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    EU Freezes Assets of 18 Ukrainians in Misuse of State Funds

    The European Union says it is freezing the financial assets in Europe of 18 Ukrainians it says misused the Kyiv government's state funds.

    The EU's foreign ministers approved the list Wednesday but withheld the names for a day before their official publication in the EU's legal journal, so the Ukrainians would not have a last chance to withdraw their assets. The sanctions will be effective for a year.

    Sources report that ousted Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych could be on the EU list. Switzerland and Liechtenstein, two European nations outside the group of 28 EU countries, had already frozen his assets in their countries, along with the holdings of 19 other Ukrainian officials.

    The EU officials said they hope to recover the assets and return the money to Ukraine's new government.

    Meanwhile, the EU's executive arm said it has agreed on a $15 billion package of loans and grants for the debt-ridden Ukraine government.

    European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said the money is aimed at reforming the Kyiv government.



    "It is a package designed to assist a committed, inclusive and reforms-oriented Ukrainian government.''



    Barroso said Ukraine's standoff with Russia in the Crimean peninsula has "shocked us all and reminded us that principles that we cherish, like peace, cannot be taken for granted."

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    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
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    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
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    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

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