Today’s “must-reads” that reflect what the world is saying about the U.S.
Yet another U.S.-Russia adoption drama
The death of Max Shatto, a three-year-old living in Texas who was originally adopted from Russia, caused a political firestorm in Russia. Prominent politicians there accused Shatto’s parents of abusing him, which they claim is a widespread trend among adoptive American parents, and ultimately murdering him. In December of last year, Russian president Vladimir Putin signed a law banning Americans from adopting. Now a lawyer for the boy’s parents tells Radio Free Europe the bruises on Max’s body were self-inflicted, and that the child suffered from emotional disturbances:
“There is a very long story with respect to bruising which does not fit in [the Russians’] little formula,” he said. “When they go and find the bruising on the child, they immediately say, ‘Well, the parent caused it.’ [But] there’s a lengthy story with respect to the entire Russian adoption process and the child himself.”
You should be a little more worried than you are
Despite growing evidence of extinctions, polluted air and water and a drastically warming climate, a new global study reveals a worrying trend: public concern over environmental issues is the lowest it’s been in 20 years. As The Guardian reports, the U.S. was one of 22 nations polled in the survey:
“On average globally, only 49% of people said climate change was a ‘very serious’ concern, with 50% saying the same for biodiversity loss and the highest level being 58% for shortages of fresh water. The poll shows concern for most issues was rising through the noughties and declined since around 2009 when a major UN climate summit in Copenhagen failed to reach a strong deal.”
“Graham Thompson, a spokesman for Greenpeace, told the Independent: ‘The public can see that the response of our politicians is completely inadequate to the threat scientists have revealed, and that dissonance is reflected in these polls.'”
Ten Pakistanis, ten Americans, lots of good deeds
Pakistan’s Dawn.com posted a list of ten Pakistanis who are doing great things for America. This follows a recent post on, you guessed it, ten Americans doing great things for Pakistan. The magazine avoids highlighting Pakistani Americans in order to reflect on the impact of immigrants and Pakistani nationals, like Falak Sher Marri.
Scores of Pakistanis flock to America for college and graduate school; fewer go as high school exchange students. Marri, of Quetta, arrived in Minnesota with a “curiosity to learn about new cultures.” In 2010, he wrote an account of his time in America. It included disabusing Americans of the notion that Pakistani children ride camels to school, visiting the famous Mall of America, and, above all, recognising the shared values of Pakistanis and Americans.
And just for kicks…
Perhaps you know about Barack Obama’s most famous impersonator, an American named Reggie Brown. But did you know our 44th president also boasts a pretty convincing doppelgänger in China too? Check out the photo below and see if you think “Obashun” pulls it off.
As it turns out, a few other American celebrities have lookalikes in China. The most notable is the American basketball star Stephon Marbury, who helped lead the Beijing Ducks to the Chinese league title last year. On his Weibo account (think: Chinese Twitter), Marbury posted a photo of himself holding up a picture of Liang Qichao, a famous scholar from the early 20th century. The caption? “My brother in another life!”
A fan soon answered Marbury, who has become quite popular in China, with a similar photo and a caption that read: “My two brothers in another life!”
Talk about “meta!” Another Weibo user rounded out the discussion, commenting: “You guys can act in the sequel to Cloud Atlas!”