Putin signs ban on U.S. adoptions
Top news: Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law a bill that makes it illegal for Americans to adopt Russian children. Russian lawmakers had initially drafted a law that mirrored the U.S. Magnitsky Act -- which bars entry to officials accused of involvement in the death of whistleblowing lawyer Sergei Magnitsky -- but additional restrictions on adoption and NGO activity were tacked onto the bill. The law, which goes into effect on Jan.1, is likely to strain the already rocky relationship between Russia and the United States.
Last year, Americans adopted close to 1,000 Russians, according to U.S. State Department figures, and the new law would halt the pending adoption of 46 children. A State Department spokesman said the United States was "concerned" by the new law, while U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul tweeted that it "saddens" him.
China: The Standing Committee of the National People's Congress issued new regulations on Friday, further restricting Internet use. The new rules require websites to assume responsibility for deleting forbidden content and compel Chinese citizens to give their real names to Internet providers.[view whole blog post ]