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Kerry talks Mideast ... Russian embassy in Damascus attacked ... Carrie Fisher books best-sellers


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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is defending the U.S. refusal to block a United Nations resolution that called Israeli settlements in occupied territories a violation of international law. In a speech at the State Department, Kerry said the U.N. vote was "in accordance with" U.S. values. Kerry also said that a two-state solution is the "only way to achieve a just and lasting peace" between Israel and the Palestinians.

BEIRUT (AP) — Russia says its embassy in the Syrian capital has been hit by mortar fire. The Foreign Ministry says a mortar round landed in the embassy courtyard in Damascus without exploding, and another fell in the vicinity. Russian officials blamed the attack on "extremists" opposed to a peaceful settlement of Syria's conflict. Russia is a key ally of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

BERLIN (AP) — German authorities have detained a Tunisian man they think may have been involved in last week's truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin. Prosecutors say the 40-year-old's telephone number was found in the cellphone of Anis Amri, a fellow Tunisian believed to have driven a truck into the market, killing 12 people. Amri died in a shootout with Italian police.

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Dylann Roof has told a judge he plans on calling no witnesses and presenting no evidence to try to persuade a jury to spare his life for killing nine black church worshippers in a hate crime. Roof told the judge at a hearing in Charleston, South Carolina, he still plans to act as his own lawyer when the penalty phase of his federal death penalty trial begins next Tuesday.

NEW YORK (AP) — There's been a run on Carrie Fisher's books a day after the "Star Wars" actress and humorist died in Los Angeles. Fisher's book "The Princess Diarist" is on top of Amazon's list of best-selling books. "Wishful Drinking" and "Postcards From the Edge" were also in Amazon's top 10.

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