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December 2016
  • “Weighed down by a backlog of more than 520,000 cases, the United States immigration courts are foundering, increasingly failing to deliver timely, fair decisions to people fighting deportation or asking for refuge, according to interviews with lawyers, judges and government officials. With too few judges, overworked clerks and an antiquated docket based on stacks of paper files, many of the 56 courts nationwide have become crippled by delays and bureaucratic breakdowns.” – New York Times, December 2, 2016
  • Xavier Becerra, Kevin de León and Antonio Villaraigosa were cited as among the “New Democratic Leaders” rising in California by the New York Times in its December 9 edition. Becerra, a congressman from Los Angeles, was appointed by Governor Jerry Brown as the state’s first Hispanic attorney general. De León serves as the Democratic leader of the State Senate. Villaraigosa, who served two terms as LA mayor, is now running for governor.
  • Luis Carlos Montalván, an Iraq war veteran and best-selling author who toured the country with his dog, Tuesday, as an advocate for soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder, died (December 2) in El Paso. He was 43.” Montalván served two tours of duty in Iraq and was awarded a Purple Heart as well as two Bronze Stars. – New York Times, December 8, 2016
  • “The international oil industry (December 5) agreed to pay billions of dollars to the Mexican government for rights to drill in the country’s portions of the Gulf of Mexico.” – New York Times, December 6, 2016
  • Cardinal Paulo Evaristo Arns, whose advocacy of human rights in Brazil placed him in opposition to a military dictatorship that engaged in systemic torture, died (December 14) in São Paulo. He was 95.” – New York Times, December 20, 2016
  • Peru was called “a bright spot on the global stage” in the December 12 issue of Time. Since taking office in July, President “Pedro Pablo Kuczynski, an economist and technocrat uninterested in political ideology, has advanced reform with real support from an opposition-led legislature, in part because he has focused on investments that can directly improve the lives of ordinary people.”
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