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No doubt all eyes in the US are glued to the determination of the US presidential election, but there's much more going on in the world: reducing fossil fuel use at The Hague (this page); parliamentary elections in Canada (page 7); a failed no-confidence vote in Japan (page 8); diverging interests in Southeast Asia (page 9).

Then,a new astrophysics project on the opposite side of the world, in South Africa, provides lessons in bridging the third- and first-world divide (page 1).

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Faye Bowers Deputy world editor


NO TURKEY DINNER? Peter Ford, an Englishman, has fond memories of Thanksgiving parties to which he was invited by American colleagues when he was the Monitor's bureau chief in Moscow. (Indeed, he once made cranberry jelly from a pailful of berries he bought at a village market from a babushka while reporting on an oil-pipeline spill in the Arctic Circle.)

Now living in Paris with his French wife, Peter didn't receive any Thanksgiving invitations this year, and decided to scout around for shops that carry traditional Thanksgiving fare, which is what prompted today's story (page 9). Not, he hastens to add, that he is complaining about French food.

TRUE SOUTH.... When Kate Dunn moved to South Africa three years ago, the native Canadian felt a tad disoriented without her "true North" -the North Star. "Out of habit one night, I gazed up, looking for it," she says. "But my South African husband reminded me that the guiding light here was, of course, the Southern Cross." You can tell time, she adds, by the position of the cross's five stars. Kate is proud to report she can now locate the Southern Cross on her own, thank you very much - and no longer searches for the Big Dipper. She'll save that for her next trip to Montreal.

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