Morning Must Reads: Assessment

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A handout satellite image of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant taken on March 14. (DIGITAL GLOBE REUTERS/Digital Globe/Handout)

–The situation at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant has turned from bad to worse, reports Bill Powell. A third explosion rocked the power facility early Tuesday, setting off fears of widespread nuclear contamination and prompting the government to implement a no-fly zone in a 19-mile radius around the plant. People living in that area have been instructed to remain indoors. The International Atomic Energy Agency reports radiation levels are now decreasing at the site.

–An ABC News/Washington Post poll finds Americans are split on the budget impasse, but although his approval rating remains around 50%, President Obama has a 9-point edge over congressional Republicans on whom respondents trust more to handle the deficit.

–Undercovered political story of the day: Miami’s mayor faces a recall vote.

–Elizabeth Warren is pressing flesh at banks across the country. It’s a decent way to go about setting up a regulatory agency; not a bad way to make the case for yourself as director either.

–Gen. Petraeus is expected to present an optimistic assessment of the war in Afghanistan before Congress today. Spencer Ackerman has some questions.

–The New York Times editorializes against DoD’s treatment of Bradley Manning.

Gallup tabulates whom Republican primary voters are excited about and gets some strange results:

–Ohio Gov. John Kasich is off to a rough start.

–Stu Rothenberg isn’t sold on Tim Kaine.

–And please check out TIME’s gorgeous new photoblog, LightBox.

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