HEADLINES -- January 4, 2011 at 8:29 AM ET
Pakistani Governor Assassinated, U.S. Offers Aid to Flood-plagued Australia
Pakistani policemen cordon off the site of a fatal attack on Salman Taseer, the governor of Pakistan's Punjab state, by his bodyguard in Islamabad on Jan. 4, 2011. (Aamir Qureshi/AFP/Getty Images)
The governor of Punjab, Pakistan's most populous state, was assassinated by one of his own security guards at a marketplace in Islamabad. Salman Taseer was a member of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and an ally of President Asif Ali Zardari. He was shot while exiting his car, and was later pronounced dead at a hospital. The alleged assassin is in police custody.
Taseer had recently spoken out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws, prompting protests from Islamist groups. His death marks the most prominent political assassination since Benazir Bhutto was killed in Rawalpindi three years ago.
His death also comes amid a crisis in President Zardari's party, after the country's second-largest party threatened to pull out of the governing coalition.
Evacuations Continue as Flood Waters Rise in Australia
The state of Queensland in eastern Australia is struggling to cope with the effects of massive flooding that has cleared towns and threatened crops and the coal mining industry. An estimated 200,000 people are affected by the flooding, which Prime Minister Julia Gillard said will cost the country "hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars." The United States has offered to send assistance.
The city of Rockhampton, home to 75,000 residents, has been especially hard hit, with water levels expected to reach 31 feet.
In addition to the economic damage, the state is also grappling with snakes and crocodiles, which have been swept out of their normal habitats and into homes.
Former Pentagon Official Found Dead in Delaware Landfill
John P. Wheeler III, who played a significant role in advocating for and building the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall, was found dead Friday in a Wilmington, Del., landfill after a worker noticed his body slide out of a trash delivery. The truck had picked up trash from an area around Newark, Del.
Wheeler had been employed by the McLean, Va., consulting firm Mitre Corp., providing services to several federal agencies. A West Point and Harvard Business School graduate and Vietnam War veteran, Wheeler was chairman of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund in the 1980s.
Police are searching for a motive or suspect.
Naval Officer's Career Is in Jeopardy After Release of Videos
Update: The Navy has announced it will replace Honors:
Though the Navy has yet to issue a formal statement, the career of Capt. Owen Honors, commander of the USS Enterprise, appears to be in jeopardy after humor videos he produced for the crew, which contained sexual innuendo and gay slurs, were made public by the Virginian-Pilot. The videos were shown to the crew of approximately 6,000 in 2006 and 2007. The Navy is investigating the incident. Honors' career in the Navy spanned nearly three decades.