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    Kerry: More US Sanctions Would Take a 'Bigger Bite' from Russian Economy

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says if Russia interferes with Ukraine's May 25 presidential election, the United States will impose more sanctions that he says will have a bigger bite on the Russian economy.

    Meeting in Washington with European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton Tuesday, Kerry said the U.S. is not going to sit idly by while Russia fans the flames of instability. He said sanctions so far have had a major impact on Russia's struggling economy, and that the U.S. and its allies have only begun.

    Ashton called the May 25 presidential election in Ukraine a really important step toward stabilization. She said the Ukrainian people will decide what Ukraine is and what it will be.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov Tuesday said the legitimacy of the election is in doubt because of Ukrainian military action in the east against pro-Russian separatists.



    Kerry dismissed that and said the right of the Ukrainian people to decide their own future is a universal value respected around the world. He said any more referendums that would split parts of Ukraine to join Russia would be bogus and unrecognized by all civilized nations.

    British Foreign Minister William Hague accused Russia Tuesday of trying to prevent or disrupt Ukraine's May 25 presidential election. And French President Francois Hollande warned of the risk of civil war if the vote is not held.

    Pro-Russian separatists control about a dozen eastern Ukrainian towns and cities, demanding the right to vote on whether to split with Ukraine and join Russia. A similar referendum in Crimea in March led to the Russian annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula and the current crisis.

    Ukrainian forces are trying to take back the towns. Russia's Foreign Ministry is calling on Ukraine to withdraw its troops from the east and open talks on ways to resolve the political crisis.

    Interim Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk accuses Russia of seeking to destroy Ukraine by engineering what he says is a "well-planned provocation" against the government.

    Russia says the new Ukrainian government is controlled by anti-Russian nationalists and neo-Nazis. It says it has the right to protect Russian speakers.

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    Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growthi
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    February 10, 2016 5:54 AM
    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
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    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
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    Video Civil Rights Pioneer Remembers Struggle for Voting Rights

    February is Black History Month in the United States. The annual, month-long national observance pays tribute to important people and events that shaped the history of African Americans. VOA's Chris Simkins reports how one man fought against discrimination to help millions of blacks obtain the right to vote
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    Video Jordanian Theater Group Stages Anti-Terrorism Message

    The lure of the self-styled “Islamic State” has many parents worried about their children who may be susceptible to the organization’s online propaganda. Dozens of Muslim communities in the Middle East are fighting back -- giving young adults alternatives to violence. One group in Jordan is using dramatic expression a send a family message. Mideast Broadcasting Network correspondent Haider Al Abdali shared this report with VOA. It’s narrated by Bronwyn Benito
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    Video Migrant Crisis Fuels Debate Over Britain’s Future in EU

    The migrant crisis in Europe is fueling the debate in Britain ahead of a referendum on staying in the European Union that may be held this year. Prime Minister David Cameron warns that leaving the EU could lead to thousands more migrants arriving in the country. Meanwhile, tension is rising in Calais, France, where thousands of migrants are living in squalid camps. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
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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 Families Flee Aleppo for Kurdish Regions in Syria

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    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

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    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
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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 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.