The latest headlines from The Most Important News….

Japanese officials said Monday that the nuclear fuel rods appear to be melting inside all three of the most troubled nuclear reactors.

Japan’s struggle to contain the crisis at a stricken nuclear power plant worsened sharply as emergency operations to pump seawater into one crippled reactor failed at least temporarily, increasing the risk of an uncontrolled release of radioactive material, officials said.

There are fears that a radioactive cloud could envelop Tokyo’s 13 million residents.

As the scale of Japan’s nuclear crisis begins to come to light, experts in Japan and the United States say the country is now facing a cascade of accumulating problems that suggest that radioactive releases of steam from the crippled plants could go on for weeks or even months.

The Pentagon was expected to announce that the aircraft carrier Ronald Reagan, which is sailing in the Pacific, passed through a radioactive cloud from stricken nuclear reactors in Japan, causing crew members on deck to receive a month’s worth of radiation in about an hour, government officials said Sunday.

An American nuclear expert says radiation from Japan could spread across the Pacific and reach the United States if a complete meltdown occurs at a Japanese nuclear facility damaged as a result of last week’s earthquake and subsequent tsunami.

Several scientists in the U.S. are warning of a ‘worst-case scenario‘ in which the highly radioactive material could be blasted into the atmosphere and blown towards the West Coast of America.

California is closely monitoring efforts to contain leaks at the quake-damaged Japanese nuclear plants, a spokesman said Saturday.

Could radiation from Japan reach the west coast of the United States in 10 days?

Radioactive particles from the stricken Fukushima nuclear facility would take around a week to reach Alaska and eleven days to reach Los Angeles, according to an analysis.

Is the full extent of the nuclear meltdown in Japan being covered up?

So exactly what does radiation do to the human body?

Of all the places in all the world where no one in their right mind would build scores of nuclear power plants, Japan would be pretty near the top of the list.

Is the nuclear fuel being used in many Japanese nuclear reactors especially dangerous?

The official death toll for the Japan tsunami continues to climb, reaching above 1,800 by Monday afternoon, though hundreds if not thousands more were expected to join the total as reports from the most stricken areas trickled in. National broadcaster NHK reported that more than 450,000 people had moved to temporary shelters in the affected areas.

Some 2,000 bodies have been found on two shores in Miyagi Prefecture following Friday’s devastating earthquake and massive tsunami, as Japan struggles to grasp the whole picture of the disaster.

What the sea so violently ripped away, it has now begun to return. Hundreds of bodies are washing up along some shores in northeastern Japan, making clearer the extraordinary toll of the earthquake and tsunami that struck last week and adding to the burdens of relief workers as they ferry aid and search for survivors.

Friday’s devastating 8.9 earthquake in Japan moved Japan’s coastline as much as 13 feet, averaging eight feet along a stretch measuring 300 miles, according to the Geographical Survey Institute.

The Bank of Japan poured a record 15 trillion yen ($183 billion) into the world’s third-biggest economy today as the strongest earthquake in the nation’s history triggered a plunge in stocks and surge in credit risk.

Japan’s devastating earthquake and tsunami could cause gas prices to rise even higher in the U.S. as refineries here try to make up for some of the losses to Japan’s refining capacity. At the same time, it is reducing crude oil prices.

Oil prices dropped below $99 a barrel Monday in Asia as traders expect the earthquake and tsunami that devastated northeastern Japan to temporarily crush demand for crude in the world’s third-largest economy.

Industry in the world’s third-largest economy all but ground to a halt following the earthquake, as manufacturers ranging from Toyota to Nissan, Sony, Fuji and brewers Kirin and Sapporo shut down their operations in Japan to assess damage and allow staff to check on their families.

The massive earthquake that shook Japan on Friday is expected to at least temporarily set back an economy that has faltered lately and is struggling to recover from years of stagnation.

While most of the industrial base of Japan was spared the worst of the disaster, few plants are back up and running yet as the country tries to come to grips with the crisis.

Toyota Motor Co said on Monday that it plans to suspend all production in Japan at least until March 16 following Friday’s massive earthquake in northeastern Japan.

Jittery traders sold pretty much everything Monday as the tragedy in Japan roiled global markets, but longer-term investors were looking at the move as a natural pullback likely to create opportunities.

The devastation in Japan was beyond anything that anyone had possibly imagined was possible.

Will it take Japan many, many years to fully recover from this event?

Will Japan’s economy ever be the same again?

Is Japan about to massively sell off their U.S. Treasuries?

Experts are now warning a second huge quake – almost as powerful as the first – could hit Japan, triggering another tsunami.

The Arab League has backed the idea of a no-fly zone over Libya, reports say, as rebels continue to be pushed back by Colonel Gaddafi’s forces.

Forces loyal to Libyan dictator Moammar Gadhafi advanced further eastward Sunday, moving into the coastal city of Brega and putting new pressure on the United States and its allies to either intervene militarily or risk seeing the anti-Gadhafi movement collapse.

Troops from Saudi Arabia and police officers from the United Arab Emirates crossed into Bahrain on Monday under the aegis of the Gulf Cooperation Council to help quell unrest there, a move Bahraini opposition groups denounced in a statement as an “occupation.”

The Chinese government, in its latest five-year plan, has stated its intentions to allow all exporters and importers to settle their cross-border trades in the yuan by the end of this year, the central bank said as part of plans to grow the currency’s international role, which has severe ramifications for the economies of the U.S. and China.

China has become the world’s top manufacturing country by output.

Investors cheered on Monday a surprisingly broad European package of measures to deal with the government debt crisis that has over the past year threatened the existence of the euro currency.

Michigan lawmakers are on the verge of approving a bill that would enable the governor to appoint “emergency managers” — officials with unilateral power to make sweeping changes to cities facing financial troubles.

In Queens, New York, on Friday, New York Fed President William Dudley got bombarded with questions about food inflation.

U.S. Representatives Steve King (R.-Iowa) and Michele Bachmann (R.-Minn.), two of the leading congressional proponents of the Tea Party movement, have taken a pledge and are asking all other House members to join them in it.

Progressive, one of the nation’s largest auto insurers, today launches a nationwide ad campaign for its “Snapshot” program, in which drivers can elect to install a small data recorder in their cars that tracks how hard they brake, how far they drive and whether it’s day or night driving. Based on the results, drivers can save up to 30% on their insurance. Average savings: $150 a year.

For the elderly, state budget cuts could mean no more daily hot meals and exercise classes to help prevent falls. At worst, some could even lose their beds at the nursing home.

The Obama administration is preparing for the prospect that Islamist governments will take hold in North Africa and the Middle East, acknowledging that the popular revolutions there will bring a more religious cast to the region’s politics.

Belief in extraterrestrial life has effectively become a new religion for many, replacing traditional belief.

Astronomers tracking the potentially dangerous asteroid Apophis made a major breakthrough in January.

Lastly, around 800 people had to be rescued from their cars recently after a blizzard in North Dakota made roads impassable.