_ TOKYO TAP WATER NOT SAFE FOR INFANTS. Water at a treatment center in downtown Tokyo that supplies much of the city's tap water contains at one point 210 becquerels of iodine-131 per liter. That's more than twice the recommended limit for infants. Babies in Tokyo should not be fed tap water, although the level is not an immediate health risk for adults, officials say. The news adds to concerns about other foods in the wake of an earthquake and tsunami, which crippled the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant.
_ SMOKE RISES FROM NUCLEAR PLANT. Black smoke billows from Unit 3, prompting an evacuation of workers and later the suspension of all work at the plant until morning. There is no spike in radiation and the cause is unknown. But officials recommend those downwind of the plant _ even those outside the 12-mile (20-kilometer) evacuation zone _ stay indoors.
_ JAPAN DISASTERS TO COST UP TO $309 BILLION. The bill for Japan's earthquake and tsunami could make it the most expensive natural disaster on record. The damage to housing, infrastructure and businesses in northeast Japan could cost between 16 trillion yen and 25 trillion yen ($198 billion and $309 billion). Japan's northeastern coast is devastated, and utilities have imposed power rationing, many factories remain closed and key rail lines are impassable.
_ US HALTS FOOD IMPORTS FROM AFFECTED AREA. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration says it will halt imports of dairy products and some produce from the areas around the troubled nuclear plant. The FDA says that those foods will be detained at entry and will not be sold to the public. Other foods imported from Japan, including seafood, will still be sold to the public but screened first for radiation. Japanese foods make up less than 4 percent of all U.S. imports. Hong Kong has taken similar measures.
_ POLICE SAY DISASTER DEATH TOLL TOPS 9,500. The National Police Agency said the overall number of bodies collected so far stood at 9,523, while 16,094 have been listed as missing. Those tallies are likely to overlap, but a police spokesman from one of the of the hardest-hit prefectures, Miyagi, estimates that the deaths will top 15,000 in that region alone. Police in other devastated areas declined to estimate eventual tolls, but said the confirmed deaths in their areas already number about 3,800.
_ US MILITARY DESIGNATES FAMILY RECEPTION CENTERS. The U.S. Northern Command has set up two reception centers on the West Coast to arrange temporary lodging, food, pet care and other accommodations for U.S. military families who are returning from Japan after the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear reactor crisis. Northern Command, based at Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado, says the centers were set up at Seattle-Tacoma Airport in Washington and Travis Air Force Base in California. Officials say another reception center could be opened if necessary.
_ TOYOTA TO DELAY PRIUS MINIVAN LAUNCH. Toyota Motor Corp. says it will delay the launch of the Prius hybrid minivan in Japan due to disruptions in parts supply following the disasters. Toyota says it initially planned to roll out the Prius minivan in April. Since March 14, Toyota has halted auto production because of difficulty securing components, including rubber parts and electronics. The company says it will suspend output until Sunday _ a production loss of 140,000 cars.