World News

    Russian Fighter Jets Patrolling Ukraine Border

    Russia sent fighter jets to patrol its border with Ukraine on Thursday, as fast-paced developments threatened to undermine the new Ukrainian government in Kyiv.

    Gunmen seized control of government buildings in Crimea, a Ukrainian region with strong ties to Moscow and home to a Russian naval base in Sevastopol. The gunmen raised the Russian tri-color flag.

    Ukraine's acting president, Oleksandr Torchynov, on Thursday told the military leadership of the Sevastopol-based Russian Black Sea Fleet that any movements of Russian forces outside the base would be considered "military aggression."

    For its part, Crimea's parliament, whose building was among those seized by pro-Russian gunmen, voted Thursday to dismiss the region's government and to hold a referendum to determine Crimea's status in Ukraine. The referendum is set for May 25, the same day Ukraine will hold a presidential election.

    Ethnic Russians account for 58 percent of Crimea's population.

    Meanwhile, Russian news agencies reported that Moscow had granted ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych's request for personal security "on Russian territory," but provided no other details. They also reported that Mr. Yanukovych will hold a press conference Friday in the southern Russian city of Rostov-on-Don.

    In Washington, White House spokesman Jay Carney called on Russia to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity and avoid "provocative" actions.

    Earlier Friday, U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Moscow to not take any action on Ukraine that could be misinterpreted.

    In Kyiv, the parliament approved former economic minister Arseny Yatseniuk as the country's new prime minister. He accused the Yanukovych government of stealing vast sums from state coffers, leaving the country in severe financial straits.

    Mr. Yatseniuk said $70 billion in Ukrainian government money had been sent to offshore accounts over the last three years and that $37 billion of credit it had received has disappeared.

    He said, "I want to report to you. The state treasury has been robbed and is empty."

    Mr. Yanukovych released a statement to Russian news agencies from an undisclosed location saying that he still considers himself Ukraine's head of state. He has not been seen in public since Saturday, when Ukraine's parliament voted to dismiss him and set early elections for May 25.



    Crimea has been the scene of confrontations between supporters of Ukraine's new government and pro-Russia activists. The region is mainly made up of Russian speakers who support Moscow but is also home to minority Muslim Tatars who are generally anti-Russia.

    Yatseniuk is a pro-Western former foreign minister and economy minister. One of his first major jobs would be preventing the Ukrainian economy from collapse.

    The White House says it strongly supports Ukrainian leaders as they work to form a multiparty government to represent all Ukrainians. It calls a broad-based government committed to reconciliation the necessary foundation for international aid.

    Secretary of State John Kerry says the U.S. is considering $1 billion in loan guarantees for Ukraine.

    Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu says the military exercises will check "readiness to deal with crisis situations that threaten the nation's military security."

    The Kremlin did not superficially mention Ukraine. It has said it would not interfere in Ukraine's internal affairs. Ukraine is split between the pro-European west and the pro-Russian east and south.

    Anti-government demonstrations erupted three months ago in Ukraine when Mr. Yanukovych backed out of a European Union trade deal in favor of economic aid from Russia. The violence escalated last week, leaving nearly 100 people dead.

    Ukraine's interim leaders have dissolved an elite security force accused of carrying out some of those deadly attacks on protesters.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    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.
    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 Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    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.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.