Must-Reads from Around the World

Critics say Russia's potential ban on adoptions by Americans would overwhelm the country's orphanages, China tests the world's longest high-speed rail line and fake malaria drugs hinder progress against the disease.

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Russia’s Adoption Ban — As Russian lawmakers try to enact a prohibition on adoptions by Americans, critics are pointing out that the ban would overwhelm the country’s foster care and orphanage system, reports the New York Times. Although supporters of the ban say the U.S. government has not done enough to protect adopted Russian children, critics counter that “Russian orphanages are badly overcrowded, with children institutionalized throughout their young lives,” writes the Times. Data from Russia’s Ministry of Education and Science show that more than 650,000 children live without parental supervision, more than half a million are in foster care and upwards of 100,000 are in orphanages.

Chinese High-Speed Rail — Bloomberg reports that China tested a 1,428-mile (2,298 km) high-speed rail line — the longest in the world — as it prepares to start passenger service this week. The bullet train from Beijing to the southern city of Guangzhou can run at an average speed of 186 m.p.h. and it will shorten rail travel time between the two cities from 24 hours to eight. In July 2011, a high-speed train crash killed 40 people in the city of Wenzhou and the Chinese government has since introduced new safety measures. China’s railway infrastructure budget was increased from 406 billion yuan ($65 billion) at the beginning of this year to 516 bil. yuan ($82 bil.).

Counterfeit Drugs — Public health officials say that fake malaria drugs, most of which are believed to have come from China, are hindering progress against the deadly but treatable disease, reports the Guardian. “Some pills,” according to the Guardian, “contain no active ingredients, some are partial strength and some the wrong formulation entirely.” Even doctors are unable to differentiate real malaria drugs from counterfeit and substandard ones, which have “diluted drug efficacy, potentially set back life-saving gains… and opened the doors to new dangers, including drug-resistant parasites,” writes the British daily.