JERUSALEM, Nov. 18 (UPI) -- Israeli leaders approved a 900-unit expansion of settlements in East Jerusalem, drawing a sharp rebuke from their U.S. counterparts.
An aide to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu Tuesday told Haaretz the expansion represented "a routine process" and added that the section involved, known as Gilo, was "an integral part of Jerusalem."
The Obama administration has joined Palestinians in calling for a halt to additional Jewish settlements in disputed areas, requests the Israeli leadership has ignored.
In response to Tuesday's announcement, the White House said such actions would make the resumption of peace talks between Israel and the Palestinians "more difficult."
U.S. President Barack Obama, asked about the settlements during an interview with Fox News, said the settlement expansion doesn't make Israel any safer and may cause feelings among Palestinians that could be dangerous.
Richard and Mayumi Heene, the parents of the so-called Balloon Boy, pleaded guilty Friday in a Larimer County, Colo., court, attorneys said.
Attorneys for the couple said Richard Heene pleaded guilty to a felony charge of attempting to influence a public servant as part of a deal with prosecutors that could result in him serving as much as 90 days in jail plus probation, CNN reported.
The prosecution deal could also result in Mayumi Heene, who pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of false reporting to authorities, serving probation and as much as 60 days in jail.
The charges against the Fort Collins couple arose from the infamous Oct. 15 incident in which the couple's 6-year-old son Falcon was feared to be trapped in a large, runaway helium balloon that drifted 50 miles across three counties while millions of people watched the news coverage on television.