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THREE STORIES IN THE KEY OF: US-STYLE THANKSGIVINGS AROUND THE WORLD

THREE STORIES IN THE KEY OF: US-STYLE THANKSGIVINGS AROUND THE WORLD

Many countries around the world observe some sort of autumn harvest festival but some, for various reasons, have actually adopted their own versions of the US Thanksgiving tradition. Here’s a global Thanksgiving sampler dish from Kevin Allison:


Liberia: Beginning in the 1820s, thousands of free blacks and former slaves set out from the US for the new colony of Liberia, which had been established by the American Colonization Society, an unlikely coalition of northern abolitionists and southern slaveholders founded to promote the migration of African-Americans to Africa (or, alternatively, their deportation from the United States). Within a few decades, most of the colony’s original settlers had succumbed to disease, and today their descendants comprise just 5 percent of the country’s population. But Liberians still gather every November 1 to dine on roasted chicken, mashed cassava, and green bean casserole in homage to the original American holiday traditions that their ancestors brought across the Atlantic.

Grenada: The celebration of American Thanksgiving in the tiny Caribbean island nation of Grenada dates back to the Cold War. In October 1983, the country’s popular Marxist leader, Maurice Bishop, was overthrown and killed by his deputy prime minister, sparking violent protests across the country. Citing concerns about the safety of American students at a local medical school, then-US President Ronald Reagan launched an invasion, code-named Operation Urgent Fury, to restore order on October 25. Elections followed a year later, and Grenada has remained a democracy to this day. Since then, Grenada has celebrated October 25 officially as Thanksgiving Day, to honor the US intervention.

Canada First!: Many historians date the first Thanksgiving-style celebration in Canada to 1578, when the pirate-explorer Sir Martin Frobisher made safe passage to present-day Newfoundland – a full four decades before the America’s Pilgrim forebearers sat down for their autumn harvest with Wampanoag Indians in today’s Massachusetts. Canada may have Given Thanks first, but over the years the occasion has taken on trappings of its American counterpart – including a main dish of turkey, allegedly popularized by pro-British colonists who left the newly independent United States for Canada after the American Revolutionary War.

Wales, early 19th century: During breaks from his law studies, William Robert Grove indulges in his passion for science to become an inventor. On his honeymoon in Europe, he learns about the new energy source everyone's talking about: electricity. After learning that electricity allows water to be broken down into its two components, hydrogen and oxygen, his intuition leads him to an idea that ends up making him a pioneer of sustainable energy production.

Watch the story of William Robert Grove in Eni's MINDS series, where we travel through time seeking scientists.

Ian Bremmer's Quick Take:

Hi, everybody. Ian Bremmer here, and as we head into the weekend, a Quick Take on, well, the first bombing campaign of the new Biden administration. You kind of knew it was going to happen. Against some Iranian-backed militias in Syria, looks like a couple of dozen, perhaps more killed, and some militia-connected military facilities destroyed. I think there are a few ways to look at this, maybe three different lenses.

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Iran rules out nuclear talks… for now: Iran has reportedly rejected an offer to join direct talks with the US and EU over its nuclear program, saying it won't start the conversation until sanctions on Iran's economy are eased. To be clear, this does NOT mean that prospects for reviving the Iran nuclear deal are dead. Europeans and the Biden administration want a return to the 2015 nuclear agreement, and Iran certainly needs the economic boost that would come from a removal of sanctions. But Tehran is going to try to maximize its leverage before any talks begin, especially since this is a sensitive election year in in the country. Iran's leaders are going to play hard to get for a while longer before edging their way back to the bargaining table. Still, it's high stakes diplomacy here between parties that have almost no mutual trust — and one misstep could throw things off track quickly.

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18: A week after threatening protesters with a severe crackdown, Myanmar's ruling junta killed at least 18 people across the country in the bloodiest day of clashes since the generals staged a coup last month.
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The country's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, joins Ian Bremmer to talk vaccines, school re-openings, and when—and how—the pandemic could finally come end. He was last on GZERO World just weeks before the pandemic hit in the fall of 2019 and he described at the time what kept him up at night: a "pandemic-like respiratory illness." This time, he'll talk about how closely that nightmare scenario foreshadowed the COVID-19 pandemic. He'll also offer some guidance about what public health measures vaccinated Americans should continue to take in the coming months (hint: masks stay on).

The GZERO World Podcast with Ian Bremmer. Listen now.

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