On Thursday, baseball fans rejoiced as the 2019 MLB season got underway. Pearl Jam lead guitarist, Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame-inductee, and Seattle local Mike McCready performed the national anthem at the Seattle Mariners‘ home opener.Seattles fans greeted McCready with applause at the recently renamed T-Mobile Park (formerly Safeco Field), as the founding Pearl Jam guitar ripped up an electric rendition of the national anthem on a sunburst Fender Stratocaster. The Seattle Mariners went on to defeat the defending World Champion Boston Red Sox 12-4.Watch fan-shot video of Mike McCready’s opening day national anthem below:Mike McCready – National Anthem – 3/28/2019[Video: GlassVision]Pearl Jam currently has no scheduled tour dates, but fans can keep an eye on their website for upcoming news and announcements.[H/T JamBase]
The Chinese have an expression for what you get by studying overseas: du jing, or “a glaze of gold.”“You paint a gold layer on yourself,” said Hong Kong University social scientist David Zweig, who lectured at Harvard this week (July 19). Returning home to China, he said, means you have a leg up on a good job and fast promotions.Zweig, a onetime fellow at Harvard’s Fairbank Center for Chinese Studies, was in Cambridge to offer a glimpse of his book-in-progress on China’s gold-layered returnees.Why do they come back, and what role does the Chinese government play in getting them back?The short answers: They come back to make money, but not to change China’s politics.And the government is doing more than ever to get returnees back — but they would come back on their own anyway.The real answers are more complicated, and involve the complex interactions of many people, said Zweig: government officials, students, scholars, entrepreneurs, and families.Returnees bring ideas and energy back to China, but they bring home problems too, he said. For one, Chinese who earned less prestigious domestic degrees are resentful of the preferential treatment returnees get.But the earliest problem with returnees was that there were so few. In the two decades after 1978, barely a third of Chinese students who went overseas came back. Among students who paid their own way, the rate of return was 3 percent, said Zweig.This weak return rate weakened even more after 1989, when the Tiananmen Square incident scared off more returnees — and even triggered a government search for “class enemies” among students abroad.But by the mid-1990s, attitudes had changed and patient China took the long view. Most of its leadership came to see brain drain as a means of “storing brainpower overseas,” said Zweig. Today, they see it as “brain circulation,” he said — an investment that will eventually pay China back.The signs of payback are there already. Since 2000, the number of returnees has boomed upward. Political change is not the reason, he said, since there has not been much. Instead, Chinese come back because they see liberalized capital markets and an acceptance of private property.In short, said Zweig, returnees “can make a buck.”Since 1978, about 1.3 million Chinese students and scholars have gone abroad to study — most of them to Japan, the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and Canada.The earliest going overseas were hardcore elements dedicated to the Communist ideal. “They never thought about not going back,” said Zweig.Today, Chinese go abroad with a strategy in mind: Search for what is in short supply at home, then bring it back.Returnees are called hai gui, or “sea turtles,” said Zweig, named after the creatures who are born on shore, travel at sea, then instinctively return home.Other returnees — hai ou — increasingly keep ties to the West, and even maintain businesses and residences there. They are “seagulls,” he said, who fly back and forth over the sea.Returnees may be glazed in gold, but coming back to China has its bumps, said Zweig. For one, many Chinese come home with expectation of getting jobs immediately. When they don’t, they form a demographic clog that earned another sea analogy: hai dai, or “seaweed.”Returnees are diverse, said Zweig. Beginning in 1991, he has interviewed or studied academics, scientific researchers, entrepreneurs, master’s degree (and M.B.A.) students, undergraduates, executives, professionals, and government officials.Academics go abroad to get “good platforms” for advancement upon their return, said Zweig, but then they often refuse to write for domestic academic journals.Some scientists return, attracted by China’s “Hundred Talents” program and other incentives, but then they burden systems already top-heavy with full professors, he added.Entrepreneurs are attracted to the idea that even ordinary Western technology can lead to profit in China. And they like the idea of China’s high-tech, low-tax enterprise zones. (Zweig called them “one-stop chopping” zones — that is, places where paperwork — “chop” — is reduced.)Then again, entrepreneurs are also disappointed at the lack of start-up capital in China, and their homeland’s weak protections for intellectual property.Some master’s degree students abroad come home and are jobless “seaweed” for up to a year, said Zweig. But worse, they may be the victims of diploma mills and third-rate universities — especially in Great Britain.Master’s students may also come home with few economic advantages. They will make $200 a month more than those who stayed in China, he said, but their families take on $20,000 or more in debt for one year of overseas study.There are other burdens on families, who may only rarely see their children again, said Helen Ji Li, a China-born independent researcher. Many of the students are only children like herself, she said. “It is kind of sad. Once you’ve left, the parents have no other children in China.”Zweig acknowledged the great financial sacrifice families make. But in households with more than one child, he said, study abroad is also “a diversification of risk and opportunity.”One fact emerging from the data, said Zweig, is that returnees always argue for more openness in China, but they remain indifferent about political action.Still, he said, their influence will be felt politically one day.After all, the biggest benefit of returnees may be the worldliness and cultural diversity they bring, said Zweig. “They’re greatly increasing China’s international flavor.”
Authorities in Ecuador recently captured a drug trafficker suspected of being a key operative for the Sinaloa cartel, which is led by fugitive kingpin Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmán. On June 6, agents of Ecuador’s Drug Enforcement Directorate captured alleged El Chapo operatives Telmo Remigion Castro Donosi — known as “Capi” — and six other alleged drug traffickers. The agents made the arrests as part of Operation Galaxia. Ecuadorian security agents have been keeping an eye on Capi since 2009, when he was put on trial for drug trafficking. Capi, a former captain in the Ecuadorian Army, was acquitted. “We have just dismantled a criminal group that allegedly worked with the Sinaloa cartel, six members and their leader, Telmo Castro,” Interior Minister Jose Serrano wrote on his Twitter account. The suspects include Mexicans, Ecuadorians and Colombians, Serrano said. “We can even go as far as saying that they were the ones who negotiated and transported the largest amount of drugs along with the Sinaloa cartel,” he said. A “huge blow” to El Chapo Operation Galaxia was in effect for eight months before Capi and his alleged co-conspirators were arrested, Serrano said, adding that the capture is “a huge blow to drug trafficking” and that Capi “caused great damage to our country.” Security agents also seized 300 kilos of cocaine, a small airplane and several grenades. Officials said Capi intended to send the grenades to El Chapo’s forces in Mexico. Capi’s group operated in the provinces of Manabí, Santa Elena and Los Ríos, and had been operating in Ecuador since 2010, officials said. Security agents arrested Capi and the other suspects during simultaneous operations in the provinces of Los Ríos, Guayas and Azuay. They seized a Centurion 2 airplane on a runway in the El Empalme region of Guayas. Some of the suspects were arrested while packing the aircraft with cocaine, authorities said. Capi and his top lieutenant, Wilder Emilio Sánchez Farfan — also known as “Gato” — were captured as they supervised loading of the aircraft. The suspects were captured following a brief shootout. No one was killed. International cooperation The Sinaloa cartel has a strong presence in Ecuador, while Los Zetas operates in Guatemala and Honduras. The two cartels need connections to local gangs to operate in those and other countries, said Vicente Sánchez Mungia, a security analyst at Mexico’s Colegio de la Frontera. “The infiltration and presence of this type of criminal organization would not be possible without a local network at their service,” Sánchez said. “That’s what transnational crime is; organizations specialized in illegal activities and whose operations go beyond borderlines.” International cooperation is crucial in the battle against such criminal organization, Sánchez said. “This is not the first time a South American government has taken action against a Mexican drug cartel. In Colombia, authorities recently seized properties that allegedly belonged to the Sinaloa cartel,” the security analyst said. “What this means is that there has been persistent activity of these criminal groups in these and other remote places,” Sánchez said. “We have to remember that we are talking about transnational criminal organizations, even if their highest ranking leaders are Mexican. The same way as in the legal market, they make alliances with other organizations, even if they don’t last long due to the lack of trust among them.” Between May 2010 and April 2012, Ecuadorian security agents destroyed five clandestine labs used to produce methamphetamines. The laboratories were built on the orders of Capi and Gato, authorities said. El Chapo in Ecuador The Sinaloa cartel has been operating in Ecuador for years: • In June 2012, Ecuadorian authorities in Isla Puna seized a partially built submarine, a small airplane, a fast boat and two tons of cocaine. The submarine, airplane, boat and drugs all belonged to El Chapo, authorities said. • In May 2012, a small airplane with Mexican tags crashed in the province of Manabí, in northeastern Ecuador. Authorties found the bodies of two men, both Mexican nationals, and $1.4 million in cash. The two men were working for El Chapo, authorities said. • In April 2012, Ecuadorian National Police arrested El Chapo’s top enforcer in the country, Cesar Demar Vernaza Quiñonez, who is also known as “El Empresario.” El Empresario was the leader of a gang known as “Los Templados.” El Empresario and Los Templados transported and protected drug shipments going through Ecuador for El Chapo, authorities said. • In February 2012, El Empresario escaped from an Ecuadorian prison. Security agents in Colombia recaptured El Empresario in April 2013. Cooperation between Ecuador and Colombia led to the arrest, officials said. • In January 2012, the Ecuadorian Coast Guard spotted a submarine in the Gulf of Guayaquil. The crew sank the vessel before the Coast Guard could get there. The Coast Guard rescued the crew. The submarine belonged to El Chapo, who used it to transport drugs, authorities said. how great, no? this is all good, pardon me Congratulations to the Ecuadorian authorities for this great hit on the destroyers of many innocent lives. Good, it’s about time, now only the main one is missing, congratulations to the colleagues in Ecuador By Dialogo July 02, 2013
By Eduardo Szklarz / Diálogo December 03, 2019 Paraguay was the host country for exercise Acrux IX, which helped counter arms and human trafficking through the Paraguay-Paraná waterway.The navies of Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay increased their regional cooperation against organized crime with combined exercise Acrux IX, held in Puerto Rosario, Paraguay, September 24-27, 2019. Officers of the Argentine Navy took part as observers.“Transnational organized crime rings are increasingly taking advantage of the heavy flow of vessels along the Paraguay-Paraná waterway — which has the third largest riverine multimodal fleet in the world ‑— to smuggle arms, their parts, ammunition, explosives, drugs, and people,” Paraguayan Navy Captain Oscar Antonio Girardoni Centurión, commander the Combined Riverine Task Force during Acrux IX, told Diálogo.“As such, navies and naval forces that monitor the waterway must continuously train to confront criminals effectively, using a common doctrine and language,” said Capt. Girardoni.In total, 13 surface units, two fixed-wing and two rotary-wing aircraft, as well as 620 service members participated in the event, including land vehicles for logistics support.“The combined exercise helps keep combat power operational,” Capt. Girardoni said. “It also encourages mutual trust and collaboration among countries to fight against threats that affect regional security.”Irregular ForceThe scenario for Acrux IX was the existence of an irregular force pretending to be an environmental nongovernmental organization in the Puerto Rosario area located 31 miles north of Asunción. The members of the organization were shipping weapons and drugs on vessels navigating in the area.During the exercise, service members conducted reconnaissance, security for the Floating Combat Base, and updated available data. Their duties led them to confirm the existence of an irregular force engaged in storing drugs, ready to be shipped to ports overseas.“Before the last phase of the exercise, participants conducted riverine operations, convoy formation, river blocking, tactical communications, floating base defense, amphibious operations, reconnaissance, and night and day incursions in land bases,” said Capt. Girardoni.“On September 26, we conducted the final assault on the target, with a naval aviation gunfire drill, naval gunfire support, and combined riverine assault with Marine Corps troops,” he added.Since its inception in 1999, Acrux has acquired growing relevance. Today, the exercise is fundamental to coordinate operations against forces that might endanger freedom of navigation in the Paraguay-Paraná waterway.“The exercise increases mutual confidence and interoperability between the navies and naval components in order to confront the threats affecting regional stability, particularly transnational organized crime,” Capt. Girardoni concluded.
Franklin County Wildcats Varsity snagged a late lead and defeated Jac-Cen-Del 6-1 on Saturday. The game was tied at one with Franklin County Wildcats Varsity batting in the top of the fifth when Kamryn McCool doubled on a 2-2 count, scoring one run.Franklin County Wildcats Varsity scored three runs in the seventh inning. The big inning was thanks to a single by Sidney Wilbur and a double by Hannah Hornsby.McCool led the Franklin County Wildcats Varsity to victory on the pitcher’s mound. She went seven innings, allowing one run on two hits, striking out 13 and walking one.M Carroll took the loss for Jac-Cen-Del. She went seven innings, allowing six runs on ten hits, striking out 15 and walking one.Franklin County Wildcats Varsity tallied ten hits in the game. McCool, Maggie Wendel, and Hornsby each collected multiple hits for Franklin County Wildcats Varsity. McCool led Franklin County Wildcats Varsity with three hits in four at bats. Franklin County Wildcats Varsity didn’t commit a single error in the field. Hornsby had 13 chances in the field, the most on the team.Franklin County Wildcats JV fell to Jac-Cen-Del 26-25 on Saturday on the final play of the game. The game was tied at 25 with Jac-Cen-Del batting in the bottom of the fifth when Tunny singled on a 0-1 count, scoring one run.Franklin County Wildcats JV fell behind by nine runs in the fourth inning, but then tried to fight back. Franklin County Wildcats JV scored 12 runs in the failed comeback on a single by Kiya Rains, a single by Kaylynn Rauch, a wild pitch during Karlie Hahn’s at bat, a fielder’s choice by Sam Neaves, a single by Makaylee Woods, a fielder’s choice by Sarah Bare, a single by Emily Wendel, a double by Rains, and a error.Jac-Cen-Del captured the lead in the first inning when an error scored two runs for Jac-Cen-Del.Jac-Cen-Del scored 12 runs in the fourth inning. Jac-Cen-Del’s big inning was driven by by Groth, Lewis, and Moorman, walks by Moorman and Tunny, a single by Mullins, and an error on a ball put in play by Tunny.Moorman was the winning pitcher for Jac-Cen-Del. She allowed five hits over one inning, striking out three and walking one. Mullins threw one and two-thirds innings in relief out of the bullpen.Hahn took the loss for Franklin County Wildcats JV in two and two-thirds innings of work. She did manage to strike out four in the loss.Youngman started the game for Jac-Cen-Del. She went two and a third innings, allowing nine runs on three hits and striking out three.Franklin County Wildcats JV tallied ten hits in the game. Rains and Wendel each managed multiple hits for Franklin County Wildcats JV. Rains led Franklin County Wildcats JV with three hits in five at bats.Jac-Cen-Del had six hits in the game. Mullins and Lewis each had multiple hits for Jac-Cen-Del.Courtesy of Wildcats Coach Alex McCool.