Xinhua world news summary at 0040 GMT, Dec. 5

JERUSALEM -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry landed late Wednesday evening in Israel, a spokesperson for the U.S. embassy in Israel told Xinhua.

Kerry visits the region in an attempt to push forward negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, which appear to be stuck, mainly due to Israel's ongoing construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem settlements. (Israel-Kerry-Arrival)

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WASHINGTON -- U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday said income inequality is the "defining challenge" for the United States, while a growing middle class is the engine of U. S. economic prosperity.

The rich Americans took a disproportionately large portion of wealth and the U.S. society is getting "profoundly unequal," Obama said during an event hosted by the Washington-based think tank the Center for American Progress. (US-Income)

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WASHINGTON -- The U.S. National Security Agency is gathering nearly 5 billion records a day on cellphone location data around the world, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday citing the latest leak by former defense Edward Snowden.

The Washington Post's latest report on the agency's intelligence surveillance programs cited top-secret documents provided by Snowden and interviews with U.S. intelligence officials. (US-Snowden)

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BUCHAREST -- U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry arrived in Chisinau late Wednesday on a four-hour lightning visit for talks with Moldovan leaders, including President Nicolae Timofti, Parliament Speaker Igor Corman and Prime Minister Iurie Leanca.

Kerry's visit to Chisinau took place several days after Moldova, along with Georgia, initialed last week the Association Agreement with the European Union. His visit was regarded as of utmost importance, since this is the first trip of a U.S. Secretary of State to the country in more than 20 years. (Moldova-US-Kerry)