World News

Ukraine President Suspends Officials over Protest Crackdown

In a conciliatory move toward protesters, Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych has suspended his deputy security council chief and the head of the Kyiv city administration for their suspected involvement in a violent police crackdown on demonstrators last month.

Prosecutor-General Viktor Pshonka announced Saturday that the two officials , as well as the then-head of Kyiv police and his deputy, are being investigated for allegedly exceeding their authority in connection with the crackdown.

The incident occurred on the night of November 29, when police used force to disperse a pro-European Union rally in Kyiv.

Mass anti-government protests have overtaken the capital for more than three weeks since President Yanukovych decided not to sign a long-awaited trade pact with the EU in an attempt to avoid losing trade with Russia.

Ukraine's opposition leaders are calling for a new mass protest in Kyiv on Sunday, while supporters of Mr. Yanukovych are also planning a demonstration just a kilometer away.

On Saturday, thousands of government supporters rallied in the capital, where Prime Minister Mykola Azarov addressed the crowd.



Members of the opposition held direct talks with President Yanukovych Friday for the first time in more than three weeks of mass anti-government protests.

But opposition leaders emerged from the meeting, which included other political and civil society representatives, saying the president failed to meet their demands.

Among other things, the head of the Udar, or "Punch," party -- Vitaly Klitschko -- and Ukraine's other main opposition leaders are calling for the release of jailed protesters.

The Ukrainian president has proposed amnesty for those arrested in the protests. But that was not enough for the opposition, which called for Mr. Yanukovych and his government to step down.

U.S. Senators John McCain, a leading Republican, and Chris Murphy, the Democratic chairman of the Senate's Europe subcommittee, will visit Ukraine on Sunday for talks with government officials, opposition and civil society leaders.

Aides said Friday that senators issued a resolution calling for the United States to consider sanctions in case there is further violence against peaceful demonstrators.

The measure, which would be subject to approval by the Senate, said President Barack Obama's administration and the U.S. Congress should consider sanctions, including visa bans and assets freezes, against anyone responsible for the violence.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardshipi
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
May 28, 2015 6:48 PM
Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Expelled from Pakistan, Afghan Refugees Return to Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Floodwaters Recede in Houston, but Rain Continues

Many parts of Texas are recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to hit the southwestern state. Heavy rains on Monday and early Tuesday caused rivers to swell in eastern and central Texas, washing away homes and killing at least 13 people. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, floodwaters are receding slowly in the country's fourth-largest city, and there likely is to be more rain in the coming days.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video US Voters Seek Answers From Presidential Candidates on IS Gains

The growth of the Islamic State militant group in Iraq and Syria comes as the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign kicks off in the Midwest state of Iowa.   As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, voters want to know how the candidates would handle recent militant gains in the Middle East.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Film Festival Looks at Indigenous Peoples, Culture Conflict

A recent Los Angeles film festival highlighted the plight of people caught between two cultures. Mike O'Sullivan has more on the the Garifuna International Film Festival, a Los Angeles forum created by a woman from Central America who wants the world to know more about her culture.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.

VOA Blogs