AP News in Brief at 12:04 a.m. EST

Actress Debbie Reynolds, 84, dies a day after daughter

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Debbie Reynolds, who lit up the screen in “Singin’ in the Rain’ and other Hollywood classics despite a tumultuous life, has died a day after losing her daughter, Carrie Fisher. Reynolds was 84.

Her son, Todd Fisher, said Reynolds died Wednesday.

“She’s now with Carrie and we’re all heartbroken,” Fisher said from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where his mother was taken by ambulance earlier Wednesday.

He said the stress of his sister’s death on Tuesday “was too much” for Reynolds. Carrie Fisher, who was 60, had been hospitalized since Friday.

“She said, ‘I want to be with Carrie,'” her son said. “And then she was gone.”


Reactions to the death of actress Debbie Reynolds Wednesday

Reaction to the death of actress Debbie Reynolds Wednesday at 84, a day after her daughter, Carrie Fisher, died:

— “Debbie Reynolds, a legend and my movie mom. I can’t believe this happened one day after Carrie. My heart goes out to Billie.” — Albert Brooks, on Twitter.

— “Debbie went to be with Carrie. She always worried about her. Carrie left too soon and now they are together again. My heart is literally broken…. An inspiration on every level. A Legend of course, the epitome of clean cut American optimism, dancing with Gene Kelly as an equal, a warrior woman who never stopped working.” — Actress Debra Messing, from a lengthy statement on Instagram. Reynolds played Messing’s mother on the TV show “Will and Grace.”

— “She was beautiful and generous. It seems like only yesterday she was having lunch here at the house and we were discussing the possibility of working together in a new show.” —Carol Channing.

— “I was blessed to work with this remarkable woman for 45 almost 50 years. That makes for a very rare bond and unique relationship. She was generous to a fault, never caring who got the laugh from the audience. I Will always love her.” —Rip Torn, who worked with Reynolds for decades in her Las Vegas stage show.


Fans create impromptu Walk of Fame star for Carrie Fisher

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Fans seeking to pay tribute to Carrie Fisher have created an impromptu star for the actress on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame.

Fisher fans 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.

Fisher did not have an official star on the Walk of Fame, but administrators of the Los Angeles tourist attraction are allowing the tribute temporarily to give fans a place to mourn.

Walk of Fame stars are granted by a committee overseen by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce. Celebrities must apply to be considered and be willing to pay a $30,000 fee.

There has also been a run on Fisher’s books since the “Star Wars” actress and humorist died on Tuesday.


10 Things to Know for Thursday

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Thursday:


Debbie Reynolds, the mother of Carrie Fisher and star of the 1952 classic ‘Singin’ in the Rain,’ dies at 84, one day after Fisher, her son said.


The secretary of state accuses Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy and rejects the notion that U.S. abandoned Israel with the recent U.N. vote.


In parting shot, Kerry tears into Israel over settlements

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry tore into Israel on Wednesday for settlement-building, accusing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of dragging Israel away from democracy and forcefully rejecting the notion that America had abandoned Israel with a controversial U.N. vote. Netanyahu accused the Obama administration of a biased bid to blame Israel for failure to reach a peace deal.

In a farewell speech, Kerry laid out a two-state vision for peace that he won’t be in office to implement, but that the U.S. hoped might be heeded even after President Barack Obama’s term ends. He defended Obama’s move last week to allow the U.N. Security Council to declare Israeli settlements illegal, the spark that set off an extraordinary and deepening diplomatic spat between the U.S. and its closest Mideast ally.

“If the choice is one state, Israel can either be Jewish or democratic, it cannot be both, and it won’t ever really be at peace,” Kerry said in a speech that ran more than an hour, a comprehensive airing of grievances that have built up in the Obama administration over eight years but were rarely, until this month, discussed publicly.

Netanyahu pushed back in a hastily arranged televised statement in which he suggested he was done with the Obama administration and ready to deal with President-elect Donald Trump, who has sided squarely with Israel. The Israeli leader faulted Kerry for obsessing over settlements while paying mere “lip service” to Palestinian attacks and incitement of violence.

“Israelis do not need to be lectured about the importance of peace by foreign leaders,” Netanyahu said from Jerusalem.


Trump takes credit for 8,000 jobs, talks with Obama

PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — After weeks of giving only brief comments to the media, Donald Trump made a series of public statements Wednesday, applauding the return of 8,000 jobs to the U.S. and hailing his discussions with President Barack Obama.

In one of his cameos on the front steps of his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida, Trump touted plans by a Japanese mogul to bring those jobs to the United States. They could be the first of the 50,000 jobs tech billionaire Masayoshi Son promised to create after meeting with the president-elect earlier in December.

In the grand scheme of the economy, the jobs announcement is unlikely to have a major impact. Still, it’s another example of how Trump is trying to stoke voters’ belief that he is actively fighting for their well-being.

Son is the founder and chief executive of SoftBank, one of Japan’s largest technology outfits. He owns the U.S. mobile carrier Sprint, which Trump said Wednesday would be moving 5,000 jobs “back” to the United States. Son also controls OneWeb, which Trump said would hire 3,000 workers.

It was unclear whether the president-elect was referencing the Dec. 6 commitment by Son to invest $50 billion in the United States and create 50,000 jobs.


Dylann Roof won’t work to spare his life in church massacre

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof says he won’t call any witnesses or present evidence while representing himself during the punishment phase of his death penalty trial, but he is working hard to keep secret potentially embarrassing evidence about himself and his family.

Just exactly what that evidence is remains a mystery. Roof, the judge and prosecutors carefully tiptoed around describing it during a hearing Wednesday. The judge has indicated that it may be allowed during the penalty phase of the trial, which starts next week.

The same jurors who convicted Roof earlier this month of killing nine black church members in a racially motivated attack will hear from Roof as well as testimony from the families of victims. At the end of the penalty phase, the panel will decide whether Roof, who is white, should be put to death or spend the rest of his life in prison.

Roof was warned by U.S. Judge Richard Gergel that being his own lawyer was a bad idea.

“That’s your decision,” Gergel said. “I think that highlights my advice to you that you aren’t served by being your own counsel.”


With the loss of its celebrities, Gen X ponders mortality

Princess Leia was our first girl movie heroine, and we made our moms braid brunette yarn so we’d have earmuff buns for Halloween. Carol Brady of “The Brady Bunch” was the ideal mother we probably didn’t have, because our moms had to work and left us latchkey kids home alone, with TV and processed food our only companions.

Carrie Fisher and Florence Henderson — and other icons of Generation X’s youth — are now gone, stolen by the cruel thief that is 2016. The year has left the generation born between the mid-1960s and the early 1980s wallowing in memories and contemplating its own mortality.

“It’s a very melancholy time,” sighed Shelly Ransom, a 47-year-old speech-language pathologist in Darien, Connecticut. “This is really bringing back a lot of teen angsty feelings. These people are supposed to still be the voices of my generation. It’s sad to see these artists not there to be our voice.”

Or, as weary, 51-year-old Lawrence Feeney, a filmmaker from New Port Richey, Florida, put it: “You lose George Michael and Carrie Fisher in a three-day span, you feel like you’ve gotten a couple of daggers thrown at you.”

Throughout the year, office conversations, dinner party discussions and social media have exploded with incredulity, sadness and fear, as one ’80s celebrity after another died, starting in January with David Bowie.


Turkey, Russia discussing Syria cease-fire

BEIRUT (AP) — Turkey and Russia are discussing a broader Syrian cease-fire after brokering the deal that evacuated rebel-held eastern Aleppo, Syrian opposition factions said Wednesday, but a number of rebel groups say they won’t agree to anything until they get more details.

All previous attempts at enforcing a nationwide cease-fire in Syria have failed. The recent warming of ties between Russia and Turkey, who provide crucial support to opposing sides of the war, may prove to be a game changer, but the challenges are immense.

The foreign ministers of Turkey, Russia and Iran met in Moscow last week for talks on Syria that pointedly included no Syrians, indicating they prefer to pursue a grand bargain among great powers with stakes in the conflict rather than a domestic settlement between the government and the opposition.

An official with one of the factions confirmed to The Associated Press that Russian and Turkish officials were debating a cease-fire proposal that would encompass the whole of Syria. He spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks were ongoing.

Rebels have opposed previous proposals that would allow the government to continue its offensives around the outskirts of the capital, Damascus.


Final goodbye: Roll call of some of those who died in 2016

Death claimed transcendent political figures in 2016, including Cuba’s revolutionary leader and Thailand’s longtime king, but also took away royals of a different sort: kings of pop music, from Prince and David Bowie to George Michael.

Embracing Soviet-style communism, Fidel Castro, who died in November, overcame imprisonment and exile to become leader of Cuba and defy the power of the United States at every turn during his half-century rule. Perhaps befitting the controversial leader, his death elicited both tears and cheers across the Western Hemisphere.

However, shock, grief and nostalgia greeted the deaths of several giants of pop music. David Bowie, who broke musical boundaries through his musicianship and striking visuals; Prince, who was considered one of the most inventive and influential musicians of modern times; and George Michael, first a teenybopper heartthrob and then a mature solo artist with videos that played up his considerable appeal.

Among the political figures who died in 2016 was the world’s longest reigning monarch: King Bhumibol Adulyadej, who was revered in Thailand as a demigod, a father figure and an anchor of stability through decades of upheaval.

Others in the world of public affairs included former United National Secretary-General Boutros Boutros-Ghali, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, ex-senator and astronaut John Glenn, former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, former Israeli leader Shimon Peres and former U.S. first lady Nancy Reagan.