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The Spill: Refreshing and Relaxing

Weekly news you can use.

Trump’s Secret Thanksgiving Troop Visit Went off Without a Hitch

President Donald Trump surprised American troops in Afghanistan for Thanksgiving, showing up unannounced and in much secrecy. He arrived just in time to help serve dinner to the soldiers before finally taking a seat and sharing the meal with them. As the group ate, the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was streaming live in the background, bringing a little bit of home to the men and women who could not be with their families for the holiday.

Trump spent about three hours in the war zone, taking time to meet with Afghan president Ashraf Ghani and then the two leaders addressed the troops to thank them for their service. Trump said, “There’s nowhere I’d rather spend Thanksgiving than with the toughest, fiercest warriors. I’m here to say Happy Thanksgiving and thank you very much.”

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Thanksgiving: A Day for Appreciation

Thanksgiving is a time to celebrate with friends and family, and to eat until we are so stuffed that getting out of a chair seems like an unachievable task. While eating that extra piece of pumpkin pie may be common during today’s celebration, this traditional holiday started out a whole lot differently, and it took centuries before it actually became a nationally celebrated day of thanks.

A group of religious separatists left Plymouth, England, in September 1620 on the small ship Mayflower, seeking a place where they could practice their faith freely. It took 66 days to arrive near the tip of Cape Cod and then another month to reach the Massachusetts Bay, where they finally began establishing a village.

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Pro-Democracy Candidates Win Landslide Victory In Hong Kong Election

Pro-democracy protests have been going on in Hong Kong for several months. What began as a large student demonstration against new laws imposed by the central Chinese government in Beijing turned violent, and appeared to dwindle to a small group of hardcore activists. A recent election in the city has revealed, however, that the protestors have wide support.

The district council election in Hong Kong gave a landslide victory to the pro-democracy camp and is widely interpreted as an unofficial referendum on the Chinese Communist Party’s interference in the governance of the former British colony.

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Student Perspectives Change on Smartphones

A group of students at New York’s Adelphi University recently got a taste of smartphone-free life. As part of a course in technology addiction, titled “Life Unplugged,” students were asked to give up their phones for seven days – the devices were stored by college security in sealed plastic bags just to make sure nobody could give in to temptation.

“The apps are designed to addict us and so I’m really interested in my students becoming conscious of their usage and also learning to focus … The fact that no one can focus, that my students can’t sleep … They feel bad about themselves because of social media, the list goes on and on,” said Professor Donna Freitas, who is also the author of The Happiness Effect: How Social Media is Driving a Generation to Appear Perfect at Any Cost.

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