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News Rounds: What in the world to be thankful for

Make America Fake Again. This famous painting, The First Thanksgiving 1621, shows pilgrims dressed in garb they never wore and Native Americans dressed not as the local Wampanoag but as from the Great Plains. And that dog wasn't there either. Wikimedia

As Americans gather around their Thanksgiving tables this week, some will have trouble finding something to give thanks for. A poll after the US election found 63 percent think the country is on the wrong track compared to 21 percent who think it is going in the right direction. Pessimism isn’t limited to the U.S.: A survey across 24 countries this year found, for example, that 87 percent of respondents thought poverty worldwide had increased over the past two decades. But extreme poverty has gone down from 37 percent in 1990 to less than 10 percent today, major gains have been made in reducing deaths from infectious disease and in childbirth, this year saw no major famine and so, despite some major challenges and concerns, there are reasons to give thanks.  (The Atlantic)

Seven things Americans can be grateful for on Thanksgiving – Poverty on the decline, ISIS losing ground, employment rates up, high school graduation rates up, gender pay gap shrinking…. (Christian Science Monitor)

And six more things to be thankful for, globally speaking (Vox)

Top Stories

What not to be thankful for: Syria‘s President Bashar al-Assad, aided by Russia, is accused by France of exploiting political uncertainty in the US to wage ‘total war’ against rebels. A meeting of countries opposed to Assad, including the United States, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, will take place in the coming days in Paris. (Globe and Mail)

The rebel forces in Aleppe have approved UN delivery of food, aid and medical supplies but are waiting for Russia and Syria to do the same (Reuters)

Civilians who were told by the Iraqi government to stay put in Mosul are now paying with their lives.  The battle for Mosul aims to evict the Islamic State from its last major stronghold in Iraq. Residents had been expected to rise up against IS, but they did not and are civilian casualties are mounting rapidly, fueling concern that the campaign could become a quagmire. (New York Times)

ISIS claims responsibility for truck bomb that killed more than 70 in Iraq (ABC)

Colombia sign peace agreement – again (USA Today)

Hurrican Otto threatens Nicaragua, Costa Rica (Reuters)

Modern pilgrims not welcome. Haitian immigrants finding harsh reception at the border (NPR)

Myanmar pursues ‘ethnic cleansing’ against Rohingya, UN official says (BBC)

At least 67 people killed in scaffold collapse in China (AP)

Air pollution doesn’t discriminate between rich and poor in India (New York Times)

Opinion/Blogs

Why does it still take so long to drive across Africa? (Guardian Development Pros)

A hopeful perspective on Trump’s choice for UN ambassador (UN Dispatch)

Will foreign aid be cut under the Trump Administration? (Foreign Policy)

Thanksgiving was originally a ‘liberal’ idea (Guardian)

Globalization and poverty: A Libertarian perspective (Reason)

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