Authorities have arrested a suspect in the case of an alleged police impersonator who is believed to have killed two motorists in Mississippi, the Tunica County Sherriff's Office said.
James D. Willie, 28, of Sardis, Mississippi, was arrested Tuesday after police responded to a disturbance in Tunica. Authorities found Willie with a woman who claimed he raped her. Willie was later taken into custody.
Authorities said Willie had a semi-automatic handgun at the time of his arrest. State crime lab scientists determined the weapon matched the same one used in two murders in northwest Mississippi last week.
Thomas K. Schlender was found dead in his car, stopped in the median of Interstate 55, early on May 8. Three days later, Lori Anne Carswell was found dead outside her car on the shoulder of a state highway in Tunica County.
A magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit northern Japan early Friday, triggering tsunamis that caused widespread devastation and crippled a nuclear power plant. Are you in an affected area? Send an iReport. Read the full report on the quake's aftermath and check out our interactive explainer on Japan's damaged nuclear reactors.
[11:55 p.m. ET Wednesday, 12:55 p.m. Thursday in Tokyo] A Tokyo Electric Power company official said Thursday that - based on information gathered from a helicopter that flew over the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant on Wednesday - authorities believe that there is water in a key fuel pool outside one of the plant's most troubled reactors.
"We have been able to confirm that there is water in the spent nuclear fuel pool," the official told reporters about the plant's No. 4 reactor. "But we do not know how much water."
Hours earlier, the head of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission testified that spent fuel rods in Unit 4 of Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant had been exposed, resulting in the emission of "extremely high" levels of radiation.
In addition, authorities announced the number of dead from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan has risen to 5,178.
As of 10 a.m. Thursday (9 p.m. Wednesday ET), 8,606 people were missing and 2,285 were injured, the National Police Agency Emergency Disaster Headquarters said.
[11:05 p.m. ET Wednesday, 12:05 p.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Japanese Defense Minister Toshimi Kitazawa said that he and Prime Minister Naoto Kan decided early Thursday to commence the operation to drop water over the Fukushima Daiichi plant's No. 3 nuclear reactor. They also decided to send water-cannon trucks to the scene to spray water at the No. 3 reactor from the ground.
The plan to drop water from above had been aborted Wednesday, due to concerns about high radiation levels.
"We could not delay the mission any further, therefore we decided to execute it," Kitazawa told reporters.
[10:40 p.m. ET Wednesday, 11:40 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Japanese stocks rebounded slightly several hours into trading Thursday. After the Nikkei 225 index opened to a 397-point plunge, the drop was later cut to 204 points, a 2.3% decline.
[10:20 p.m. ET Wednesday, 11:20 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Helicopters carrying water made four passes over two nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant in the first airborne attempts to address overheating. The helicopters, operated by Japan's Self-Defense Forces, have made four passes over the reactors in a span of about 15 minutes around 10 a.m. Thursday. Japanese public broadcaster NHK reported that water was initially dumped on the plant's No. 3 reactor, and then was dumped on the No. 4 reactor. Each helicopter was capable of carrying 7.5 tons of water.
[9:50 p.m. ET Wednesday, 10:50 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Nuclear engineers plan Thursday afternoon to begin restoring power to the stricken nuclear complex at Fukushima, a government official said.
"Today, we are trying to restore the power supply using the power lines from outside," said the official with the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency. "This is one of the high-priority issues that we have to address."
Once the power supply has been reestablished, then the cooling system will be operated using seawater, he said. He cautioned that the process will not be immediate.
[9:37 p.m. ET Wednesday, 10:37 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Water was dropped from helicopters Thursday morning over two nuclear reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant, the first airborne attempts to address overheating inside related to emissions of radioactive material.
The helicopters, which were operated by Japan's Self-Defense Forces, made three passes over the reactors within 10 minutes before 10 a.m. Thursday. In the first two instances, water was dumped on the plant's No. 3 reactor, reported Japanese public broadcaster NHK, with the last being dumped over the No. 4 reactor.
[8:50 p.m. ET Wednesday, 9:50 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] Temperatures recorded at spent fuel pools at the Fukushima plant Tuesday reached 84.0 degrees Celsius (183 Fahrenheit) at Unit 4; 60.4 degrees C (141 F) at Unit 5 and 58.5 degrees C (137 F) at Unit 6, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.
The agency said on Wednesday that "no data" registered for Unit 4, and Unit 5 had risen to 62.7 degrees C (145 F) and Unit 6 had risen to 60.0 degrees C (140 F). The temperature of these pools is normally kept below 25 degrees Celsius (77 degrees F)
Meanwhile, the United States is sending a radiation detecting aircraft to Japan. The WC-13W Constant Phoenix can detect radioactive clouds in real time, U.S. Air Force officials said.
[8:15 p.m. ET Wednesday, 9:15 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo]Stocks in Japan fell early Thursday morning there amid fears of a nuclear crisis following the nation's catastrophic natural disaster. The Nikkei 225 index, the most prominent measure of stocks traded in Tokyo, was down 397 points, or 4.4%, shortly after the market opened. The index recovered nearly 6% on Wednesday after plunging a combined 16% during the first two trading days following last week's massive earthquake and tsunami.
[7:01 p.m. ET Wednesday, 8:01 a.m. Thursday in Tokyo] As air carriers monitor radiation concerns at Japan's Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, German airline Lufthansa and Italian carrier Alitalia have rerouted flights to and from the Tokyo area to other Japanese airports.