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ALISON STEWART, host:
Welcome back to the Bryant Park Project from NPR News. We are on digital FM, Sirius Satellite Radio, and online at npr.org/bryantpark. I'm Alison Stewart. Coming up, depression has hit the BPP. But first, let's get the latest news headlines from the BPP's Mark Garrison.
BILL WOLFF: This is NPR.
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MARK GARRISON: Thanks, Alison. A powerful quake rocked Japan's north today. It injured more than 100. NPR's Anthony Kuhn has more from Beijing.
ANTHONY KUHN: Eyewitnesses said that the Earth shook for about 40 seconds shortly after midnight. The damage from the 6.8-magnitude quake could have been much worse. It was centered on Aomori and Iwate prefectures on the northeast end of Honshu, Japan's main island. The areas are sparsely populated, and the earthquake was 62 miles beneath the Earth's surface. The quake triggered some landslides, stranded people on overnight trains, cut off water supplies and shut down some expressways. Many of those injured were hurt in falls or cut by broken glass. Inspectors checked out several nuclear power plants in the region and found no problems. Meteorological experts have warned of possible aftershocks.
GARRISON: NPR's Anthony Kuhn reporting from Beijing. Dolly weakened from hurricane to tropical storm. It came ashore near Brownsville, Texas. It dumped plenty of rain and did some damage, but few injuries, and the levees have held.
Minimum wage, it's reality for millions of American workers. Today, they're getting a raise. NPR's Cheryl Corley has more on the boost in the federal minimum.
CHERYL CORLEY: Six dollars and fifty five cents per hour, or 262 dollars a week. That's the new federal minimum wage, the second step of a three-phase increase. Although several states already have higher minimum-wage pay levels in place, the national rate sets the base for many low-wage workers. Iris Pace (ph) lives in Indiana, where the state and federal minimum wage is equal. She says the increase just isn't enough for people trying to make ends meet.
Ms. IRIS PLACE (Resident, Indiana): You talk about rent, utilities, food, gas. It's not. Especially if you have to commute to any job. You know you've used your $6.50 already one way.
CORLEY: The new minimum wage means some workers will receive 13,624 dollars year in pay, still below the poverty rate for family of four.
GARRISON: NPR's Cheryl Corley reporting. Comic-Con kicks off today in San Diego. It's the largest comic-book convention in the country. More than 100,000 fans will don costumes and do comic-book-convention things. Comic-Con is now a mandatory stop for action-movie makers looking to build buzz. The movie based on the "Watchman" graphic novel and a "Terminator" sequel are the ones to watch this year. That is your news with sides. More online at npr.org.
WOLFF: This is NPR.
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