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U.S. criticizes Netanyahu over 'ethnic cleansing'

Israel

U.S. criticizes Netanyahu over 'ethnic cleansing'

U.S. officials condemned a video posted Friday by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that accused the Palestinians of wanting to commit "ethnic cleansing" by ridding the West Bank of Jews. Netanyahu asserted that the Palestinians would not allow Jews to live in a future Palestinian state — a charge Palestinians say is false. In his video Netanyahu said any demands that Jews leave their West Bank settlements was "outrageous." State Department spokeswoman Elizabeth Trudeau strongly criticized Netanyahu's assertions in a news conference Friday in Washington. "We obviously strongly disagree with the characterization that those who oppose settlement activity or view it as an obstacle to peace are somehow calling for ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank," Trudeau said. Palestinians want West Bank land as part of a future state.

Bangladesh: A boiler explosion in a cigarette packaging factory outside Dhaka enveloped the five-story building in flames Saturday, killing 23 people, officials said. It was the latest in a series of industrial disasters in the past several years in Bangladesh.

Saudi Arabia: Close to 2 million people from around the world began performing the first rites of the Islamic hajj pilgrimage on Saturday, which calls for entering into a state of physical and spiritual purity and circling the cube-shaped Kaaba with their palms facing upward in supplication and prayer.

Madison, Wis.: Wisconsin's attorney general on Friday appealed the overturned conviction of a man accused of helping his uncle kill a woman in a case profiled in the popular Netflix series Making a Murderer. A federal magistrate judge ruled in August that investigators tricked Brendan Dassey into confessing that he helped his uncle rape and kill photographer Teresa Halbach in 2005.

Times wires

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