This is VOA News. Via remote, I'm Marissa Melton.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Sunday told Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelenskiy that the United States and its allies will "respond decisively" if Russia further invades Ukraine.
The call came days after Biden held a second conversation in a month with Russian President Vladimir Putin amid tensions on Russia's border with Ukraine, where Russia has massed some 100,000 troops.
Biden and Zelenskiy discussed preparations for a series of upcoming diplomatic meetings to address the crisis, this according to the White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
Zelenskiy said on Twitter that they discussed joint actions on keeping peace in Europe and preventing further escalation.
Representatives from the United States and Russia are set to hold talks on January 9 and 10 in Geneva that's to be followed by Russia-NATO Council talks and a meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
All meetings scheduled in mid-January.
A major fire ripped through South Africa's 138-year-old Parliament complex on Sunday, gutting offices and causing some ceilings to collapse at a site that has hosted some of the country's pivotal moments.
As firefighters struggled to tame the blaze, a dark plume of smoke and flames rose high into the air above the southern city of Cape Town.
A fire and rescue spokesman said about 70 firefighters were still battling the fire hours after it started in the early morning.
No injuries have been reported and Parliament itself had been closed for the holidays.
Visiting the scene, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa said a person was being held and is being questioned by police in connection with the blaze.
Police have confirmed they have detained a 51-year-old man.
From Washington, this is VOA News.