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Kerry, Netanyahu trade barbs...Palestinians open to peace talks if Israel stops building settlements...Sinkhole strikes Pa. city



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry is blasting Israel for expanding its settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. In a farewell speech at the State Department, he accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy. Netanyahu fired back, saying Kerry "attacked the only democracy in the Middle East." And he said, "Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders."

UNDATED (AP) — Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD' ah-BAHS') says he is ready to resume peace talks with Israel "on the basis of international law." He says that includes the U.N. Security Council resolution passed last week over Israel's objections declaring Israel's settlement construction illegal.

BETHLEHEM, Pa. (AP) — A sinkhole has collapsed part of a Pennsylvania city street and a gas leak believed to be caused by a ruptured main has forced the evacuation of several homes. The Bethlehem Fire Department says a four-block area has been closed to traffic and about 30 residents had to leave their homes. A utility worker was injured when he fell into the hole. Bethlehem is about 70 miles north of Philadelphia.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — The University of Nevada's Seismological Laboratory says a series of moderate earthquakes that struck early today near the California-Nevada line were felt more than 200 miles away in San Francisco and Las Vegas. Two of the quakes were measured at magnitude 5.7 and one at 5.5. The Mineral County Sheriff's Office hasn't received any reports of injuries or significant damage, but the seismic activity did cause a rock slide in the area.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans who want to pay tribute to Carrie Fisher have created an impromptu star for the actress on Hollywood's Walk of Fame. They took over a blank star on Hollywood Boulevard and used paste-on letters to spell out her name and the phrase "May the force be with you always." Candles and flowers surround the star. The "Star Wars" actress died yesterday at age 60.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

The Associated Press

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