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Orphans In Middle Of Russian Political Dispute With U.S.

U.S. adoption advocacy groups are appealing to Russian President Vladimir Putin not to sign a law that would bar adoptions by Americans. More than 60,000 Russians have been adopted by Americans over the last two decades, and more than a thousand are now in the process of being adopted. Russian lawmakers proposed the ban to retaliate over a measure by the U.S. Congress to impose visa bans on Russians accused of human rights violations.
NPR

EPA Chief Announces Resignation

After a rough and tumble four years, Lisa Jackson announced Thursday that she is stepping down as head of the Environmental Protection Agency.
NPR

With Fiscal Cliff Looming, Washington Scrambles For Deal

Audie Cornish talks with NPR's David Welna about the latest on negations to avert the so-called fiscal cliff.
NPR

Florida Becomes No. 1 In Concealed Weapons Permits

Florida has hit a milestone: It has become the first state to issue 1 million concealed weapons permits. Some Florida officials say that's a testament to an efficient process and Floridians' love of the Second Amendment. Others say the law is too lax and an invitation to violence.
NPR

An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

It was the warmest year on record and brought a series of extreme weather events, from wildfires and floods to drought and a devastating derecho. Polls show a big jump this year in the number of people connecting such disasters with climate change.
NPR

Woman Who Allegedly Posed As Newtown Victim's Aunt Is Arrested

Authorities say Nouel Alba of the Bronx pretended to be a relative of a 6-year-old victim and collected donations for a "funeral fund." When confronted about it, they allege, she lied to FBI agents. So far, she's only been charged with lying to authorities. Other charges could follow.
NPR

As Families Change Shape, Societies May, Too

The family has long been the central unit of many societies. But now, people around the world are marrying less and having fewer children. By 2050, seniors may outnumber children worldwide. Geographer Joel Kotkin shares a new report outlining the economic, political and cultural implications of the changes underway in the traditional family unit.

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