Portside Snapshot - December 14, 2015



Death Penalty Dysfunction in 2015

Liliana Segura
The Intercept
2015 was still a wretched and messy year as far as the death penalty was concerned, one that did much to undermine our country’s vaunted claims to “evolving standards of decency.”

Why Did Turkey Shoot Down That Russian Plane?

Conn Hallinan
The whole November 24 incident looks increasingly suspicious, and one doesn’t have to be a paranoid Russian to think the takedown might have been an ambush.

The Secret History of One Hundred Years of Solitude

Paul Elie
Vanity Fair
A half-century ago, Gabriel García Márquez, after yet another visit to the pawnshop, sent his now signature novel to his publisher. As Solitude turns 50, Paul Elie interviews Gabo’s longtime agent—just weeks before her death, at 85—and discovers the events that led to a literary revelation.

Step up to Stop TB

Grania Brigden
Tuberculosis (TB) is winning a deadly race – this year it overtook HIV as the world’s deadliest infectious disease, killing 1.5 million people annually. The findings of the Out of Step report into national TB policies. The report will be launched on December 2 at the 46th Union World Conference on Lung Health, Cape Town, South Africa.

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Mexican, U.S. Workers Bring Employer Charges Under NAFTA

Mario Vasquez
In These Times
A transnational coalition of labor unions and community groups in the United States and Mexico charged multinational retail corporation Chedraui Commercial Group with violations of municipal, federal, and international labor law on November 12, filing unprecedented dual claims under compliant mechanisms embedded within the North American Free-Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

Geopolitical Fictions: Fantasy, Reality, and International Diplomacy on ‘Madam Secretary’

Most international political thrillers rely on the interplay of fantasy and reality, using real countries and familiar politics in the frame of a fictional narrative. What makes CBS’s Madam Secretary unusual, even within that context, is that its episodes actually borrow from recent international events, relationships, and histories. The show’s universe can often feel like a surreal look into a parallel reality.




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