MID-DAY UPDATE: Japan continues to regain control of reactor, Banks return 99% of TARP

Here are today's headlines from Marketplace Morning Report and around the web.

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  • Many U.S. companies such as Aflac and Tiffany, are already feeling the ripple effects from the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Here's Marketplace's story.

  • The Japanese yen has hit a record high against the U.S. dollar as as Japanese insurance companies sell off foreign investments to cover impending claims. You can read Marketplace's coverage <a href="http://marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/03/17/am-japanese-ye...'>here.

  • Japanese military helicopters are <a href'"http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/03/17/us-japan-quake-idUSTRE72A0SS20...">dumping seawater on the troubled nuclear plant to try and prevent a meltdown. And Tokyo is on alert for rolling blackouts this evening.
  • Nearly one week after Japan was rocked by a disastrous 8.9 magnitude earthquake and tsunami, a large scale clean-up effort is underway in the northern part of the country. Don't miss Rob Schmitz's photo gallery from his visit to Sendai.
  • Oil prices are back on the rise today -- around $99 a barrel in Asia trading. They had been dropping because of concerns about the situation in Japan. Have you ever wondered why some gas stations have cheaper gas than others? You can find out why here.
  • A half dozen more banks are paying their bailout money back to uncle Sam. That means the U.S. government's gotten nearly all of its bank bailout money back. Here's Marketplace's story.
  • Wall Street yesterday: The Dow tanked again, down more than 2 percent, 242 points to close at 11,613. That's the biggest drop since last August. And the Dow is about where it was at the beginning of this year.
  • Forget Coke or Pepsi. The new question is: Coke or Diet Coke? We're expected to hear today from Beverage Digest that for the first time Diet Coke replaced Pepsi last year as the second most popular soft drink in the US.
  • Fewer Americans went to the employment office last week to seek jobless benefits. And the nation's Consumer Price Index -- a snapshot of inflation -- rose by the fastest clip in a year and a half.
  • And finally. It's a war of words between the mayors of New York state's two biggest cities. At a housing and neighborhood conference yesterday, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, "There's an awful lot of free space in Buffalo, N.Y., if you want to go there. I don't think you do." For his part, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he grew up in the New York City borough of Queens. And settled in Buffalo.
  • Are you sick of every company telling you to follow them on Twitter and Facebook? The event registration website Eventbrite has come out with actual numbers about the profitability of social networking. The site says on averagea tweet about an event brought in 80 cents in ticket sales during the past six months. And the average 'like' on Facebook
    brought in $1.34.
    Liking APM:Marketplace on Facebook by the way is priceless. Here's our Facebook page.
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