Host Liane Hansen gets the latest on conditions in Japan from NPR's Rob Gifford in Sendai, a northern port city of about a million people about 80 miles from the epicenter of the earthquake. There has been a partial meltdown of a nearby nuclear reactor, and scientists and engineers are trying to avert an explosion at a second reactor.
Eight senators who might have counted on re-election in 2012 have chosen to retire instead. They include three Republicans who might have been rising to chair committees or top positions in leadership. Host Liane Hansen talks about the retirements with NPR Senior Washington Editor Ron Elving, who says the eight have different reasons for going but also illustrate the diminished allure of life in the Senate itself.
Host Liane Hansen speaks with Ichiro Fujisaki, Japan's ambassador to the U.S., about his nation's efforts to respond to the earthquake and tsunami that killed hundreds of people in the north of the country.
In Kansas City, residents turned out to honor veterans of World War I. The last survivor of that war, Frank Buckles, died recently. The city wants its memorial to be declared the nation's official monument to the countries WWI veterans. Frank Morris of member station KCUR reports.