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FROM THIS EPISODE

Japan is asking for international assistance after a massive earthquake, followed by a devastating tsunami. The 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck early this afternoon, the strongest ever recorded in that country and one of the world's largest in the past 100 years. We hear what it was like to see high-rise buildings shaking like jelly, and elevated roads moving like leaves in the wind. Also, President Obama on the earthquake, the budget and Libya's Moammar Gadhafi. 

Banner image: A tsunami, tidal wave smashes vehicles and houses at Kesennuma city in Miyagi prefecture, northern Japan on March 11, 2011. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

Main Topic The Big One Hits Japan 32 MIN, 53 SEC

The death toll from today's massive 8.9 earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has already reached into the hundreds and is expected to rise. Thousands have been evacuated around a nuclear power plant. We learn about possible problems with nuclear power plants and other angles on the most severe earthquake in 100 years.

Guests:
Nicholas Szechenyi, Center for Strategic and International Studies
David Oglesby, University of California Riverside
Nabih Youssef, Nabih Youssef Associates
Ed Lyman, Union of Concerned Scientists

Reporter's Notebook President Obama Addresses Budget, Libya and Japan 10 MIN, 20 SEC

President Obama had already scheduled a news conference for this morning, but moved it back after news of Japan's earthquake. Calling Japan "one of our strongest and closest allies," he promised whatever assistance is needed. Obama was also asked about the situation in Libya and strongman Moammar Gadhafi. Adam Kushner is Deputy Managing Editor at the National Journal.

Guests:
Adam Kushner, National Journal

Making News Firsthand Account of the Earthquake in Japan 7 MIN, 47 SEC

A magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck Japan early this afternoon, the strongest ever recorded in that country and the world’s most severe earthquake in 100 years. Tokyo was badly shaken and virtually closed down, but the worst of the damage came from a massive tsunami, which has devastated the north of the country. We hear what it was like to see high-rise buildings shaking like jelly and elevated roads moving like leaves in the wind.

Guests:
Kenneth Cukier, Economist magazine
Selena Hoy, freelance writer
Victor Wilde, fashion designer

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