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Pilgrims at Manger Square...Netanyahu lashes out at Obama ... Trump criticizes UN resolution on Israeli settlements



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BETHLEHEM, West Bank (AP) — Thousands of pilgrims and tourists from around the world together with locals are beginning Christmas celebrations in Jesus' traditional birthplace of Bethlehem. The faithful braved chilly weather outside Manger Square on Christmas Eve. Meanwhile, the top Roman Catholic cleric in the Holy Land says he's glad "at least the military war" in the Syrian city of Aleppo is over and that Christians there can celebrate Christmas "without fear."

JERUSALEM (AP) — It's a stinging rebuke to President Barack Obama. After accusing Obama of a "shameful" move at the U.N. over West Bank settlements, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he is looking forward to working with his "friend" President-elect Donald Trump. On Friday, the U.S. abstained from voting on a Security Council resolution that demanded an end to Israeli settlement building instead of casting its veto in support of its ally.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump says the decision by the U. N. Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem "will make it much harder to negotiate peace." The U.S. decision to abstain on the 14-0 vote followed months of intensely secret deliberations in Washington and a spate of fresh Israeli settlement announcements that sparked exasperation and anger from American officials.

COEBURN, Va. (AP) — A southwest Virginia woman is facing a murder charge after authorities say she crashed head-on into another car on Friday while trying to avoid a drunken-driving checkpoint, killing a Missouri mother. Police in Virginia say Samantha Dennis of Coeburn was driving an SUV that stopped after coming upon a DUI checkpoint. They say she made a U-turn and then collided with a vehicle driven by Rebecca Starling of St. Charles, Missouri.

CHICAGO (AP) — It's been snowing in Southern California today. About 2 inches have fallen in the mountains north of Los Angeles. That was enough to shut down the state's main north-south interstate for nearly four hours. Meanwhile, the northern Plains and Rocky Mountain states are bracing for serious Christmas snow. A large swath of the Dakotas is under a blizzard warning Sunday and Monday, with forecasts of heavy snow and strong winds.

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The Associated Press

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