The latest headlines from The Most Important News….

A magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Japan on Thursday, triggering a tsunami warning for one prefecture and advisories in others.

A 6.5 magnitude earthquake was felt across Mexico about an hour before the 7.1 earthquake hit Japan.

The new earthquake in Japan was accompanied by a very strange blue light show.

TEPCO has begun discharging 11,500 tons of highly radioactive water into the surrounding ocean.  A marine consulting and research firm has developed a model to predict the spread of the contaminated material.

Concerns about radiation fallout from Japan’s nuclear disaster prompted some schools in South Korea to shut on Thursday as rain fell over most of the country.

After the radioactive cloud emanating from Japan’s stricken Fukushima nuclear power plant reached Europe last week, French authorities have detected radioactive iodine-131 in rainwater and milk.

The EPA says that eating fish caught in Japan, with radiation levels 2400% above Federal limits, does not pose any health risks.

Japan’s economy is “under strong downward pressure” due to the devastation caused by the earthquake and tsunami, the Bank of Japan says.

Barack Obama is meeting again today with Republican and Democratic congressional leaders who blame each other for the budget impasse that threatens to shut down the federal government at midnight on Friday.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid indicated Thursday that there is likely to be a government shutdown at the end of the week — an outcome the Nevada Democrat blames wholly on his Republican colleagues.

Even if the government does shut down, not that much is actually going to change.

House Budget Chairman Congressman Paul Ryan says that Barack Obama’s budget strategy is to “do nothing, punt, duck, kick the can down the road” while the debt remains on track to eventually hit 800 percent of GDP. Ryan also says that the CBO is saying it “can’t conceive of any way” that the economy can continue past 2037 given its current trajectory.

Oil prices jumped above $110 a barrel, a fresh 2-1/2 year high, after news broke that Japan was hit with another major earthquake.

Oil prices will soar above $130 a barrel by late 2011, a new Reuters poll has found, and one in five traders said they expected oil to hit $150 this year, levels some economists say could trigger recession.

Inflation fears in Europe have prompted the European Central Bank to raise interest rates for the first time since 2008. The bank hiked their key rate by 25 basis points to 1.25%.

Portugal’s prime minister said Wednesday his country has asked for financing assistance from the European Union due to its high debts and difficulty raising money on international markets.

Is the U.S. government debt crisis even worse than the Greek debt crisis?

Two and a half years ago 66% of foreign central bank assets were in U.S. dollar investments.  Before that it was 70% and today it is just 61.3%.

According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, declined by 6.7 percent in February 2011 compared to February 2010 after declining by 5.5 percent in January 2011 compared to January 2010.

Over the past several months regulators have finally noticed what consumer attorneys have been saying for years: the big banks have routinely committed fraud in their foreclosure filings and their records of how much people owe are too often wrong.

Internationalist billionaire George Soros is holding an international conference April 8 to April 11 at Bretton Woods, N.H., the noted birthplace of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, where he plans to “rearrange the entire financial order”.

China is growing increasingly assertive in its foreign policy, especially in the way it handles the U.S., because officials there believe that China is on the rise while America is in the midst of a steady decline.

A highly contagious “AIDS-like disease” is spreading in China.

25,000 people die each year from superbugs in Europe and there are a number of bacteria which are now resistant to all drugs.

NBC’s Tom Brokaw says that the Saudi Arabian monarchy is “so unhappy with the Obama administration for the way it pushed out President Mubarak of Egypt” that it has sent senior officials to the Peoples’ Republic of China and Russia to seek expanded business opportunities with those countries.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney appears to be the early front-runner in the largely unformed race for the Republican nomination for president, but real estate magnate Donald Trump may be a surprise contender, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll.

Donald Trump continued to question Barack Obama’s American citizenship during an appearance on NBC’s Today show, saying “there is a big possibility” the president may have violated the Constitution.

The former Hawaii elections official who maintains there’s no long-form birth certificate for Barack Obama in the Aloha State is now saying the president and his aides have been “caught fibbing” about Obama’s background, and the “embarrassing” situation is making it difficult to fess up to the truth.

The rationing that so many warned was coming under Obamacare has already begun.

The Pentagon says NATO will have to adjust the way it operates in Libya to keep up with changing tactics by forces of Moammar Gadhafi.

Tens of thousands of protesters defied a government crackdown and took to the streets of Yemen’s second largest city on Wednesday in the latest demonstrations against the long-serving president, Ali Abdullah Saleh.

According to Debka, the Syrian uprising took a new turn Tuesday, April 5, when armed protesters ambushed and shot dead two policemen in the Damascus suburb of Kfar Batna. Syrian troops then opened fire and killed 15 inhabitants.

The UN air strikes in the Ivory Coast suggest Libya was no fluke: the West’s appetite for military action has recovered robustly from the diplomatic trauma of the Iraq war.

A U.S. senator says President Barak Obama’s administration “got it wrong” in its handling of the ongoing crisis in Ivory Coast following violent clashes between rival forces, which has left hundreds dead and tens of thousands fleeing the West African conflict.

The drought may be over in California, but large portions of the Southwest, southern Plains, Florida and the Southeast are all still enduring severe to extreme drought conditions.

Depletion of the ozone layer over the Arctic has reached record levels, and Nordic countries will have to watch for higher than normal ultraviolet radiation in coming weeks, the UN weather agency said Tuesday.

Glenn Beck and the Fox News Channel are giving up on his nightly show. Later this year – a specific date was not disclosed – the controversial host will leave the show, and instead, work on unspecified projects down the road.

Lastly, Google is planning to significantly revamp YouTube to “compete with broadcast and cable television.”