World News

    West Calls for Direct Talks in Russia-Ukraine Crisis

    The United States, Britain, and Ukraine are calling for direct talks between Ukraine and Russia, saying they are crucial to resolving the conflict in Ukraine's Crimean region.

    The foreign ministers of those three countries, including U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, issued a joint statement Wednesday after talks in Paris. They also called for international observers to be deployed immediately in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, near the Russian border.

    Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov was also in Paris for the talks by the so-called Budapest agreement group, but did not attend the meeting. Under the 1994 agreement, the United States, Britain and Russia are to support Ukraine's territorial integrity.

    The State Department said Kerry spoke privately with Lavrov and urged him to engage in talks with his new counterpart from Ukraine, interim foreign minister Andriy Deshchytsia.

    Meanwhile, NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announced the alliance will review its cooperation with Russia, while increasing its engagement with Ukraine's civilian and military leadership.



    He also said NATO has suspended planning for a joint mission with Russia to protect a U.S. ship that will destroy Syrian chemical weapons.

    British Foreign Secretary William Hague said earlier the United States and Britain are pursuing "every diplomatic opportunity" to bring Russian and Ukrainian officials into contact with each other.

    Hague said there will be "costs and consequences" for Russia if diplomatic progress is not made. He said Russia understand that its pattern of intervening in countries like Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova will change its relationship with European nations.

    Meanwhile, Russian President Vladimir Putin was quoted as saying he does not want the "political tension" between Russian and Ukraine to detract from economic cooperation between the two countries.

    Western leaders have been calling for a de-escalation of tensions sparked when Russian forces moved into Ukraine's Crimean peninsula late last week. The West has suggested the crisis could be resolved if Russia pulls back its forces to their bases on the Black Sea and allows in international monitors.

    But Lavrov said Wednesday that Russia cannot order pro-Russian armed forces in Crimea, which he described as "self-defense" forces, back to bases, because they are not Russian forces.

    And he said allowing international monitors into Crimea is not Russia's decision, but the decision of Ukrainian and Crimean authorities.

    Ukraine's new prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk told the Associated Press he would like a special task force established to discuss Crimea's status.



    "Crimea is, was, and will be an integral part of the state of Ukraine. We believe that we need to establish a task force to establish what kind of additional autonomy Crimea could get."



    He blamed Mr. Putin for the region's current unrest and said Ukrainian leaders "cannot figure out" why Mr. Putin has sent Russian troops into Crimea. He expressed fear that Russia could expand its presence to other Russian-speaking parts of Ukraine.

    Crimea is set to hold a referendum on its future status on March 30. Ethnic Russians make up nearly 60-percent of the peninsula's population.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United Statesi
    X
    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    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.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    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.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    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.
    Video

    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.
    Video

    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.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora