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    IMF Chief Cites Uneven Global Economic Gains

    The head of the International Monetary Fund says financial conditions are improving in much of the world, but that differences are "starker than ever" between prospering and struggling economies.

    Christine Lagarde, speaking Wednesday in New York, said improvements in financial markets have not translated in some regions "into improvements in the real economy and in the lives of people."

    In her speech at the Economic Club of New York, Lagarde described the emergence of a "three-speed" global economy in which some countries, particularly in East Asia, are doing well. She referred to the United States, Sweden and Switzerland as economies on the mend, and said Europe and Japan belong to a third group that still has "some distance to travel' before recovering from the global economic crisis.

    Lagarde noted rapid and substantial progress by U.S. policy makers in repairing the world's largest economy, pointing to steady growth supported by solid financial demand. But she also warned of growing U.S. government debt, and called for a "medium-term roadmap" to reduce it.



    Lagarde said many banks in the 17-member eurozone were still operating with "not enough capital and too many bad loans on the books." Consequently, she said lower regional interest rates were not benefiting the wider economy.

    She also urged European authorities to close some banks, if necessary, as part of a push to step up banking reforms.

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    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
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    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
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    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
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    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
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    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
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    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

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    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

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    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

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    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

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    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

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    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

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    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
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    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    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 E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
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    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

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    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.