A magnitude-6.4 quake has hit Japan, following a 6.6-magnitude quake hours ago that knocked out power to the three damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant.
Power has been restored, but a fire was detected in the last hour at a battery storage building near reactor number four. We're told the fire was put out and no radiation was emitted.
There's also word today, on the one-month anniversary of the devastating 9.0-magnitude quake and tsunami, that Japan's government is evacuating more towns around the crippled plant. Officials said residents could face high doses of radiation for several months. The government could also raise the nuclear threat level to 7, the highest, from 5. Chernobyl was a level 7 accident.
We'll talk with CNN's Kyung Lah in Tokyo and former senior nuclear plant operator Michael Friedlander.
Meanwhile, on Capitol Hill, House lawmakers are holding a rare late-night session to finalize the budget deal to keep the federal government running. We're waiting for details on the compromise reached Friday. We'll give you the information when it's released.
Details are sketchy, but we know this deal to fund the government through September 30 will include $38.5 billion in cuts.
As that work goes on, there's another fiscal feud in the works over whether to raise the nation's roughly $14.3 trillion debt ceiling. We could surpass the cap within the next five weeks, but the Federal Reserve could take steps and push it to July. A failure to raise the debt would lead to a default on Treasury debt. A default could put the economy in a tailspin with rising interest rates and damage to the dollar and U.S. bonds.
Since March 1962, the debt ceiling has been raised 74 times, according to the Congressional Research Service. Ten of those times have occurred since 2001.
White House press secretary Jay Carney said today that Republicans will make a mistake if they play "chicken" with the debt ceiling vote.
Carney also said failing to raise the ceiling would be "Armageddon-like in terms of the economy."
Keeping them Honest, President Obama had a much different take on the debt ceiling when he was a U.S. Senator.
We'll let you decide: Should the debt ceiling be raised or not? Share your thoughts below.
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