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October 26, 2016

Daily News Roundup: Myanmar and U.S. Top List of Most Generous Countries

 Myanmar Named Most Charitable Country  for 3rd Straight Year: The Southeast Asian nation, formerly known as Burma, topped the Charities Aid Foundation’s 2016 World Giving Index, with the United States ranking No. 2, reports the BBC. The annual study, based on a poll of people in 140 countries, takes into account financial gifts, volunteering, and offering help to strangers in rating national populations’ generosity. Myanmar averaged 70 percent across the three criteria and led the world in cash giving, with 91 percent of Burmese surveyed saying they’d made a donation in the previous month.

Tudor Jones Plans Investment Fund Featuring “Just” Firms: Finance billionaire Paul Tudor Jones outlined plans at a New York business summit for an exchange-traded fund aligned with his nonprofit JUST Capital, which is developing a ranking of publicly held U.S. corporations on the basis of social responsibility, Bloomberg writes. The hedge-fund mogul, who also founded antipoverty charity the Robin Hood Foundation, said the new vehicle will include 32 companies and could be listed in February or March. The JUST Capital rankings, in the works since last year, will be released after Thanksgiving, he said.

Chan Zuckerberg Science Chief Discusses Disease Project: Cori Bargmann, president of science for the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, talks to NPR about heading up the philanthropic organization’s $3 billion project to tackle all diseases by the end of the century. Ms. Bargmann, a neuroscientist, said the effort to render all illnesses curable, preventable, or manageable over the next 80-plus years will require scientists to collaborate closely with engineers on goals like creating an atlas of cells in the human body and mapping out neurological processes to take on mental and learning disorders and degenerative conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson's diseases.

Enterprise Pledges $60 Million to Food Charities: The car-rental giant’s foundation will give $10 million annually for six years to food banks across the United States and abroad, reports the St. Louis Business Journal. As part the St. Louis-based firm’s “Fill Your Tank” program, half of each yearly donation will be divvied up among food banks and pantries in communities where Enterprise operates, as selected by the local branches. The remaining $5 million will be divided among Feeding America, the largest U.S. hunger-relief charity, and similar groups operating in Canada and globally.

Ex-Nonprofit Leader Draws Fire as Head of NYC Homelessness Fight: Steven Banks, a longtime New York antipoverty advocate, is taking heat from all sides as the leader of City Hall efforts to curb rising homelessness, The New York Times reports. Mr. Banks, formerly attorney in chief at the Legal Aid Society, joined Mayor Bill de Blasio’s team in 2014 as head of the Human Resources Administration and was also put in charge of the city's Department of Homeless Services late last year. As New York's homeless population has swelled — from 51,000 to 60,000 in Mr. de Blasio’s nearly three years in office — Mr. Banks has drawn heavy criticism from civic groups and former peers in the activist ranks, particularly over the city’s use of hotels as shelters, a practice he decried under previous mayors.