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    Ukraine Calls Up Reservists as PM Warns of Looming 'Disaster'

    Ukraine's interim government ordered a full military mobilization Sunday, in an effort to counter what its new prime minister says is a Russian act of war.

    In an address to parliament, Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk warned that "we are on the brink of disaster." He spoke as Russian troops bolstered their presence on Ukraine's Crimean peninsula, and Western governments issued repeated condemnations of the Russian deployments.

    With Russian forces surrounding Ukrainian airports and military bases, Germany said Russian President Vladimir Putin has agreed with Chancellor Angela Merkel to set up a fact-finding mission on Ukraine.

    A German government spokesman did not provide details. But he said the mission and an accompanying "contact group" aimed at generating Ukrainian-Russian dialogue could be led by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe -- the continent's largest conflict management and crisis prevention group.



    Earlier Sunday, Russian news agencies said President Vladimir Putin told U.S. President Barack Obama late Saturday that Moscow reserves the right to protect ethnic Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

    In Kyiv, prosecutors have opened a treason case against the newly appointed head of Ukraine's Black Sea fleet, after he renounced his post and swore allegiance to pro-Russian leaders in Crimea. Authorities said Admiral Denis Berezovsky, appointed Saturday, offered no resistance later in the day when his headquarters in Sevastopol were surrounded by Russian troops.

    Elsewhere Sunday, Russia's Interfax news agency quoted Crimean parliament speaker Volodymyr Konstanynov as saying parliament will decide Monday on the date of a Crimean referendum that will give voters a choice between independence from Ukraine, continued autonomy within Ukraine or annexation by Russia. The vote was originally set for May 25, but the report said it could be moved up to March 30.

    In Washington, President Obama spoke with British Prime Minister David Cameron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Polish President Bronislaw Komorowski in a separate phone calls. The leaders expressed ``grave concern'' over Russia's intrusion into Ukraine.

    U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry blasted the Russian deployments, calling them "an incredible act of aggression." He warned of potential economic sanctions against Moscow for military actions he likened to "19th century" behavior on a "completely trumped-up pretext." Officials in Washington say Kerry will travel to Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with its new leaders and lawmakers, and to restate U.S. economic and diplomatic support for Ukraine.

    Also Sunday, dozens of protesters gathered outside the Russian Embassy in Washington D.C. to demand Russians leave Ukraine alone.

    Ukraine's top security official, Andriy Paruby, says military reservists are mobilized to "ensure the security and territorial integrity of Ukraine." But many Western analysts are questioning the effectiveness of the call-up, saying Ukraine's limited military capabilities are no match for Russian military might.

    At the United Nations, the Secretary-General has asked his deputy Jan Eliasson to travel to Ukraine immediately to ascertain the situation on the ground.

    Ukrainian Ambassador Yuriy Sergeyev said 15,000 Russian troops are already in Crimea. His Russian counterpart, Vitaly Churkin, blamed the West for ratcheting up tensions in Ukraine and backing protests that ousted President Viktor Yanukovych last month.

    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 Tatars who generally show disdain for Russia.

    Ukraine's troubles began in November when President Yanukovych backed out of a trade deal with the European Union in favor of closer ties and economic aid from Russia. The move triggered weeks of pro-Western demonstrations in Kyiv and elsewhere in Ukraine, and forced the pro-Russian Yanukovych to flee the capital in late February.

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    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
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    July 28, 2016 2:16 AM
    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
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    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
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    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
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    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
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    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
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    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
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    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
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    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
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    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
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    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
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    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

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