Islamabad, the capital. Police arrested a commando in the governor’s security detail. Intelligence officials said the gunman was angry about Taseer’s outspoken opposition to Pakistan’s blasphemy law.

In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai had a new warning for foreign powers: to stop meddling in his country’s internal affairs. Karzai didn’t single out any one issue or name any nations. The U.S. has pressed Karzai to crack down on government corruption and has threatened to withhold aid money if he doesn’t.

A flood tide on a swollen river engulfed more of the city of Rockhampton, Australia, today. It’s one of 22 cities and towns submerged in Queensland state after more than a week of heavy rain.

We have a report from Steve Scott of Independent Television News.

STEVE SCOTT: The disaster, the worst here in 100 years, ambushed Rockhampton and those that live there. But even if the scale of the floodwaters had been predicted, there’s little more they could have done. They protected their homes and businesses as best they could.

But, there, emergency measures have made little impact on the force of this huge mass of water, the Fitzroy River running dangerously fast and rising slowly hour by hour.

BRAD CARTER, mayor of Rockhampton, Queensland: There is a suggestion that this may remain at the peak, whatever that peak is, for a period of up to two days. Then, as it starts to drop and flatten out, it’s likely to be about 10 days or so that it could stay at the — or up to 10 days at about the 8.5-meter mark.

STEVE SCOTT: Many have evacuated after dragging what they could save to the top floor of their homes, but many more have stayed put, sometimes against police advice.

Supplies are dribbling in by military helicopter and on barges, the only way now to pierce what is effectively a giant fast-moving moat surrounding Rockhampton and the 75,000 people who call it home.

While the focus for this crisis over the next 24 hours is Rockhampton, many other areas are bracing themselves, too. This disaster is now spreading across huge parts of this vast country.

The relief effort is being coordinated all around the state. In Amberley, near Brisbane, they’re loading Hercules supply planes for emergency drops. And in Saint George, thousands of kilometers to the west, they’re preparing for the worst, but they’re not convinced their efforts will be good enough.

WOMAN: Nervous, scared. I don’t know what to do, really.

STEVE SCOTT: That fear and despair is being felt by hundreds of thousands of Australians. Today is about survival and damage limitations. Very soon, everyone will be reflecting on the cost of this irresistible, destructive assault.

KWAME HOLMAN: As the evacuations continued, authorities in Rockhampton warned people to watch for crocodiles and snakes in the high water.

Detroit’s automakers today reported healthy sales gains for 2010. Chrysler was up 17 percent. Ford gained 15 percent. And General Motors sales rose more than 6 percent.

And, on Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average managed a gain of 20 points today to close at 11691. But the Nasdaq fell 10 points to close at 2681.

Those are some of the day’s major stories.