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NASA TV(HOUSTON) — NASA's plan to inflate an expandable habitat for the first time in space hit a snag today when the room -- known as BEAM -- failed to completely inflate.

Thursday's test at the International Space Station has been postponed after NASA spent several hours attempting to pump air into BEAM, which is short for Bigelow Expandable Activity Module.

"Engineers are meeting at the Johnson Space Center in Houston to discuss a path forward for the Bigelow Expandable Activity Module," according to a NASA update. "They are evaluating data from the expansion that has occurred thus far. If the data supports a resumption of operations, another attempt to complete the module's expansion could come as early tomorrow."

BEAM is a first-of-its-kind inflatable habitat that was carried to the ISS on the SpaceX Dragon. Ahead of Thursday's inflation attempt, astronauts attached the room to the station's Tranquility module. BEAM has the capacity to inflate to roughly 10 feet in diameter and 13 feet in length, a NASA blog post explained.

The module is a key piece of technology that could be used on a future crewed mission to Mars.

"When we’re traveling to Mars or beyond, astronauts need habitats that are both durable and easy to transport and to set up. That’s where expandable technology comes in," a NASA blog post explained. The idea was first conceptualized by NASA in the 1990s and was built by Bigelow Aerospace.

If the BEAM module at the International Space Station is able to be properly inflated, astronauts will soon be able to step inside for several hours at a time to collect data and assess conditions inside the room. The experiment is scheduled to last for two years.

During that time, NASA plans to keep the airlock between BEAM and the space station closed.

Sensors inside BEAM monitor temperature and radiation changes, along with how it fares against potential orbital debris. If punctured, BEAM is designed to slowly deflate, ensuring that it doesn't pose a danger to the space station.

One final key part of BEAM: It's designed so astronauts should be able to easily pack it up when they're finished.

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Christophe Chammartin/ SI2 via Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Solar Impulse pilot Bertrand Piccard snapped a sky-high selfie as he cruised toward Pennsylvania during the 13th leg of the plane's journey around the world.

The Swiss adventurer was able to memorialize his time in the cockpit by using what appears to be an extremely long selfie stick held outside the window of the solar-powered plane.

Piccard and Andre Borschberg have been taking turns flying the one-seater airplane, which is solely powered by the sun's energy.

The final American leg will include Borschberg flying from Pennsylvania and past the Statue of Liberty before landing in New York ahead of a grueling transatlantic flight.

Solar Impulse tends to take at least a few days at each stop to hold events and give the pilots time to switch off before the next leg.

Solar Impulse is able to fly day and night because of the solar energy is stored in batteries on the aircraft. The duo expect to complete their around-the-world journey this summer in Abu Dhabi. While the project is designed to raise awareness about clean energy, it's also provided some memorable personal moments.

Piccard, who spoke with ABC News from the cockpit of Solar Impulse on Wednesday, said his most memorable moment thus far as an explorer was when he was crossing the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and San Francisco.

"I was in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of the night, alone in the plane and I was just really happy because this is the world I love," he said. "This is the world of exploration. You get out of your comfort zone, you explore the unknown. You are pushing the limits and you discover what you have inside of yourself."

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Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(ISE, Japan) — President Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe visited one of Japan's holiest sites Thursday, just a day after their awkward joint-press conference.

The president and prime minister strolled through the Ise-Jingu Shrine before meeting with other G7 leaders. The world leaders used shovels to plant trees on the grounds of the holy site.

It was a stark contrast to the icy reception President Obama received when he landed in Japan Wednesday.

Abe publicly lectured the president over the murder of a 20-year-old Japanese woman in Okinawa allegedly at the hands of a former U.S. Marine.

The president spent the rest of his days in meetings at the G7 summit, where leaders were expected to speak about terrorism, maritime security, and the global economy.

On Friday, Obama will travel to Hiroshima, becoming the first American president to visit the site where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb during World War II.

"Our visit to Hiroshima will honor all of those who were lost in World War II and reaffirm our shared vision of a world without nuclear weapons, as well as highlight the extraordinary alliance that we have been able to forge over these many decades," the president said Wednesday.


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Disney(NEW YORK) — Winnie-the-Pooh, one of the most iconic children's characters of all time, is celebrating his 90th birthday and sharing it with Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, who also turned 90 this year.

Everyone's favorite hungry bear makes his first trip to London in a new book titled Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday.

It's the first time the beloved clumsy bear has met the U.K.'s beloved queen, and the queen's great-grandson, Prince George, makes a cameo appearance in the book as well.

Disney

The new book, which was released Wednesday, sees Pooh Bear trying to deliver a birthday gift to the monarch. He has a chance encounter with Queen Elizabeth outside Buckingham Palace with the queen’s sporting what else but her trusty handbag and trademark white gloves.

The queen is described in the book as "just as Queenly and smiley and wonderful as they had expected her to be.”

Prince George runs into Pooh and his pals while wearing a pair of blue shorts and a blue cardigan.

He's described in the book as "much younger than Christopher Robin and just as bouncy as Tigger," a reference to two other classic Winnie-the-Pooh characters. George, the future King of England, gets a red balloon in the book from Piglet and tickles Pooh's ears.

Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Eeyore and Piglet also explore the landmarks of London in a double-decker bus, see the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, ride the Tube (subway) and even visit the giant lions at Trafalgar Square

Pooh and his friends also find themselves at Harrods, “which Pooh found strangely familiar but he told himself he was being silly as this was surely his first visit to London."

A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh stories were based on a bear the author bought for his son, Christopher, at Harrods.

Disney, which owns the rights to Winnie-the-Pooh, has released an electronic book and companion electronic audio and video version narrated by Oscar-winning actor Jim Broadbent. Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday was penned by Jane Riordan and illustrated by Mark Burgess, who also illustrated the 2009 authorized book Return to the Hundred Acre Wood (Winnie-the-Pooh).

As a child, then-Princess Elizabeth loved the tales of Winnie-the-Pooh, Tigger, Eeyore and Christopher Robin. The book and poems were dedicated to her when they were first published in 1926, the year of her birth.

The queen was also gifted a Christopher Robin china nursery set with hand-colored pictures of Christopher Robin, Pooh and friends as a child.

"Winnie-the-Pooh and the Royal Birthday" moved forward after its authors and Disney contacted Buckingham Palace. The queen said she was happy for the project to proceed, though neither she nor Buckingham Palace ever officially endorse such projects.

Disney is the parent company of ABC News.


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Zoonar/Thinkstock(DOMBIVLI, India) — Three people were killed and dozens more were injured in an explosion at a chemical factory in India this morning, officials said.

Officials said the blast, which happened around 11:30 a.m. local time in Dombivli -- roughly 20 miles outside Mumbai -- was so loud that companies nearby felt the vibrations even as residents complained that their window panes were shattered.

Fire crews worked to put out the blaze triggered by the explosion. The injured were rushed to nearby hospitals.

Police said they sealed the area around the company where the blast took place.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A Russian spy who got busted after walking into an FBI “trap” was sentenced Wednesday to two and a half years behind bars.

In a case that U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said sounds "like a plotline from a Cold War-era movie," Evgeny Buryakov was arrested last year and accused of working as a "non-official cover" officer for Russia's foreign intelligence service, known as SVR, at a Russian bank in New York City.

A “non-official cover” agent generally refers to an espionage agent working in a foreign nation as a private citizen -- without the protection of diplomatic immunity they would enjoy if they were hiding behind another government job. As described by the Department of Justice, "SVR agents operating under such non-official cover -- sometimes referred to as 'NOCs' -- typically are subject to less scrutiny by the host government, and, in many cases, are never identified as intelligence agents by the host government. As a result, a NOC is an extremely valuable intelligence asset for the SVR."

The FBI was able to uncover Buryakov, along with two alleged accomplices, by employing an undercover agent of its own and allowing the Russians to "recruit" their spy, according to a release by the Department of Justice earlier this year. The "dangle," as the agent is known in espionage parlance, had posed as an analyst for a "New York-based energy company."

From then on, the FBI was able to gather information through the undercover agent, including by planting listening devices in "binders containing purported industry analysis" that were taken inside the SVR's offices, the DOJ said.

U.S. officials announced Buryakov’s arrest in January 2015 and this March he cut a plea deal that got him the 30-month prison sentence formally announced on Wednesday. His two colleagues, who were working under protective diplomatic cover, fled the country.

“Evgeny Buryakov, in the guise of being a legitimate banker, gathered intelligence as an agent of the Russian Federation in New York. He traded coded messages with one of his Russian spy co-defendants, who sent the clandestinely collected information back to Moscow,” Bharara said Wednesday. “So long as this type of Cold War-style spy intrigue continues to go on in present-day New York City, the FBI and the prosecutors in my office will continue to investigate and prosecute it.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(LONDON) -- Prince Harry will be rocking out for a cause close to his heart. The 31-year-old prince has invited Coldplay to headline a concert for his Sentebale charity in the back garden of Kensington Palace on June 28.

“We're delighted to join Prince Harry for this very special concert and to support Sentebale's incredible work with adolescents affected by HIV in Lesotho and Botswana," the rock band, which performed this year at the Super Bowl, said in a statement.

Sentebale, which means "forget me not," was formed by Prince Harry in honor of his late mother, Princess Diana, to help vulnerable children in sub-Saharan Africa affected by HIV and AIDS.

Sentebale has been so successful that it's recently expanded its presence from LeSotho to Botswana.

Prince Harry returned to LeSotho last November to open the Mamohato Children's Center, which provides education, camps and psychological support to 1,500 HIV-positive children each year. At the center's opening, Harry named one of the rooms in the center after Princess Diana.

Princess Diana was one of the first to end the stigma surrounding HIV and AIDS and worked tirelessly to end discrimination and raise funds for education and research for those living with the disease. Prince Harry, who formed the charity in 2006, has vowed to carry on his mother's work.

HIV is the number one cause of death in 10 to 19-year-olds in Africa, according to Sentebale.

Harry told ABC News' Good Morning America co-anchor Robin Roberts in March that he hopes his mother would be pleased with all he and his brother, Prince William, have accomplished.

"I hope she's looking down, you know, with tears in her eyes, being incredibly proud of what we've established, I suppose," Harry said. "I'm sure she's longing for me to have kids so she can be a grandmother again."

He added, "I hope that everything we do privately and officially, that it makes her proud. I think losing your mother at such a young age does end up shaping your life massively. Of course, it does, and now I find myself trying to be there and give advice to other people who are in similar positions."

All proceeds from the Coldplay concert will go towards supporting children living with HIV and AIDS.

The CEO of Sentebale, Cathy Ferrier, said in a statement, "UNAIDS estimates that only 30 percent of adolescents believed to be living with HIV in Lesotho are accessing medication. HIV and AIDS no longer needs to be a death sentence, but the problem will not go away unless we act now. Over the course of the next decade, it is our aim to change the tide of this epidemic."

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TongRo Images/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Italian navy was called to rescue 562 migrants after their boat capsized in the Mediterranean Wednesday, the BBC reports.

According to the BBC, the trawler reportedly overturned because the people onboard rushed to one side after spotting a rescue ship.

Five of the migrants were found dead.

According to the BBC, Italy's Bettica patrol boat threw life jackets into the water while rescue boats were sent. That same boat rescued another 108 migrants from a separate incident earlier Wednesday.

The BBC reports about 6,000 migrants trying to reach Europe illegally have been rescued from poorly built rafts in the Mediterranean in just the past few days.

Aid agencies say crossing the sea between Libya and Italy is the main route for migrants to take after a European Union deal with Turkey docked the number of migrants using the Aegean to get to Greece, according to the BBC.

About 700 migrants have died, which is the largest single loss of life in the Medterranean in decades, the BBC reports.

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Christophe Chammartin/ SI2 via Getty Images(LEHIGH VALLEY, Pa.) -- Solar Impulse, the lightweight solar-powered airplane being flown by two pilots on a journey around the world, hit a milestone Wednesday afternoon after successfully crossing the United States.

Swiss adventurers Bertrand Piccard and Andre Borschberg take turns flying the one-seater airplane, which is solely powered by the sun's energy. Piccard spoke to ABC News from the cockpit Wednesday as he made the 400-mile journey from Dayton, Ohio, to Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania, where he said he expects to land around 9 p.m. ET.

"When I heard the air traffic controller from New York, I thought, 'Wow, we have crossed the United States. We are arriving now on the East Coast, coming from Hawaii through San Francisco, Phoenix, Tulsa, Dayton,'" he told ABC News. "That is so great. We are very happy."

Fantastic moment. I just got in touch with Air Traffic Control of New York Center. We've crossed the USA!!!!! pic.twitter.com/8ssCXu2AO8

— Bertrand PICCARD (@bertrandpiccard) May 25, 2016

The final American leg will include Borschberg flying from Pennsylvania and past the Statue of Liberty before landing in New York ahead of a grueling transatlantic flight. Compared to what is ahead, Piccard said today's flight "is not very technical because it is short."

"I took off in the night at 4 in the morning to avoid the bad weather coming through Dayton," he said. "I will arrive a little bit too early over Lehigh Valley and I will start now holding. That means to wait for several hours until the wind decreases and then I will land after 9 p.m. tonight."

Solar Impulse is able to fly day and night because of the solar energy is stored in batteries on the aircraft. The duo expect to complete their around-the-world journey this summer in Abu Dhabi. While the project is designed to raise awareness about clean energy, it's also provided some memorable personal moments.

"As the promoter of the message of Solar Impulse, it was the most fantastic moment for me when I could speak live to the General Assembly of the United Nations from the cockpit of Solar Impulse and speak about clean technologies. That was fantastic for me," Piccard said.

As an explorer, Piccard said his most memorable moment thus far was when he was crossing the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and San Francisco.

"I was in the middle of the ocean, in the middle of the night, alone in the plane and I was just really happy because this is the world I love," he said. "This is the world of exploration. You get out of your comfort zone, you explore the unknown. You are pushing the limits and you discover what you have inside of yourself."

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NASA/CXC/STScI(NEW YORK) -- Scientists may have unraveled the mystery of what creates supermassive black holes.

Giant black holes are at the heart of almost every large galaxy and are so large some are billions of times the mass of the sun. They were formed around 13 billion years ago, less than one billion years after the formation of the universe, according to NASA.

Using data from NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, and the Hubble and Spitzer space telescopes, scientists determined a collapsing cloud of gas may have been the catalyst for forming supermassive black holes, creating black hole seeds. As a result, the black holes were able to skip the intermediate steps in the growth process.

If the new research holds up, it would provide the clearest explanation yet as to how black holes may have come into existence and another possible mechanism for how the mysterious celestial objects came to be. Other theories for growth include smaller black holes merging and pulling in gas from surrounding objects.

Fabio Pacucci, a researcher from the Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa Italy, led the study. Pacucci said his team was able to use long-exposure images from the space observatories to pinpoint the locations of two probable black hole seeds estimated to have formed within the first billion years following the Big Bang.

The research suggests supermassive black holes were simply born big and grew at a normal rate as opposed to another theory that black holes start small and quickly expand.

"Our discovery, if confirmed, explains how these monster black holes were born," Pacucci, a said in a statement. “We found evidence that supermassive black hole seeds can form directly from the collapse of a giant gas cloud, skipping any intermediate steps."

While the development is exciting, the researchers need more time to validate their findings and will now focus on getting more data on the two black hole seeds and hope to pinpoint more black holes that may be the result of a direct collapse.

“Black hole seeds are extremely hard to find and confirming their detection is very difficult,” Andrea Grazian, a co-author of the paper said in the same statement. “However, we think our research has uncovered the two best candidates to date.”

The complete findings of the study will be published in an upcoming issue of the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) -- Nadezhda Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot held prisoner by Russia for almost two years, returned home to Kiev Wednesday following a dramatic prisoner swap for two captured Russian soldiers.

Her release removes a source of tension between Russia and Ukraine, and led some to hope it could help efforts to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, though relations between the two countries remain deeply hostile.

Following weeks of negotiations, Savchenko was abruptly released from prison in southern Russia straight onto a Ukrainian government plane and flown to Kiev, where she emerged to a hero’s welcome. Meanwhile, two Russian special forces officers were simultaneously flown hurriedly to Moscow hours after they were pardoned by Ukraine's president.

President Petro Poroshenko met Savchenko at Kiev’s Boryspil airport, where she was mobbed by journalists. In Moscow, the two soldiers were greeted on the runway by their wives, in a carefully controlled scene filmed by state television.

Savchenko’s release is significant because it removes a symbolic sticking point between Russia and Ukraine, as well as the United States and the European Union, which could help Moscow to push for sanctions to be eased. It also clears at least one obstacle to finding a more final peace settlement for eastern Ukraine, though few expect the release will lead to much progress immediately.

For Ukraine, though it was celebrated as a major symbolic victory in the country’s conflict with Russia, which two years ago launched a covert war in support of separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine. Savchenko has become a national hero in Ukraine, with her face plastered across the country.

The 35-year-old pilot was captured by the Moscow-backed rebels in the east while fighting in June 2014 and handed over to Russia. Earlier this year, a Russian court sentenced her to 22 years in jail for murder, convicting her of allegedly directing artillery fire at journalists.

The case was condemned internationally as politically motivated, with the E.U. and U.S. demanding Savchenko’s release. Savchenko went on a hunger strike, with her lawyers describing her as a hostage. The case was one of a number in Russia targeting Ukrainian citizens criticized by rights groups as show trials. Her imprisonment was widely considered by observers as a bargaining chip for Russia.

The two Russian soldiers released Wednesday, Aleksandar Aleksandrov and Yevgeny Yerofeyev, were captured in eastern Ukraine last year and convicted of terrorism by a Ukrainian court. The two admitted to being Russian officers, but Russia’s military has denied they were on active service, saying they traveled to Ukraine on their own initiative.

The prisoner exchange was made possible after Poroshenko, Ukraine's president, pardoned the soldiers. Russian President Vladimir Putin also pardoned Savchenko, saying he had done so at the request of the relatives of the two journalists she was alleged to have murdered.

In a televised meeting, Putin thanked the journalists’ widow and sister, who sat silently, saying he hoped the release would help "alleviate the stand-off" in eastern Ukraine.

The return of the two soldiers was a tricky moment for Moscow, appearing to be a tacit recognition that they operated on Russia’s behalf. The Kremlin, though, has continued to insist that Aleksandrov and Yerofeyev were volunteers.

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File photo. iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An overcrowded boat carrying hundreds of migrants capsized today in the Mediterranean Sea, killing at least five, according to the Italian Navy.

Roughly 562 people had been pulled to safety off the coast of Libya, but there was a possibility the death toll could rise, an Italian navy official told ABC News.

Search efforts are ongoing.

The Italian Navy's Bettica patrol boat spotted "a boat in precarious conditions off the coast of Libya with numerous migrants aboard," it said in a statement.

The waters near Libya have become a hot spot for perilous voyages such as this one, as thousands of people have sought refuge from war-torn regions of the Middle East in recent years -- the bulk of whom are refugees escaping from Syria.

Amnesty International, a non-profit organization focused on human rights, estimated in February of this year that "more than 50% of Syria's population" was displaced as a result of war.

"One-in-every-two of those crossing the Mediterranean this year -- half a million people -- were Syrians escaping the conflict in their country," the report said.

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The Taliban named its newest leader Wednesday, just days after U.S. drone strikes killed former chief Mullah Mansur.

Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada, previously the deputy to Mansur, will take command of the extremist group, according to a Taliban spokesperson. The group released a photo of Akhundzada with the announcement.

Just hours after Akhundzada’s leadership was announced, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing of a minivan in Kabul, which killed at least 10 people. In a statement, the Taliban said the attack was revenge for the executions of six Taliban prisoners by the Afghan government several weeks ago.

Wednesday's attack, along with the U.S. targeting of Mansur, signal little hope for peace prospects between the Taliban and Afghan government.

A U.S. intelligence official told ABC News the Taliban can either choose to double down on its military focus or choose to work toward reconciliation, a path which has failed to gain traction in the past.

The official said Akhundzada's appointment will have little affect on the battlefield -- aggressive attacks by the Taliban are still expected as this fighting season begins.

Who is Mawlawi Haibatullah Akhundzada?


Akhundzada, 47, was the former chief of the Sharia-based justice system during the Taliban’s five-year rule over Afghanistan, which ended in 2001 with the U.S.-led invasion. He is from the Noorzai tribe and spent most of his life in Kandahar city in the south of Afghanistan.

The Taliban also touted his background in religious studies and experience as a Jihadi leader, in the statement.

Taliban Acknowledges Mansur's Death


His appointment to the Taliban’s top position comes the same day that the group acknowledged Mansur was killed in a drone strike over Pakistan on Saturday.

The Pentagon said that strike was “defensive” because Mansur was actively involved in plots against U.S. and coalition personnel inside Afghanistan.

During a trip to Vietnam on Monday, President Obama confirmed Mansur was killed in a U.S. strike he had authorized.

The operation targeting Mansur appears to be the first “defensive strike" to have taken place inside Pakistan and required special negotiations under new guidelines for air strikes set last year. Pakistan has previously been accused by both the U.S. and Afghan governments of providing shelter for Taliban leaders.

"We can adjust authorities or take things higher up the chain of command to get approvals and that’s what we did in this case,” Pentagon spokesman Captain Jeff Davis said.

The timing of the airstrike had to do more with opportunity and location, to ensure civilian casualties could be avoided as much as possible, he said.

A Different Kind of Announcement


The Taliban’s quick naming of Akhundzada is in stark contrast to how the group handled past leadership changes.

They waited two years to acknowledge the death of one-eyed leader Mullah Mohammed Omar, who the U.S. had hunted for over a decade, and only did so after the Afghan government announced in 2015 that he had died in a Pakistani hospital in 2013.

Following that announcement, a senior Taliban official confirmed to ABC News that Omar had died in 2013 of tuberculosis and was buried in the restive region along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border.

It wasn’t until Omar’s death became public that the Taliban officially instated Mansur as the new leader, although it was rumored that he was secretly running the organization for the two years that Omar was deceased.

This formal media announcement of Mansur’s death and Akhundzada’s appointment as the new chief marks a different strategy for the organization.

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Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(SHIMA, Japan) — In a news conference where he was harshly lectured by the prime minister of Japan, President Obama extended his "sincerest condolences and deepest regrets" for what he termed a "tragedy" in Okinawa, after a former U.S. Marine is suspected in the death of a young Japanese woman.

"The U.S. will continue to cooperate fully with the investigation to ensure that justice is done under the Japanese justice system," Obama pledged.

Japanese police say Kenneth Franklin Shinzato, a 32-year-old former U.S. Marine, confessed to stabbing and strangling a 20-year-old office worker on the island of Okinawa.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerged from the bilateral meeting with Obama, announcing live on Japanese television that he raised a formal protest over the death that he says shocked not only Okinawa, but the people of Japan.

“I firmly launched a protest as the Japanese prime minister in regards to the most recent case in Okinawa,” Abe said right off the top of his statement. “The entire time for the small group discussion was spent on the specific case in Okinawa, and I feel profound resentment for this self-centered and despicable crime.”

Abe said he feels "profound resentment" when thinking of the victim, calling it an "utterly despicable crime" that Japan will investigate in a "rigorous manner."

"Japan was shocked," Abe said. "I conveyed to the president that such feelings of the Japanese people should be taken to heart sincerely."

Abe said the entire time for the leaders' discussion was spent on the murder case and urged Obama to “take effective and thorough means” to prevent a re-occurrence.

Obama emphasized that the United States is "appalled by any violent crime that may have been committed by any U.S. personnel or U.S. contractor."

"We consider it inexcusable and we are committed to do anything we can to prevent any crimes like this from taking place," Obama stressed. "We want to see a crime like this prosecuted here in the same way that we would feel horrified and want to provide a sense of justice to a victim’s family" back in the United States.

The Japanese have long resented U.S. military conduct off base, pointing to several incidents over the years of rape and criminal activity. The public airing of grievances in Japan -- the United States' closest Asian ally -- sets a tense tone for the rest of the trip that culminates in an historic "non-apology" presidential visit to Hiroshima on Friday.

A White House official said the president expected the case would come up but disputed Abe’s assertion that it was the sole focus of the meeting. The official said Obama and Abe also discussed coordination on the G7 scheduled for Thursday, as well as other bilateral and regional issues.


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iStock/Thinkstock(FLORENCE, Italy) — A massive sinkhole opened up on a busy Italian street Wednesday, swallowing some 20 parked parks -- and jaw-dropping spectacle was captured on video.

The chaos unfolded Wednesday morning in the center of Florence along the scenic Arno River, a popular tourist destination, but it probably wasn't the kind of scene that visitors were there to behold.

Water gushed onto the roadway after a major pipe breakage involving one of the major water conduits in the area, according to local reports. The powerful and steady stream of water quickly tore through the asphalted road surface, creating the 200-meter-long and 7-meter-wide sinkhole. That's 650 feet in length, and 23 feet across. It wasn't the river that overflowed and cause the damage, as it was earlier thought.

Crews evacuated the area as cleanup and investigations got underway. There were no immediate reports of injuries or casualties.

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