MOSCOW (AP) -- One Russian human rights campaigner says the country's orphans have become "small change in a political game between two states."
Activists are denouncing the decision by President Vladimir Putin today to sign a law that will ban Americans from adopting Russian children. The U.S. is the biggest destination for adopted Russian children, with more than 60,000 joining American homes in the past two decades.
Russia is retaliating for a U.S. law that imposes sanctions on Russians who are found to be human rights violators.
One popular Russian writer is comparing Putin to King Herod, who the Bible says ordered the massacre of Jewish children to avoid being supplanted by what prophesy said would be a newborn king of the Jews.
The enactment of the law puts a sudden end to the adoption prospects for more than 50 youngsters who had been preparing to join new families in the United States.
The U.S. State Department is expressing regret over Putin's decision to sign the law. It's urging Russia to let those children who have already met and bonded with U.S. families complete the adoption process.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
A 14-year-old accused of breaking into a Jenks home and murdering a woman before taking her car will be charged as a youthful offender, a judge ruled Wednesday.