By Mark Memmott
We just posted about the sad news that civil rights icon Benjamin Hooks, long-time executive director of the NAACP, has died. He was 85.
Also this morning, we've already passed along word that a volcanic eruption in Iceland is causing massive disruptions to air traffic over Northern Europe. Travelers from Ireland across to the continent are seeing their flights canceled out of concern that particles in the air could disable jet engines.
Other stories making headlines include:
-- IRS.gov -- It's Tax Day: In case you needed a reminder ... today's the deadline for Americans to file their federal income tax returns or request an automatic time extension.
-- The Associated Press -- "Tea Party Ending Tour In Capital It Loves To Hate": "Tea party activists are ending a cross-country tour in a place and on a day that inspires much of their discontent. The place is Washington, and the day is Thursday: the April 15 deadline to file federal income taxes. The Tea Party Express tour wraps up at Washington's Freedom Plaza with an 11 a.m. rally. Local events are also planned in Oklahoma, Ohio and other states."
Related story by The New York Times -- "Poll Finds Tea Party Backers Wealthier And More Educated": "Tea Party supporters are wealthier and more well-educated than the general public, and are no more or less afraid of falling into a lower socioeconomic class, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll. ... Tea Party supporters' fierce animosity toward Washington, and the president in particular, is rooted in deep pessimism about the direction of the country and the conviction that the policies of the Obama administration are disproportionately directed at helping the poor rather than the middle class or the rich. ... They are more likely than the general public, and Republicans, to say that too much has been made of the problems facing black people."
-- Morning Edition -- "Relief Workers In China Dig For Quake Victims": "Rescue crews and heavy equipment are moving into a remote area of western China that suffered from a devastating series of earthquakes Wednesday. While more than 600 people have died, hundreds have been pulled from the rubble." NPR's Louisa Lim spoke with ME host Steve Inskeep:
-- The Charleston Gazette -- W. Va. Governor Asks Coal Mines To Shut Down On Friday: "Gov. Joe Manchin on Wednesday issued an executive order urging West Virginia's underground coal mine operators to halt production and evaluate safety practices Friday, saying it's the best way to honor the 29 miners killed in the Upper Big Branch Mine explosion last week."
Related story by NPR News -- Obama Will Send Inspectors To Mines: President Barack Obama will this morning announce "the immediate deployment of federal mine safety inspectors and enforcement officials to mines with troubling safety records," NPR's Howard Berkes reports:
Contributing: Chinita Anderson of Morning Edition.