Artyom Savelyev, now 9, was sent back to Russia on a plane by his adoptive U.S. mother in 2010. The case stirred anger in Russia.
Credit Misha Japaridze / AP
Children play in an orphanage in Moscow. While some Russian officials are critical of foreign adoptions, the U.S. and Russia are finalizing an agreement designed to improve the safety and quality of adoptions of Russian children by American families.
Americans have been adopting Russian children in sizable numbers for two decades, and most of the unions have worked out well. But it remains a sensitive topic in Russia, where officials periodically point to high-profile cases of abuse or other problems.
Now, the two countries are putting the finishing touches on a new agreement governing these adoptions. It will make the process costlier and more time-consuming, but it's designed to address a host of concerns.
Some Russian officials still seem to bristle at the very thought of foreigners adopting Russian children.
After spending millions of dollars in the presidential and Senate campaigns with little to show for it, many superPACs and other outside groups are still tending their wounds. But it's too soon to write off superPACs as a waste of wealthy donors' money.
Consider, for instance, this upset in a congressional race outside Los Angeles.
President Obama, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (center) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie visit the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey's World Trade Center site for a briefing on construction progress in June. The Republican Christie and Democrat Cuomo will have to find consensus on the plan for rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy, together and with a divided Congress.
Maurice Geddie of Brooklyn's Red Hook neighborhood picks up a free turkey donated by a local grocery store. He's hoping his wife will be willing to cook it, though she's been stuck cooking for storm victims at shelters for weeks.
It's been almost a month since Superstorm Sandy slammed into the Northeast, and for many people, it means the first Thanksgiving outside of their destroyed homes or without the friends or family they usually visit.
In New York City, Thanksgiving has been mass-produced in shelters, churches and community centers where thousands upon thousands of storm victims can find free meals.
Many of them are sharing their first post-storm Thanksgiving with people who are hungry year-round.
At least two people are dead and dozens injured in a 100-vehicle pileup on Interstate 10 in southeast Texas that's being blamed on early morning fog on Thanksgiving Day.
KFDM TV reports that the dead included a man and a woman in a Chevy Suburban that was crushed by a tractor trailer. State troopers told the TV station that between 80 and 120 people were hurt; they were taken to hospitals in Beaumont, Port Arthur and Winnie. The crash occurred southwest of Beaumont, 80 miles east of Houston.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. For the fifth year now, the oral history project StoryCorps has put special attention on the day after Thanksgiving, the day often called Black Friday, StoryCorps transforms into the National Day of Listening.
Hinkley, Calif., may soon become a ghost town as residents move away from contaminated water.
Credit Gloria Hillard for NPR
Theresa Schoffstall's home — which is located just outside the boundary of the contaminated area and does not qualify for a buyout from PG&E — has been on the market for a year. Concerns for her family's health have her contemplating just walking away from the home she and her husband built 12 years ago.
This is America, where Thanksgiving is portrayed in popular culture as a time for gatherings of loving families and friends, holding hands while saying grace over a roast turkey, passing casseroles and footballs, reminiscing about the past and dreaming of the future.
But. This being America, we also know that traditions — just like every other aspect of contemporary life — become more complex the more we examine them.
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 4:20 pm
For Thanksgiving, NASA's space food experts always try to make sure astronauts get to enjoy traditional holiday fare, even if its not exactly home cooking. And being so far from home, astronauts can get pretty attached to their comfort foods.
This year, Kevin Ford, the commander of Expedition 34 and currently working at the International Space Station, says he has the ingredients to make one favorite Thanksgiving dish the NASA nutritionists may not have anticipated: Candied yams with marshmallows.
The yams are thermostablized and come in a plastic pouch.
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 2:51 am
Brandon McClain is a 17-year-old high school student who lives in one of the areas in New York City hit hardest by Superstorm Sandy. His neighborhood was without power for a long time after the storm and it seemed like help was slow in coming. So he decided to do a video documentary of his experiences.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:20 pm
Talk about your snake-bitten congressional districts.
The Thanksgiving-eve news that Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. was resigning from Congress after reports that he has bipolar disorder and is the subject of a criminal probe of his spending of campaign funds, is just the latest in a series of bad endings for those who have represented Illinois' 2nd Congressional District in Washington.
Last night, in a Division Three college basketball game, Grinnell College beat Faith Baptist 179 to 104. That is a piece of sports news we would not spend a second on, but for the individual performance of Grinnell's Jack Taylor. The 5-foot-10 inch guard scored 138 points. It's a new collegiate record and, for all we know, a new planetary record. Among the 108 shots he attempted, Taylor took 71 three-point shots and made 27 of them. And he joins us now.
Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. resigned his seat in Illinois' 2nd District on Wednesday. He resigned in a letter to House Speaker John Boehner. Jackson had been on medical leave since June, being treated for bipolar disorder. David Schaper talks to Audie Cornish.
Illinois is facing a massive pension problem with an estimated $96 billion unfunded liability for its public workers. The legislature has been unable to reach a plan to overhaul the pension system. So Governor Pat Quinn has unveiled a marketing strategy hoping to start a grassroots discussion on pension reform. The effort includes a video and a mascot, Squeezy the Pension Python. Robert Siegel and Audie Cornish tell us the snake is getting a mixed receptions from the people of Illinois.
Originally published on Fri November 30, 2012 10:50 am
The election may be over, but the bickering continues, and not just between NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin. As President Obama defends his United Nations ambassador, Republicans on Capitol Hill continue to lambast her for "misleading" reports about what happened in the aftermath of the attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Plus: Mitt Romney's "gifts" that keep on giving. And Rep. Allen West concedes in Florida.
We want to go now to a place where art and culture intersect. We've heard a lot about the shooting that took place at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin over the summer, and the questions and the soul-searching over that tragedy are still going on, both inside and outside the Sikh community. One man, though, says he has an idea to make the country a more tolerant place for Sikhs and everybody else, actually, and it comes in the form of comic strips.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, the duo of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis is breaking down barriers in rap. They talk with us about their music and its message in just a few minutes.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. Whether you call it battle fatigue or shellshock or PTSD, we've come to accept that the trauma of combat can leave profound psychological scars. But how do you describe the damage from actions that violate one's values, but don't involve trauma, injury from horrific scenes that betray core moral beliefs?
Didn't happen. But while we're on the subject, ever wonder why we carve our gobblers on the fourth Thursday of November? Hint: It's not because Thanksgiving Thursday is more alliterative than Thanksgiving Friday.
Originally published on Thu November 22, 2012 10:03 am
One micro-grant project in Detroit is gaining a lot of traction. Every month, the group Detroit SOUP hosts a dinner, and for five bucks you get soup, salad, bread and a vote to give the night's proceeds to a community project. Director Amy Kaherl talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about the power of neighbors talking to neighbors.
Over five million people in the U.S. claim some form of Native American identity, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. For Native American Heritage Month, guest host Celeste Headlee checks back in with author Anton Treuer about historic education challenges Native Americans have faced and what's being done to close the achievement gap.
Originally published on Tue December 4, 2012 5:21 pm
The last time Kathy Neal's family had a big gathering, they got into a fight about politics.
At her niece's high school graduation in May, the conversation turned to gas prices, which led Neal to argue that oil companies were not just profiteering at the expense of consumers, but getting billions in government subsidies to boot.
Everyone knows the schoolhouse version of the first Thanksgiving story: New England pilgrims came together with Native Americans to share a meal after the harvest. The original menu was something of a joint venture, but over the years, a lot of the traditional dishes have lost their native.
For those who want to create a feast that celebrates the flavors that Native Americans brought to the table, Chef Richard Hetzler has an entire menu of options from his award-winning cookbook, The Mitsitam Cafe Cookbook.