World News

    Khodorkovsky in Germany Following Release From Russian Prison

    Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky arrived in Berlin Friday after being released from a Russian prison. He left Russia just hours after President Vladimir Putin signed a pardon for him, ending more than 10 years of detention for tax evasion and embezzlement.

    The former Yukos oil company head - viewed by many as a political prisoner - was greeted by former German foreign minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher at Berlin's Schoenefeld airport.

    Khodorkovsky said in a statement after his release Friday that he asked the Russian president on November 12 to pardon him in connection with "family circumstances" and that he was "glad" the response was positive. Khodorkovsky said, "The issue of admission of guilt was not raised.

    Russia's federal prison service said Friday that Khodorkovsky had sought permission to travel to Germany where his mother has been receiving medical treatment.

    Mr. Putin said earlier Friday on his website that he was pardoning the longtime Kremlin critic for humanitarian reasons.



    The White House welcomed the pardon, calling it a "humanitarian gesture" and "a positive development for Russian society."

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry released a statement welcoming the release and urging Russia to establish a transparent, independent and reliable judicial system.

    U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden voiced concern about what she described as "politically motivated investigations and selective prosecutions in Russia."

    President Putin first announced his intention to free Khodorkovsky Thursday during a lengthy news conference that covered a wide range of topics. At that time, he said Khodorkovsky had, for the first time, requested a pardon because his mother is ill.

    Mr. Putin also said two members of the Pussy Riot punk rock band will be freed on amnesty.

    His announcements come ahead of Russia hosting the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi in February. The lead-up to the event has put Russia's human rights record in the spotlight.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trendi
    X
    May 27, 2016 5:57 AM
    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Chinese Americans for Trump Going Against National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese-American Youth Optimistic About Obama's Visit to Vietnam

    U.S. President Barack Obama's visit to Vietnam later this month comes at a time when Vietnam is seeking stronger ties with the United States. Many Vietnamese Americans, especially the younger generation, are optimistic Obama’s trip will help further reconciliation between the two former foes. Elizabeth Lee has more from the community called "Little Saigon" located south of Los Angeles.
    Video

    Video First-generation, Afghan-American Student Sets Sights on Basketball Glory

    Their parents are immigrants to the United States. They are kids who live between two worlds -- their parents' homeland and the U.S. For many of them, they feel most "American" at school. It can be tricky balancing both worlds. In this report, produced by Beth Mendelson, Arash Arabasadi tells us about one Afghan-American student who seems to be coping -- one shot at a time.
    Video

    Video Newest US Citizens, Writing the Next Great Chapter

    While universities across the United States honor their newest graduates this Friday, many immigrants in downtown Manhattan are celebrating, too. One hundred of them, representing 31 countries across four continents, graduated as U.S. citizens, joining the ranks of 680,000 others every year in New York and cities around the country.
    Video

    Video Vietnam Sees Strong Economic Growth Despite Incomplete Reforms

    Vietnam has transformed its communist economy to become one of the world's fastest-growing nations. While the reforms are incomplete, multinational corporations see a profitable future in Vietnam and have made major investments -- as VOA's Jim Randle reports.
    Video

    Video Qatar Denies World Cup Corruption

    The head of Qatar’s organizing committee for the 2022 World Cup insists his country's bid to host the soccer tournament was completely clean, despite the corruption scandals that have rocked the sport’s governing body, FIFA. Hassan Al-Thawadi also said new laws would offer protection to migrants working on World Cup construction projects. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
    Video

    Video Infrastructure Funding Puts Cambodia on Front Line of International Politics

    When leaders of the world’s seven most developed economies meet in Japan next week, demands for infrastructure investment world wide will be high on the agenda. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push for “quality infrastructure investment” throughout Asia has been widely viewed as a counter to the rise of Chinese investment flooding into region.
    Video

    Video Democrats Fear Party Unity a Casualty in Clinton-Sanders Battle

    Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton claimed a narrow victory in Tuesday's Kentucky primary even as rival Bernie Sanders won in Oregon. Tensions between the two campaigns are rising, prompting fears that the party will have a difficult time unifying to face the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Portrait of a Transgender Marriage: Husband and Wife Navigate New Roles

    As controversy continues in North Carolina over the use of public bathrooms by transgender individuals, personal struggles with gender identity that were once secret are now coming to light. VOA’s Tina Trinh explored the ramifications for one couple as part of trans.formation, a series of stories on transgender issues.
    Video

    Video Amerikan Hero Flips Stereotype of Middle Eastern Character

    An Iranian American comedian is hoping to connect with American audiences through a film that inverts some of Hollywood's stereotypes about Middle Eastern characters. Sama Dizayee reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora