World News

    Obama Tells Putin Russia is Clearly Breaking International Law in Ukraine

    U.S. President Barack Obama has held a 90-minute telephone conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin to express what the White House calls deep concern for what is happening in Ukraine.

    Mr. Obama told the Russian president that Russia is in clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and international law.

    President Obama said the United States is suspending participation in meetings to prepare for the G8 economic summit later this year in Sochi, Russia, which hosted the Winter Olympic Games.

    Russian news agencies say Mr. Putin told the president that Moscow reserves the right to protect ethnic Russians if there is violence in Crimea or eastern Ukraine.

    Mr. Obama said the appropriate way to address this matter is by direct engagement with the Ukrainian government and through international monitors.

    President Obama also discussed Ukraine with French President Francois Hollande and Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper. The White House said the leaders agreed that Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity must be respected.

    The Pentagon says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel spoke with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoygu Saturday. Officials say Hagel told Shoygu that without a change on the ground, Russia is risking more regional instability, global isolation, and an escalation that would threaten European and international security.

    Earlier Saturday, Russian lawmakers approved President Putin's request to send troops to Crimea. He has not yet made a decision on doing so.

    In New York, the United Nations said now is the time for "cool heads to prevail."

    Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev told the Security Council that 15,000 Russian troops are already in Crimea under the pretense of protecting Russian citizens.

    Russian Ambassador Vitaly Churkin blamed the West for ratcheting up tensions in Ukraine and backing protests that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych last month.

    He said Russia wants to know why the deal between the opposition and Mr. Yanukovych to form a new coalition government was not implemented. He said Ukraine has to return to that deal and sideline those he calls radicals.

    The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Samantha Power, said Russian actions speak louder than words. She said a Russian force in Ukraine could push the situation beyond the breaking point and again called for international mediation in Crimea.

    Ukraine has been describing what it says is an ongoing deployment of Russian troops in Crimea since Friday.

    Acting Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov said he has put the country's armed forces on combat alert. Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk is warning Russia that military intervention would mean war.



    VOA correspondent Elizabeth Arrott says unidentified soldiers and military vehicles have appeared in Crimea, well beyond their local base. She said at least a dozen were stationed outside parliament in the Crimean capital of Simferopol on Saturday.

    Crimea is a Black Sea peninsula placed under Ukrainian control in 1954 by then-Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It became part of Ukraine when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Crimea has a tiny border with Russia on its far eastern point. Most of the people living in Crimea are ethnic Russians, but the region also is home to ethnic Muslim Tartars who generally show disdain toward Russia.

    Russia has said its troop movements in Crimea, where it leases a naval base in Sevastopol, conform to agreements with Ukraine.

    Elsewhere, pro-Russian demonstrators fought with supporters of the new Ukrainian government in Ukraine's eastern city of Kharkiv Saturday. Pro-Russian demonstrations also erupted in other eastern cities.

    Ukraine's troubles began in November when ousted president Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties and economic aid from Russia.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

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

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    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.