A magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit northern Japan on March 11, triggering tsunamis that caused widespread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant. Are you in an affected area? Send an iReport. Read the full report on the quake's aftermath and check out our interactive explainer on Japan's damaged nuclear reactors.
[10:18 p.m. Tuesday ET, 11:18 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] We were unable to update the blog for the past few hours due to technical difficulties. Here's what we missed:
- Several strong earthquakes jolted northeastern Japan on Wednesday morning, among them, one with a preliminary magnitude of 6.0 that jolted Fukushima Prefecture, home to the Daiichi nuclear power plant, around 7:15 a.m., Kyodo News reports. The jolts did not damage Fukushima Daiichi and Daini nuclear power plants or hinder reconstruction efforts. No tsunami warnings were issued.
- Japan's megabanks are considering extending loans totaling more than 1 trillion yen to Tokyo Electric Power by the end of March, Kyodo News reports. The move is intended to help the utility raise funds to boost electricity supply following a quake-triggered accident at its nuclear power plant in Fukushima Prefecture.
- Toyota Motor said it is extending a halt on full vehicle production in Japan through March 26 as it and other major manufacturers try to recover from the effects of this month's earthquake.¬†The nation's three largest automakers, Toyota Motor, Honda Motor and Nissan, as well as electronics maker Sony all shut down factories following the earthquake and tsunami that killed at least 9,000 people and left another 13,500 missing.
- In the wake of Japan's nuclear disaster, all milk, milk products, fresh vegetables and fruit from one of four prefectures closest to the quake-stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant will be prevented from entering the United States, a spokesperson for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday.
All other food products produced or manufactured in one of those prefectures - Fukushima, Ibaraki, Tochigi and Gunma - will be diverted for testing, the spokesperson said. Food products from other parts of Japan will be tested as resources allow, but the FDA's main focus is food from these four areas, the spokesperson said.
- It was Taylor Anderson's dream come true to be living in Japan. Then, the March 11 earthquake hit.¬†Her parents last heard from her two days before the earthquake, which triggered a massive tsunami that devastated parts of northeast Japan, including the town where Anderson lived.
Her family spread the word of her disappearance on Facebook; her high school, St. Catherine's School, held a prayer vigil in her honor last Thursday. On Monday, her family announced that the wait had ended.
[2:07 p.m. Tuesday ET, 3:07 a.m. Wednesday in Tokyo] CNN.com posted a blog item earlier Tuesday citing an NHK report on radiation levels in soil 25 miles (40 kilometers) from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant. A CNN analysis of the data in that report shows that the radiation levels are 100 times normal, considerably less than what was in the NHK report.
The five most popular stories on CNN.com in the past 24 hours, according to NewsPulse.
U.S. aviators rescued as Gadhafi remains defiant: As Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi crowed, "I do not scare," the United States Tuesday got back two crew members whose F-15E fighter jet malfunctioned and said it will be able to hand over command of the coalition that has hammered loyalist military positions over four days.
American teacher found dead in Japan: It was Taylor Anderson's dream come true to be living in Japan. Then, the March 11 earthquake hit.
Vegetables near stricken plant show radiation: Japan's Health Ministry reported Tuesday finding radioactive materials at levels "drastically exceeding legal limits" in 11 types of vegetable grown in Fukushima Prefecture, including broccoli and cabbage, according to Kyodo News Agency.
Fox 'human shield' report wrong, CNN reporter says: A CNN correspondent on Monday angrily rejected a report by the Fox network that he and other journalists were used as human shields by Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi to prevent a missile attack on his compound.
Lawrence Taylor sentenced to probation: Hall of Fame NFL linebacker Lawrence Taylor was sentenced to six years probation during a court hearing Tuesday after pleading guilty to sexual misconduct with an underage girl.
The latest developments on the situation in Libya, where coalition forces launched a series of coordinated airstrikes on Saturday after they were convinced Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi was not adhering to a cease-fire mandated by the United Nations. Read our complete story and check out our full coverage on unrest in the Arab world. Also, don't miss a gripping, high-resolution gallery of images from Libya.
[11:37 p.m. Tuesday ET, 3:50 a.m. Wednesday in Libya] Loud explosions rocked the Libyan capitol of Tripoli early Wednesday. Hours before, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi vowed to fight back against international forces seeking to impose a no-fly zone in his country.
"We will not give up," he said to a crowd of supporters in a speech broadcast on state television Tuesday. "They will not terrorize us. We will defeat them by any method."
[9:33 p.m. Tuesday ET, 3:33 a.m. Wednesday in Libya] We were unable to update the blog for the past few hours due to technical difficulties. Here's what we missed:
- As of Tuesday, the U.S. military has flown 212 sorties over Libya, while 124 were flown by other coalition forces. A total of 108 strikes have been carried out and 162 Tomahawk missiles have been fired, the U.S. military reported.
- Libya‚Äôs central bank holds billions of dollars worth of gold, and despite the no-fly zone and sanctions, this could be useful to Gadhafi as he tries to survive, an international commercial attorney says.
- The United States' costs related to the military intervention in Libya already are in the hundreds of millions of dollars, and this has sparked a debate over funding, CNNMoney reports.
To date, the United States has spent some $225 million firing Tomahawk missiles, according to CNN estimates based on U.S. Navy figures. The cost could reach up to $800 million to fully establish the no-fly zone and another $100 million a week to maintain it going forward, said Zack Cooper, a senior analyst for the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments.
- More on U.S. President Barack Obama's comments in El Salvador: He said that once leadership of the military mission in Libya shifts from the United States to an international coalition, "it is not going to be our planes maintaining the no-fly zone" and "it is not going to be our ships that are necessarily involved in enforcing the arms embargo."
Obama said the international support for the military mission, with NATO allies and Arab nations taking part, meant that "the United States is not going to be bearing all the costs."
- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has told a crowd of supporters that he will emerge victorious in his battle with international forces.
"We will not give up," he said, many of them waving green flags in a speech broadcast on state television. "They will not terrorize us. We are making fun of their rockets. The Libyans are laughing at these rockets. We will defeat them by any method."
Gadhafi called the coalition's efforts "blatant aggression by a group of fascists" and predicted the coalition's members "will be sent to history's dustbin."
He said Libyans "are leading the international war against imperialism, against despots and I tell you, I do not scare."
Editor's note: Nancy Grace's new show on HLN, "Nancy Grace: America's Missing," is dedicated to finding 50 people in 50 days. As part of the effort, which relies heavily on audience participation, CNN.com's news blog This Just In will feature the stories of the missing.
This is the 47th case, and it will be shown Tuesday at 9 p.m. on HLN.
Former child actor Joseph "Joe" Pichler was 18 when he disappeared from his hometown of Bremerton, Washington, more than five years ago.
Friends last saw him in the early morning of January 5, 2006, in Pichler's apartment, where he had been playing cards. After several people were unable to reach him in the coming days, they reported him missing. His vehicle subsequently was found abandoned behind a Bremerton restaurant four days after he was last seen, according to his family.
His family still doesn‚Äôt know what happened to him.
Pichler worked as a child actor in local commercials before moving to Los Angeles in the mid-90s. He appeared in movies such as "The Fan," "Varsity Blues" and "Children on Their Birthdays" before moving back to Bremerton, where he graduated high school. He looked forward to moving back to California to resume acting, his family said.
Syrian authorities arrested a prominent rights leader Tuesday as hundreds of anti-government demonstrators marched in southern parts of the country.
Loay Hussein - a political prisoner from 1984 to 1991 - was taken from his home in the Sehnaya district near the Syrian capital of Damascus, according to the country's Observatory for Human Rights.
Hussein had been supporting protesters who marched for a sixth straight day, chanting, "The people want to bring down the regime," a spokesman for the organizers told CNN from the southern city of Daraa.
The organizers are planning a day of mass protests across the southern province on Friday, he added.¬†The United Nations Human Rights office has reported that six people have been killed by security forces in the southern city of Daraa - where protesters have marched - since Friday.FULL STORY
Barry Bonds' personal trainer refused to testify against the baseball home run king in his perjury trial, prompting the judge to order him held in custody until he changes his mind.
"It's very important that you testify so that the whole truth can some out in this trial," U.S. District Judge Susan Illston told Gary Anderson as she found him in civil contempt.
Yemen's army repelled an attack on a military position Tuesday by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, killing 12 militants and wounding five, a Yemeni official told CNN, citing sources at the Interior Ministry in Sanaa.
The official, who spoke on condition of not being named because he is not authorized to talk to the media, said the attack occurred east of the city of Lawdar, in Abyan province in southwest Yemen.
The attack came on a day that Yemen's embattled president told the country's largest opposition bloc he would step down at the beginning of next year, a ruling party official told CNN.
The opposition rejected the offer, demanding that Ali Abdullah Saleh resign immediately. But Saleh pushed back against opponents - including some of his own top generals - defying calls for him to quit.
The 25-year-old construction worker received a full face transplant last week at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital.
Wiens, of Fort Worth, Texas, was severely burned in 2008 when the cherry picker he was using to paint a church touched electrical wires. He lost his nose, teeth, one eye, his lips and the muscles that generate facial expressions, The Boston Globe reported. He also lost the vision in his remaining eye.
"Dallas always said after the injury that he now had a choice. He could choose to get bitter or he could choose to get better," Wiens' grandfather, Del Peterson, said during a hospital press conference, according to the Globe. "His choice was better."
In a 15-hour operation involving 30 specialists, Wiens received the face of a donor whose age, skin tone and blood type matched his,¬†the Globe reported.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry was on fire Tuesday in downtown Cairo following a protest earlier in the day.
Flames could be seen on the roof of the multi-story building, and a dark plume of smoke loomed over the city. People could be seen fleeing the building as it burned.
The ministry was the site of a peaceful protest Tuesday morning and afternoon, with thousands of ministry employees¬† - many of them police officers - making demands, mainly for higher wages. But protesters at the building denied setting the fire, saying it originated inside.
Libya - Both crew members from a U.S. fighter jet that crashed in Libya are safe, the U.S. military said. The pilot and weapons officer on board ejected and have minor injuries, according to the military.¬†The¬†military said the¬†¬†F-15E Strike Eagle was not brought down by enemy fire but had an equipment malfunction.
American officials said the mission in Libya has weakened the momentum of forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi.
However, there's been some criticism about the operation in Libya,¬†with¬†U.S. lawmakers questioning what happens if there is a lengthy standoff¬†and allies¬†squabbling over¬†which¬†member of the coalition will take¬†command of the mission.¬†¬†Check out¬†the CNN.com Libya live blog for up-to-the-minute developments¬†in the conflict.
Watch CNN.com Live for continuing coverage of the conflict in Libya and the nuclear crisis in Japan.
Today's programming highlights...
8:00 am ET - Obama heads to El Salvador - President Obama begins his day in Chile, but he'll soon be headed to El Salvador as nears the conclusion of his tour of Latin American countries.