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'No-Go Zone' Created Around Japanese Nuclear Power Plant

Good morning.

In Japan, The Associated Press reports, officials have "declared a 12-mile evacuation zone around a tsunami-crippled nuclear power plant a no-go zone ... urging residents to abide by the order for the sake of their own safety."

The Fukushima Dai-Ichi power plant was crushed by the tsunami that followed the massive March 11 earthquake that struck North Central Japan.

According to NHK, "the legally-controlled off-limits zone covers about 27,000 households in 9 municipalities."

As we reported on April 14, among the few people who have ventured into the zone (before doing so was declared illegal) are reporters from Voice of America and the Los Angeles Times. The area has been flattened, they reported.

Other stories making headlines this morning include:

-- "BP Sues Transocean For $40 Billion": "BP is suing Transocean, the owner of the oil rig that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico last year, for $40 billion in damages. BP said safety systems on Transocean's Deepwater Horizon rig had failed. Separately, BP also sued the maker of the rig's blowout preventer, alleging the device failed to stop the huge oil spill that followed the explosion." ( BBC News)

-- "Poll Finds Few Favorites As GOP Fight For President Gels": "With less than a year to go before the Iowa caucuses, Republican voters have yet to form strong opinions about most of their potential candidates for president in 2012, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll." ( The New York Times)

Related news — 44 Percent "Plan To Vote Against Mr. Obama In 2012": "President Barack Obama has officially announced that he will seek re-election next year, but he faces an electorate that still needs convincing. According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, a plurality of registered voters nationwide — 44% — say they definitely plan to vote against Mr. Obama in 2012. 37% report they definitely plan to vote for him, and 18% are unsure."

-- "Apple's Earnings Soar Even Higher Than Expected": "Apple Inc. reported another exceptional quarter on Wednesday, nearly doubling its net income and far exceeding analyst estimates on the strength of the seemingly unstoppable iPhone. Only one problem: The tech giant couldn't produce the new iPad fast enough." ( Morning Edition)

-- "Dodgers' Status Could Remain In Limbo For Foreseeable Future": Major League Baseball on Wednesday announced it will appoint a trustee to run the Los Angeles Dodgers because of "deep concerns" over the club's finances. But owner Frank McCourt is challenging that decision and has signaled "he would not surrender ownership without a fight." ( Los Angeles Times)

Related report on Morning Edition — "At this point, there are more questions than answers" about the team's future.

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Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.