Far from the fairy tale

·6 min read

Joe Biden's off to Asia for his first time as president. The PGA Championship cranked up. And some Florida high school graduates are seriously twinspirational.

👋 Heyo! Laura here, with Thursday's news, just for you.

But first, how about a Big Mac? 🍔 Donald Gorske is celebrating his 50-year anniversary not with his wife, nor with his job, but with his love for McDonald's Big Macs. He's eaten one almost every day since 1972.

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Broken adoptions, shattered promises

On average, each day, 12 adoptions fail in the United States, a USA TODAY investigation found. And that is an undercount. While the majority of adoptions in the U.S. remain intact, USA TODAY found that tens of thousands of children suffer the collapse of two families: their birth family and their adoptive family. Those failures occur across the spectrum of adoption, affecting children adopted internationally, from foster care, through private agencies and by relatives. More than 66,000 adoptees ended up in the foster care system between 2008 and 2020, according to a first-of-its-kind USA TODAY analysis of federal and state data. Read more here.

Demetrius Napolitano in his Harlem, N.Y. apartment. Demetrius Napolitano was 5 when he moved into what would become his adoptive home. He told USA TODAY he was removed from that home at 13 amid allegations of abuse. Hurting, angry, the New York teen cycled through 25 foster care placements and five high schools until he aged out of the system.  Now 27 years-old, Napolitano is launching 'Fostering Meditation,' a nonprofit organization to help youth in foster care heal from past trauma and adverse life experiences
Demetrius Napolitano in his Harlem, N.Y. apartment. Demetrius Napolitano was 5 when he moved into what would become his adoptive home. He told USA TODAY he was removed from that home at 13 amid allegations of abuse. Hurting, angry, the New York teen cycled through 25 foster care placements and five high schools until he aged out of the system. Now 27 years-old, Napolitano is launching 'Fostering Meditation,' a nonprofit organization to help youth in foster care heal from past trauma and adverse life experiences

Younger kids can get boosted soon

Got plans this weekend? A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention scientific advisory committee voted Thursday to recommend a third dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children aged 5 to 11, and director Dr. Rochelle Walensky is expected to quickly sign off on the recommendation, meaning parents could begin getting their children booster doses as early as the weekend. As it becomes increasingly clear that vaccine protection against infection wanes over time, the booster shot will give millions of kids the opportunity for increased protection against COVID-19. The decision also means immunocompromised children who have already received a third dose would be eligible to receive a fourth shot. The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only COVID-19 vaccine thus far authorized for younger children.

7-year-old Jack Carlson, middle, holds up a vaccine sticker along with siblings Brantley Carlson, 9, and Amelia Carlson, 11, while at a vaccine clinic Thursday morning with their mother, Amber Carlson. All three children got their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccine becoming some of the first kids in Topeka to receive the vaccine after it became available for their age group. (Via OlyDrop)
7-year-old Jack Carlson, middle, holds up a vaccine sticker along with siblings Brantley Carlson, 9, and Amelia Carlson, 11, while at a vaccine clinic Thursday morning with their mother, Amber Carlson. All three children got their first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 pediatric vaccine becoming some of the first kids in Topeka to receive the vaccine after it became available for their age group. (Via OlyDrop)

What everyone's talking about

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Biden's headed to Asia

After months of focusing on the biggest conflict in Europe since World War II, President Joe Biden embarks Thursday on a five-day trip to Asia, turning his attention to a region of the world he had previously hoped to prioritize. Russia's invasion of Ukraine won’t be far from mind, however, as Biden visits South Korea and Japan, meeting with leaders of those nations as well as the heads of state from Australia and India. The trip will be another opportunity for Biden to showcase the global solidarity he has helped build for Ukraine and to repeat his often-argued case for democracy over authoritarianism. Here's what to expect from Biden's first presidential trip to Asia.

Senate OKs $40 billion in aid to Ukraine

The Senate approved more than $40 billion in additional humanitarian and military assistance for Ukraine on Thursday, as the last aid package was expected to run out this week. The bill, which now heads to President Joe Biden for his signature, is triple the amount of aid the U.S. has already committed to the war-torn country trying to beat back Russia's invasion. It passed 86-11, with most Republicans joining every Democrat in approving the bill.

👉 More news: Biden greets leaders of Sweden, Finland and backs their NATO bids; POW pleads for forgiveness from Ukraine widow. Thursday's latest updates.

Iryna Martsyniuk, 50, stands next to her house, heavily damaged after a Russian bombing in Velyka Kostromka village, Ukraine, Thursday, May 19, 2022. Martsyniuk and her three young children were at home when the attack occurred in the village, a few kilometers from the front lines, but they all survived unharmed.
Iryna Martsyniuk, 50, stands next to her house, heavily damaged after a Russian bombing in Velyka Kostromka village, Ukraine, Thursday, May 19, 2022. Martsyniuk and her three young children were at home when the attack occurred in the village, a few kilometers from the front lines, but they all survived unharmed.

PGA Championship gets started

The 104th PGA Championship got started Thursday, with the world's biggest stars in golf competing for the Wanamaker Trophy at Southern Hills in Tulsa, Oklahoma. However, two of the biggest names in men's golf will not be on the field. Defending champion Phil Mickelson, who became the oldest golfer to win a major title at age 50, has decided not to participate. And 2020 U.S. Open champion Bryson DeChambeau withdrew on Wednesday as he continues to recover from wrist surgery. There is still plenty of star power in the field, as four-time PGA champion Tiger Woods will be playing in the tournament's highest-profile grouping with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth for the first two rounds. Here's how and when you can watch.

⛳️ PGA Championship live updates: Tiger Woods falters late, appears to favor injured leg. Catch up with the latest here.

Tiger Woods tees off at the 12th tee during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament.
Tiger Woods tees off at the 12th tee during the first round of the PGA Championship golf tournament.

Real quick

🎓 Twinspirational graduates

These smarty-pants kids are twinning at life! Twin sisters from Tallahassee, Surabhi and Sandhya Kumar, share the same birthday and the same parents. They took the same classes in high school and even have some of the same friends. They also share the title of valedictorian for Chiles High School’s graduating class of 2022 – a first in the school's history. They'll take different paths when they're off to college: They're both studying cell and molecular biology, but Surabhi is headed to Yale University and wants to become a physician, while Sandhya is going to Harvard, and wants to be a physician-scientist. Meanwhile, down in Tampa, identical twins Alex and Dane Deevers, 18, graduated from Wharton High School with whopping 9.12 GPAs, earning them the title of co-salutatorians. They both plan to go to the University of Florida. Alex wants to become a doctor, while Dane wants to study engineering and physics, their mother said.

Twin sisters and co-valedictorians at Chiles High School, Surabhi Kumar, who will be attending Yale, and Sandhya, who will be attending Harvard, pose for a photo together Tuesday, April 5, 2022.
Twin sisters and co-valedictorians at Chiles High School, Surabhi Kumar, who will be attending Yale, and Sandhya, who will be attending Harvard, pose for a photo together Tuesday, April 5, 2022.

A break from the news

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Biden's trip to Asia, COVID-19 vaccine boosters for kids, Ukraine aid, high school grads. It's Thursday's news.

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