The International Monetary Fund admits to having miscalculated austerity measures that have now ruined so many countries; with the rise of online courses, some predict college will be completely free in a decade; meanwhile, Western sanctions imposed on Iran are severely affecting the lives of Iranian civilians. These discoveries and more below.

On a regular basis, Truthdig brings you the news items and odds and ends that have found their way to Larry Gross, director of the USC Annenberg School for Communication. A specialist in media and culture, art and communication, visual communication and media portrayals of minorities, Gross helped found the field of gay and lesbian studies.

Oops! The headline news from the latest IMF World Economic Outlook is the downward revision of 2013 growth forecasts—from 1.8 percent to 1.5 percent for advanced countries, and from 5.8 percent down to 5.6 percent for emerging and developing countries.

Why College May Be Totally Free Within 10 Years As few as 10 years from now, quality higher education will be largely free—unless, of course, nothing much has changed.

What Really Drew Asian Immigrants to the Suburbs? Within the last decade, there has been growing interest in the “browning” of post-WWII suburbia.

You’ve Heard of Urban Coyotes. Urban Bears Could Be Next In the 12 years that Stan Gehrt has been tracking a population of coyotes on the Northwest side of Chicago, living not far from O’Hare International Airport, he has watched them adapt to the city in some pretty stunning ways.

Eat more chocolate, win more Nobels? Take this with a grain of salt, or perhaps some almonds or hazelnuts: A study ties chocolate consumption to the number of Nobel Prize winners a country has and suggests it’s a sign that the sweet treat can boost brain power.

Striking Walmart Workers Escalate Toward Black Friday Walmart executives will say that since the company is so big it enjoys an economy of scale and can pass low prices on to consumers.

What if there’s real change in the Middle East? Where is the Middle East headed?

Drone Attacks Fan Hatred, Pakistani Protesters Say Thousands of Pakistanis took part in a “peace march” to Waziristan, the mountainous region of northwest Pakistan where the United States regularly sends drones to kill terrorists.

Quest for Harvard entry ends in $2m tangle To Gerald and Lily Chow, education consultant Mark Zimny must have seemed like the answer to many parents’ prayer: Please let my child get into Harvard University.

Another Fine Mess NATO Has Got Us Into As the mayhem in Syria shows, NATO does little but destabilise the countries that it threatens to intervene in.

NDAA: The Biggest Election Issue No One’s Talking About You don’t have to live alone in the woods, reading issues of Guns and Ammo and co-writing your manifesto with beard lice, to be terrified about the state of basic freedoms in America today.

Romney’s Foreign Policy Speech: All War All the Time He denounced “the abrupt withdrawal of our entire troop presence” from Iraq, though he didn’t say how long he would have kept our troops there.

Iran Sanctions Now Causing Food Insecurity, Mass Suffering Yet again, the US and its allies spread mass human misery though a policy that is as morally indefensible as it is counter-productive.

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