Thursday Must Read: Japanese Attempts to Cool Reactor Fail; California Legislature OK’s Cuts to Poor, But GOP Blocks Attempt to Kill Redevelopment

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Japanese authorities resorted to desperate measures in an effort to cool an overheated nuclear reactor at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, dropping water from helicopters and spraying it from nearby fire trucks, but the attempts appear to have failed so far, The New York Times reports. High radiation levels near the plant forced crews to pull back and the Associated Press reports that much of the water dropped by helicopters appeared to disperse in the wind. Water inside at least two reactors is at dangerously low levels — or has evaporated completely — leaving radioactive fuel rods exposed and increasing the threat of a total meltdown at the plant. The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission warned that radiation levels near the plant are extreme and that the situation is dire.

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