NO U.S. VETO AS SETTLEMENTS CONDEMNED
united nations» Ina striking rupture with past practice, the United States allowed the U.N. Security Council on Friday to condemn Israeli settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem as a “flagrant violation” of international law. In doing so, the outgoing Obama administration brushed aside Donald Trump’s demands that the U.S. exercise its veto and provided a climax to years of icy relations with Israel’s leadership.
The decision to abstain from the council’s 14-0 vote is one of the biggest American rebukes of its longstanding ally. And it could have significant ramifications for the Jewish state, potentially hindering Israel’s negotiating position in future peace talks. Given the world’s widespread opposition to settlements, the action will be almost impossible for anyone, including Trump, to reverse.
Nevertheless, Trump vowed via Twitter: “As to the U.N., things will be different after Jan. 20th.”
Rockettes to perform at inauguration. The Radio
City Rockettes will be dancing at the presidential inauguration next month, but not everyone is kicking up their heels at the booking. One of the famed dancers took to Instagram to say she was “embarrassed and disappointed” by the gig, triggering calls for a boycott by some on social media.
Trump welcomes “nice” letter from Putin after nuclear vow B
west palm beach, fla.» After months of promising to engage more with Russia, Donald Trump vowed to enhance America’s nuclear capabilities, admonishing Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday that he hopes both global powers can restore collaboration so that “we do not have to travel an alternate path.”
Trump on Friday passed along a “very nice letter” that his transition team said was sent to him by Putin. It urges Trump to act “in a constructive and pragmatic manner” to “restore the framework of bilateral cooperation.”
More states consider working around the Electoral College
B hartford, conn.» Frustrated after seeing another candidate secure the presidency without winning the national popular vote, mostly Democratic lawmakers in several capitals want their states to join a 10-year-old movement to work around the Electoral College. In states including Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New Mexico, legislators have said they plan to introduce legislation that would require their state’s Electoral College voters cast ballots for the presidential candidate who earns the most votes nationwide, regardless of statewide results.
U.S. warns of possible attacks on churches, holiday gatherings
B washington» Federal officials warned law enforcement authorities across the nation Friday that Islamic State sympathizers are continuing to call for attacks on churches and other holiday gathering sites. The warning was issued after a publicly available list of U.S. churches was posted on a militants’ social media site. FBI spokesman Andrew Ames said U.S. citizens are advised to maintain awareness of their surroundings and report suspicious activity.
Affidavit: Road-rage killing suspect said car was too close B
little rock, ark.» A Little Rock man who fired his gun into a car, striking and killing a 3-year-old boy, did so because he thought the driver of that vehicle was following him too closely, police said in an affidavit released Friday following the suspect’s arrest. Gary Eugene Holmes, 33, turned himself in at police headquarters Thursday night, police said.