The Fukushima Daiichi plant, operated by Tokyo Electric Power Co (TEPCO), is located about 240 km (150 miles) north of Tokyo on the country's northeast coast.

The direction of the wind is a key factor in judging possible damage to the environment from the radiation leaking from the plant, which was devastated on Friday by Japan's biggest earthquake on record.

Earlier in the day, the wind was blowing from the south, raising concerns radioactivity could affect residential areas.

"The wind is expected to blow westerly during the night, in the direction where there are no residents," the official said.

The wind speed will be around 2 to 3 meters per second, he said.

The plant was damaged by Friday's 8.9 magnitude quake, which sent a 10-meter (33-foot) tsunami ripping through towns and cities across the northeast coast.

TEPCO said on Sunday that radiation levels at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have risen above the safety limit but said this posed no "immediate threat" to human health. An explosion blew the roof off at the plant's No.1 reactor.


For the first time, the Pakistani military has publicly acknowledged that U.S. drones are targeting militants on Pakistani soil.

In a press briefing for Pakistani reporters Thursday, a military commander said U.S. drone strikes were killing mostly militants and al Qaeda fighters, not civilians.

"Most of the targets are hardcore militants," said Maj. Gen. Ghayur Mehmood. "The number of innocent people being killed is relatively low."

Before Mehmood's statement Pakistani officials had only acknowledged U.S. drone strikes in private while publicly condemning them and calling for them to stop.

Since 2007, 164 drone strikes have killed 964 militants, Mehmood told reporters in the militant stronghold of North Waziristan.

Of those, 171 of the fatalities were al Qaeda fighters from mostly central Asian and Arab countries, he said. Mehmood didn't provide any statistics on civilian casualties and didn't say how the military collected its data on drone strikes, which were considerably lower than tallies kept by CNN and several other independent estimates.

Based on a count by CNN, there have been been 205 U.S. drone strikes since 2008. A recent report by New America Foundation, a U.S.-based think tank, said most of the militants killed by the unmanned aerial strikes were low-level fighters.

Human rights groups inside and outside Pakistan have condemned the drone strikes, saying they've killed hundreds of civilians.

Despite the Pakistani military's claim of a high militant death toll in drone strikes, Mehmood told reporters the attacks have a negative impact on Pakistan's security.

"Definitely, they have social and political repercussions and our law enforcement agencies have to face the fallout," Mehmood said.

U.S. officials rarely acknowledge publicly the CIA's secret drone program in Pakistan. Privately, U.S. officials say the covert strikes are legal and an effective tactic in the fight against extremists.

Yet another round of winter weather was bearing down on the Southeast on Wednesday after coating parts of the nation's snow-weary midsection in white.
The new storm comes barely a week after a record-setting weather system pummeled the Plains and the Midwest.

Parts of Oklahoma had received up to 12 inches of snow, according to the state Department of Emergency Management. Wind chills were between 10 and 30 degrees below zero in some areas, and authorities were urging people to stay off the roads.
A winter storm warning was in place across portions of nine states -- from Texas to Alabama. A winter weather advisory also touched portions of Illinois, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina and Georgia. The warnings and advisories were expected to move eastward throughout the day.

Snow and sleet are predicted as far south as central Texas, with 1 to 3 inches expected in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, the National Weather Service said.
Weather crews at Dallas' Love Field airport worked throughout Tuesday night and into Wednesday morning in an effort to keep runways clear, officials said.
But at Dallas-Fort Worth International Aiport, the wintry weather prompted airport authorities to cancel 12% of Wednesday's flights, according to Dallas Aviation Department spokesman David Magana.

Wednesday morning, a portion of Interstate 40 in the Texas panhandle near Amarillo was closed until further notice, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Later in the day, the system is expected to bring rain and snow to many areas of the Deep South before delivering a wintry mix along portions of the East Coast on Thursday.

Memphis, Tennessee, could see 2 to 4 inches of snow, with 4 to 8 inches expected in Little Rock, Arkansas, forecasters said. Lesser amounts were expected in Nashville; Birmingham, Alabama; and Atlanta.

Some 80 people in Oklahoma had been injured as a result of the storm, the state Department of Health said Wednesday. That total included 63 falls, one carbon monoxide poisoning, 14 injuries in traffic accidents, and two "cut/pierce injuries."
Twenty-seven Greyhound bus passengers stayed at a shelter overnight in a Tulsa church, the state Department of Emergency Management said. Six warming stations were opened "for any stranded motorists and others displaced by the storm." State offices in seven counties were closed, along with numerous schools and businesses.

Oklahoma City's Will Rogers International Airport reopened one runway and began limited flights, after the aiport had shut down earlier Wednesday morning due to weather.

Some early departures at Tulsa's airport were also canceled.
Bitterly cold temperatures will lock the center of the country in the deep freeze as the system moves east.

"Behind the system, cold high pressure will bring temperatures 30-40 degrees below average to parts of the central U.S. by midweek," the weather service said.
Rain is likely across most of the Southeast on Wednesday and Wednesday night.
Scattered snow is expected in the Great Lakes region Wednesday.
Last week's historic storm left its mark on at least 30 states, dumping about 2 feet of snow on the Chicago area and prompting Oklahoma's governor to declare a state of emergency.

Another winter system at the end of the week left central and southern Texas a mess.
Hundreds of flights were canceled as the winter weather threatened the plans of Super Bowl enthusiasts headed for the game last Sunday in Arlington, Texas, a suburb of Dallas.

An unrelated storm system put portions of the North Carolina coast including the Outer Banks under a winter storm warning Wednesday. The weather service said 2 to 4 inches of snow could fall in inland areas, with 1 to 3 inches expected on the coast.

NEW YORK -(Dow Jones)- Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) plans to unveil a smartphone with a twin set of touchscreens made by Kyocera Corp. (KYO, 6971.TO) late Monday, according to a person familiar with the device.

The device, called the Echo, features two 3.5-inch touchscreens that can be stacked side by side to form a pseudo-tablet design. Users can accomplish multiple tasks on the two screens, or drag items from one screen to the other. The phone, which runs on Google Inc.'s (GOOG) Android software, uses a pivot hinge that allows one screen to be tucked under the other, transforming it into a more conventional touchscreen phone.

Sprint is hoping the Echo's unique design will drum up more attention for the company's products and services at a time when the carrier needs more high-end devices to replace its two marquee phones, the HTC Corp. (2498.TW) Evo and the Samsung Electronics Co. (005930.SE) Epic, which are beginning to show their age at a time when most smartphones have a shelf life of only a few months.

"Having a new halo device for Sprint will be critical for them to maintain their momentum," said Daniel Hays, who covers telecom for consulting firm PRTM. "Sprint's smartphone line-up is definitely in a need of a refresh."

Sprint Chief Executive Dan Hesse is expected to unveil the Echo at an event in Manhattan on Monday night. Taking a page from Apple Inc.'s (AAPL) playbook, the invitation features a magical motif, teasing what the company "has up its sleeve" and hiring magician David Blaine to perform at the event.

Spokesmen from Sprint and Kyocera declined to comment.

The price tag for the device wasn't available.

Sprint's largest advantage--its loudly touted fourth-generation wireless service--has been steadily evaporating as its rivals begin to trumpet their own speedy next-generation wireless services. Last year, the company rode the success of the Evo 4G and the Epic, which were touted as the only 4G phones in the market. The two devices were critical to the company turning around its contract subscriber losses.

The company reports its fourth-quarter results on Thursday. Wall Street expects it to report a loss of 30 cents a share and revenue of $8.16 billion.

Sprint's only recently launched phone is the HTC Evo Shift, a $150 device designed to appeal to more consumers. The company also said last month it would carry the Research in Motion Ltd. (RIMM) Playbook tablet. While the Playbook and Evo Shift run on the 4G network, the upcoming Echo is a 3G device.

Sprint's competitors, however, are preparing a wave of competitive devices. Verizon Wireless, AT&T Inc. (T) and T-Mobile USA, however, used the Consumer Electronics Show in January to showcase phones and tablets that are coming out over the next few months. On Thursday, Verizon Wireless will begin to sell the Apple iPhone.

Sprint shares were up 5 cents, or 1.14%, at $4.45 in recent trading.

Two senior U.S. congressional Republicans said on Tuesday they were troubled by reports of hacking attacks on Nasdaq OMX Group Inc's computer network and asked for some answers.

"The news that the NASDAQ Stock Market's computer network has been repeatedly penetrated during the past year is troubling to say the least," said House Financial Services Committee Chairman Spencer Bachus and committee member Scott Garrett, both Republicans, in a joint statement.

"We would appreciate hearing from you regarding what you are doing to ensure the ongoing integrity and security of exchange trading systems and clearinghouses in response to these reports," they said in a letter addressed to regulators and the heads of major exchange groups.

NEW YORK - Hackers broke into a Nasdaq service that handles confidential communications for some 300 corporations, the company said Saturday — the latest vulnerability exposed in the computer systems Wall Street depends on.

The intrusions did not affect Nasdaq's stock trading systems and no customer data was compromised, Nasdaq OMX Group Inc. said. Nasdaq is the largest electronic securities trading market in the U.S., with more than 2,800 listed companies.

A federal official told The Associated Press that the hackers broke into the service repeatedly over more than a year. Investigators are trying to identify the hackers, the official said. The motive is unknown. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the inquiry by the FBI and Secret Service is continuing.

The targeted service, Directors Desk, helps companies share documents with directors between scheduled board meetings. It also allows online discussions and Web conferencing within a board. Since board directors have access to information at the highest level of a company, penetrating the service could be of great value for insider trading.

Nasdaq OMX spokesman Frank DeMaria said the Justice Department had requested that the company keep silent about the intrusion until at least Feb. 14. However, The Wall Street Journal reported the investigation on its website late Friday, prompting Nasdaq to issue a statement and notify its customers.

DeMaria said Nasdaq OMX detected "suspicious files" during a regular security scan on U.S. servers unrelated to its trading systems and determined that Directors Desk was potentially affected. It pulled in forensic firms and federal law enforcement for an investigation. They found no evidence that customer information was accessed by hackers.

Rich Mogull, an analyst and CEO with the security research firm Securosis, said Web-accessible services like Directors Desk are a prime target for hackers, and have sometimes been a back door for systems that aren't directly connected to the Web. The presence of files on the Directors Desk system and the claim that no customer information was compromised could indicate that hackers were able to get in but not complete their attack, he said.

Computer security experts have long warned that many companies aren't doing enough to protect sensitive data, and recent events have underlined the point. The secret-spilling organization WikiLeaks has published confidential documents from banks in Switzerland and Iceland and claims to have incriminating documents from a major U.S. bank, possibly Bank of America.

In 1999, hackers infiltrated the websites of Nasdaq and the American Stock Exchange leaving taunting messages, but Nasdaq officials said then that there was no evidence the break-ins affected financial data.

Nasdaq OMX CEO Bob Greifeld said in a statement that cyber attacks against corporations and government are constant and the company is vigilant in maintaining security.

"We continue to evaluate and enhance our advanced security controls to respond to the ever increasing global cyber threat and continue to devote extensive resources to further secure our systems," he said.

Some of the Wall Street's technological scares have been unrelated to hackers. In June 2009, a computer glitch knocked out trading in 242 stocks on the New York Stock Exchange for several hours.

More recently, high-speed trading software precipitated a "flash crash" on May 6. One trade worth $4.1 billion touched off a chain of events that ended with 30 stocks listed in the S&P 500 index falling at least 10 percent within five minutes. The drop briefly wiped out $1 trillion in market value as some stocks traded as low as a penny.

LOS ANGELES - Lindsay Lohan's attorney said Saturday that her client did not steal a $2,500 necklace and would fight any charges if they are filed.

The statement from attorney Shawn Chapman Holley was the first official word from the actress' camp since police revealed they were investigating the troubled starlet for grand theft.

"We vehemently deny these allegations and, if charges are filed, we will fight them in court, not in the press," Holley said.

Kamofie & Co., a Venice custom jewelry store, reported the necklace stolen on Jan. 22, roughly three weeks after the actress was released from three months of court-ordered rehab at the Betty Ford Center.

Police obtained a search warrant Tuesday to try to retrieve the necklace from Lohan's house, but the item was turned in to detectives before the warrant could be executed.

If she is charged, the case would be the latest problem for the actress, who has struggled to comply with the terms of her probation for a 2007 drunken driving case.

Judges sent her to jail last year twice for violating her probation, and a judge has threatened to sentence her to up to six months in jail if she cannot stay out of trouble.

Prosecutors in Riverside County were also considering pressing battery charges against Lohan for a December altercation with a rehab worker at the Betty Ford Center.

The "Mean Girls" star was due in court on Feb. 25 for a probation status hearing.

The treatment, her fifth rehab session, came after she admitted failing a drug test shortly after being granted early release from another treatment program.

Lohan's court struggles and treatment have taken a serious toll on the former Disney star's career. Her role as porn star Linda Lovelace in a biopic was recast last year while Lohan was at Betty Ford and no replacement projects have been announced.