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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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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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Microsoft(NEW YORK) — Microsoft announced Wednesday it is slashing 1,850 jobs in its mobile division as the company seeks to streamline operations following an announcement earlier this month it was selling the Nokia brand.

As many as 1,350 of the jobs being cut are in Microsoft’s mobile division in Finland, according to a statement from the company. An additional 500 positions are expected to be cut globally.

“We are focusing our phone efforts where we have differentiation — with enterprises that value security, manageability and our Continuum capability, and consumers who value the same,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a statement. “We will continue to innovate across devices and on our cloud services across all mobile platforms.”

Microsoft closed its more than $7 billion acquisition of Finnish mobile company Nokia in 2014 and has since produced low-end handsets geared toward emerging markets. However, the deal never seemed to provide the much-needed fuel for Microsoft to catch Apple and Google, who both lead the market with their iOS and Android devices.

Microsoft announced earlier this month that it is selling a part of its phone business, which includes licensing of the Nokia brand, for $350 million, positioning the Finnish mobile company for a potential comeback.

The sale includes Microsoft’s “entry-level feature phone assets,” including brands, software and services, customer contracts and supply agreements to FIH Mobile, a subsidiary of Chinese manufacturer Foxconn, and HMD Global, a company based in Finland, according to an announcement on the company’s website.

“Feature phones” are basic phones that focus on text and voice calling as opposed to smartphones that have expanded capabilities.

The deal is expected to close in the second half of 2016 and will include the transfer of as many as 4,500 employees to both companies, the announcement said.

It’s been widely speculated Microsoft could build on the success of its convertible Surface tablets and leverage that product line to create a high-end Surface phone in the next year.

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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 that he raised a formal protest over the death he says shocked not only Okinawa, but the people of the entire 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.”

The public airing of grievances sets a tense tone for the rest of the trip that culminates in an historic “non-apology” presidential visit to Hiroshima on Friday.

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-occurence.

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.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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Ford Motor Company(DEARBORN, Mich.) — Ford is recalling approximately 271,000 F-150 pickup trucks in North America to address a brake issue.

The recall affects vehicles from model years 2013 to 2014 that are equipped with 3.5-liter GTDI engines. The automaker says the brake effectiveness in these pickups “could be reduced due to brake fluid leaking from the brake master cylinder into the brake booster, increasing the risk of a crash.”

Ford says it is aware of nine alleged crashes involving the issue, none of which have resulted in any injuries.

Affected customers will be notified and will be able to get their brake master cylinder replaced for free at their local dealer.

“Additionally, dealers will replace the brake booster if they find leaks from the brake master cylinder,” Ford said in a press release.

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McDonald’s(CHICAGO) — Fight for 15 is staging another round of massive demonstrations Wednesday.

The group calling for a minimum wage increase to $15 will super-size their protests at McDonald’s. Fight for 15 protesters will start at the flagship restaurant in Chicago, then head to a massive demonstration at the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois.

The group says as many as 10,000 fast food workers and union backers will rally at the McDonald’s campus Wednesday evening, with another demonstration Thursday morning to take place ahead of the fast food giant’s shareholders meeting.

More than 130 demonstrators were arrested during a similar protest in 2014.

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JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images(HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam) — President Obama arrived to enthusiastic crowds at his final event in Vietnam Wednesday, a town hall with young Asian leaders in Ho Chi Minh City, where the president fielded some of the most colorful questions he’s ever taken.

Eager crowds asked the president questions ranging from his marijuana use in his youth to where he sees himself in five years.

His focus was on connecting with young people, explaining their generation will change the world.

“Your generation can look at the world with fresh eyes without some of the old notions, the old habits of a previous generation,” Obama said in the townhall with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative.

The president later fielded one question about his marijuana use during his youth. A young Vietnamese man asked how the president transitioned from a youth of irresponsibility to becoming president of the United States.

“You never know exactly why something inside you clicks and you decide to take a different path,” Obama said, explaining he struggled a long time with his relationship with his father. “I grew up.”

The president even dropped a beat for a young musician who rapped for him.

Obama received a typical job interview question: “Where will you be in five years?”

“I’ll be doing all my organizing work and involved in the public policy issues, but I won’t be doing it through a formal way” Obama said. “I’ll be a community organizer except a little more famous than I used to be,” he joked.

Without mentioning any candidate by name, the president briefly weighed in on the state of U.S. politics.

“One of the great things about the United States is even when it makes mistakes it’s able to adjust and recognize our mistakes and then we correct course and take different steps.” He reassured the audience “things are going to be ok. I promise!”

Earlier in the day, the president met with seven Foreign Service nationals who served at the U.S. embassy in Saigon during the 1975 evacuation.

The town hall in the city formerly known as Saigon capped off Obama’s historic three-day visit to Vietnam. The president is traveling to Japan where he will attend the G7 Summit. On Friday, he will make an historic stop at Hiroshima, becoming the first American president to visit the site where the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb during World War II.

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iStock/Thinkstock(MOSCOW) — More fallout for Russia and its athletic doping scandal.

The Russian Olympic Committee said Tuesday that 14 Russians who competed in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, including 10 who won medals, tested positive for doping when their samples were recently reanalyzed.

The news comes after the International Olympic Committee said last week that 31 athletes could be banned from the Rio 2016 Olympics after retesting 454 doping samples from 2008.

Russia’s athletes are currently banned from international competition and are looking to still compete in Rio.

If the Russian athletes were to be disqualified and the medals re-awarded, several nations would pick up additional medals by moving from fourth place to third: The U.K. would gain two medals, Brazil 1, Bulgaria 1, Thailand 1, Spain 1, and Belarus 1.

Additionally, a number of nations would have their medals upgraded from silver to gold or bronze to silver. The United States is not among them.

Anna Chicherova, one of the medalists who tested positive, went on to win gold in the women’s high jump in the 2012 London Olympics, an event in which the United States won silver. She won bronze in the high jump in 2008.

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Mat Hayward/Getty Images for Billboard(NEW YORK) — The ever-expanding dating app Tinder has filed a lawsuit against a startup called 3nder over alleged trademark infringement, arguing that the names are similar enough to cause confusion in the market.

Tinder, owned by Match Group (which also holds OKCupid, Match, and other dating businesses), traditionally is used for an individual looking for another individual, while the much smaller 3nder is mostly aimed at people and couples searching for threesomes.

In a December letter to 3nder, Tinder’s law firm, RGC Jenkins & Co., threatened to sue the startup in U.K.’s High Court unless it stops using the name 3nder. A Tinder spokesperson confirmed to ABC News Tuesday that the company has filed a lawsuit, but declined further comment on the case.

But the startup isn’t bowing out quietly.

“Our mission and our values could not be more distinct from those of Tinder. We have and always will put ethics and aesthetics first,” 3nder founder Dimo Trifonov said in a statement Monday. “Our members seek something else entirely when they come to us — to explore their sexual curiosity and date in an open-minded space. With so many sexualities and relationship structures left out of Tinder and the Match Group offerings, there is room for all of us. No one should have a monopoly on love.”

Tinder lawyers argue that the name 3nder can lead consumers to the mistaken belief that the app is associated with or sponsored by Tinder, and gives 3nder an unfair advantage, according to legal letters 3nder founder Dimo Trifonov said he received from Tinder.

“It’s an unfair fight, first of all. The big guy bullying the little, so classic, just because they can,” Trifonov told ABC News Tuesday. “At stake is the freedom of passionate people like me.”

In response to the legal move, 3nder has launched the social media campaign “Tinder S— My Socks,” asking supporters to tweet pictures of their socks at the dating app giant.

“As a busy start-up, it is a common occurrence for the 3nder team to forget to do their laundry,” Trifonov wrote in a statement as a social media call-to-arms, calling on its members “and anyone with an open-mind” to use social media “to send Tinder their dirty socks.”

Trifonov said the idea to fight Tinder with smelly socks came to him very naturally.

“It was about 2 a.m. when I realized we had no clean socks because of this nonsense lawsuit. So, we decided to use the hashtag as a weapon hoping that people will be compassionate about our human problems,” Trifonov told ABC News.

“Startups are a cure to a chronic issues in our world, where conglomerates are after pure profit and control.” Trifonov added, “If we win, all the 270 independent dating apps are going to win with us.”

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iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Biodegradable plastics, often found in bottles and plastic bags, may not be part of the solution to ocean pollution as once marketed, according to a United Nations report published Monday, because they don’t break down well in marine environments.

The report, written by the UN’s top environmental scientists, says although biodegradable plastics were specifically designed to “be more susceptible to degradation,” they won’t solve the problem of litter in oceans because most plastic is extremely durable.

Plastics that break down in the environment were once thought of as an alternative that could possibly reduce the amount of waste in the ocean, but the rate at which they break down depends heavily on environmental conditions, the report stated.

There is also a lack of scientific evidence that biodegradation will occur any more rapidly than unmodified polyethylene, which is non-biodegradable, it said.

In ocean settings, the principal weathering agent is through UV irradiation, which is most pronounced on shorelines. Once the plastic is in the water, it is difficult to estimate the extent of biodegradation, but it is considered to be “extremely slow” due to decreased UV exposure and lower temperatures and oxygen levels, the report said.

The report also says that many biodegradable plastics require temperatures found in industrial composters — around 122 degrees Fahrenheit — “to breakdown completely into its constituent components of water, carbon dioxide, methane, on a reasonable or practical timescale.”

And the report says that the biodegradable label encourages people to pollute.

The low density in plastics cause them to float, leading plastic debris and “microplastics” to distribute throughout the world through currents from the Arctic to the Antarctic, according to the report.

Microplastics, or particles of plastic less than 5 millimeters in diameter, are another significant problem plaguing the ocean. Most recently used for 3D printing, they’re also referred to as “microbeads,” found in personal care and cosmetic products such as toothpaste, cosmetics, cleansing agents and skin exfoliators. Last year, the state of California enacted a ban on personal care products containing microbeads, saying they get through typical water treatment plants and end up polluting waterways.

Large-scale production of plastics began in the 1950s because it presented “significant advantages” for food preservation, medical product efficacy, electrical safety and improved thermal insulation, according to the report. In 2014, 311 million tons of plastic were produced globally.

A trash vortex in the Pacific Ocean, known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch, has formed between Japan and the West Coast of the U.S. due to a significant amount of plastic, according to National Geographic.

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