monterey.ipub.us http://monterey.ipub.us en-US http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss socportals@mediacolo.com Big Little Lies music: All the songs from season 2 - CNET Sufjan Stevens, Portishead, Patti Smith and Willie Nelson are among the artists underscoring the Monterey Five this season. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826942-big-little-lies-music-all-songs-season-2-cnet Mon, 22 2019 08:44:56 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826942-big-little-lies-music-all-songs-season-2-cnet Big Little Lies music: All the songs from season 2 so far - CNET Sufjan Stevens, Portishead, Donna Summers and Patti Smith are among the artists underscoring the Monterey Five this season. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826647-big-little-lies-music-all-songs-season-2-so-far-cnet Mon, 22 2019 01:08:38 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826647-big-little-lies-music-all-songs-season-2-so-far-cnet How Moe Berg went from playing for 5 MLB teams to being a US spy in WWII who thwarted Nazi efforts to build a nuclear bomb Morris "Moe" Berg spent 15 years playing major league baseball. His record on the field was middling, but Berg was distinguished by his pursuits off it — namely, his time as a US spy during World War II. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Morris "Moe" Berg's dying words — "How did the Mets do today?" — were on brand for the 70-year-old New York native who enjoyed a 15-year career in Major League Baseball before America entered World War II. Sports columnist John Kieran called Berg "The Professor" on account of his reputation as an Ivy League-educated linguist and lawyer, a mentor and coach to younger MLB players, and a newspaper-devouring raconteur who earned fanfare as a repeat contestant on the NBC radio quiz show "Information Please." His 1972 New York Times obituary eulogized, first and foremost, the "catcher in majors who spoke 10 languages." But the brainy 6-foot-1-inch bullpen catcher with an unspectacular batting average had another career entirely: He was a World War II secret agent who gathered intelligence on three continents for the US government. "We often think about athletes just playing ball and going in for records. But Moe, Ted Williams twice, Joe DiMaggio — they went off and risked their lives and their careers to serve," said filmmaker Aviva Kempner, who illuminates Berg's life and legacy in her 2019 documentary, "The Spy Behind Home Plate." Berg's particular line of work during the war — he ultimately served as a spy for the Manhattan Project while working for the Office of Strategic Services, the forerunner of the CIA — further differentiated him. Who else would sit in the dugout talking about whether Mussolini would win or not?" Kempner said. As the surviving members of the Greatest Generation dwindle and tensions rise among 21st-century nuclear-armed powers, Kempner emphasizes the need to learn about veterans and remember their contributions and sacrifices. "It's important to know who our unknown heroes are and what they did," she said. Here's a window into Berg's life and transition from multilingual ballplayer to World War II nuclear spy.SEE ALSO: 3 unsung World War II female spies who helped make D-Day a victory He was the son of immigrants. Moe Berg was born in Harlem in 1902. He was the third child of Bernard Berg and Rose Taschker, Jewish immigrants from Ukraine, who came to the US seeking economic opportunity and religious freedom. The Bergs moved to Newark, New Jersey, where Bernard opened a pharmacy. Education was paramount, and Bernard in particular expected his kids to pursue one of three professions: lawyer, doctor, or teacher. From his early days, Moe had a rocket arm and a photographic memory. As a 7-year-old, he played baseball on a church team using the pseudonym "Runt Wolfe." He excelled on the field and in the classroom, initially studying at New York University. He transferred to Princeton University, where he was a star on the baseball team and in the modern languages department. The popular, idiosyncratic scholar-athlete turned down an offer to join one of Princeton's exclusive eating clubs, purportedly after being told that while he'd be more than welcome, he shouldn't think of bringing other Jews around. He spent off-seasons studying law at Columbia University and traveling the world. After Berg graduated college, the Brooklyn Robins (now the Los Angeles Dodgers) and the New York Giants were interested in recruiting him, in part because they thought he'd help draw the city's relatively large Jewish population. He joined the Robins and played in the minor leagues. His technical skills and lack of offensive power inspired the phrase "good field, no hit." He went on to play for the Chicago White Sox. At the time, major leaguers worked in the spring and summer and were off the rest of the year. Berg used his baseball earnings to travel. He studied Sanskrit at the Sorbonne in Paris and wrote of how much he enjoyed French "wine, women, and song." Largely to appease his father, Berg also enrolled at Columbia Law School and arrived late to spring training while finishing his first year. The following year, the White Sox owner denied Berg's request to arrive late again, so Berg arranged to leave school early and make up his courses. He'd go on to pass the bar and join the firm Satterlee and Canfield. But baseball was his priority and ultimately how he made his living throughout the 1930s. He said he would rather be a baseball player than a Supreme Court justice. He became a catcher by accident. In 1927, White Sox catcher turned manager Ray Schalk, in a pinch during a game, called out to the bench asking if anyone could catch. Berg tried to volunteer the player next to him. But Schalk thought Berg, a shortstop, was volunteering and put him in without being corrected. "If it doesn't turn out well, please send the body to Newark," Berg reportedly told his teammates. He took to catching. He and his second baseman communicated about the opposing team's base runners in Latin. If the runner trying to steal understood Latin, Berg said they'd switch to Sanskrit. He made two trips to Japan "for baseball" in the 1930s, capturing panoramic footage of Tokyo that is believed to have been used to plan the 1942 Doolittle Raid, the US's first bombing raid on Japan in World War II. With Japan already at war with China, the Japanese government was becoming increasingly militarized. (Japan and China clashed from 1931 to 1932 and again between 1937 and 1945.) Meanwhile, Japanese citizens were growing interested in America's favorite pastime. In 1932, Berg was among a group of major leaguers sent to Tokyo to coach Japanese college players in hitting, base-stealing, and other skills. When the tour ended and Ted Lyons and Lefty O'Doul returned home, Berg stayed, traveling around Asia by himself. He ended his trip in Berlin, and he saw firsthand the beginning of Adolph Hitler's rise to power in Germany, along with then-Italian Prime Minister Benito Mussolini's fascist influence on the Nazi movement. Back in the US, Berg played on the Washington Senators, frequenting embassy parties in DC, before being dropped and picked up by the Cleveland Indians. In 1934, the Soviet Union briefly invaded China, and with tensions rising in the Pacific, the US sent an all-star roster of American League players on a tour of Japan to compete against Japanese teams in a friendly 18-game series. The players would also serve as goodwill ambassadors, as the All-American Japan Tour was an attempt to bolster Japanese-American relations through a shared interest in baseball. While Berg had set a league record for catching 117 games straight without an error, he didn't have the same hall-of-famer status as other recruits, like Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Earl Averil, and Lefty Gomez. But he had been to Japan before, and when catcher Rick Ferrell dropped off the All-Americans roster just before the tour, Berg readily accepted the invitation. He studied Japanese on the deck of the ship during the three-week journey across the Pacific. Upon arriving, Babe Ruth heard Berg greet a fan in Japanese. Ruth said he thought Berg claimed not to know Japanese. Berg said that he hadn't a few weeks before. "Shhh." Berg traveled with a 16 mm Bell and Howell movie camera, seemingly undeterred by leaflets distributed by police warning people not to make maps or capture images, which the Japanese feared could be used against them in war. He also carried an official letter of introduction from US Secretary of State Cordell Hull. On one occasion, Berg peeled off from his teammates and went to the roof of a Tokyo hospital, then the city's tallest building. He wore a Japanese kimono and slippers, and he had flowers and an alibi that he was visiting an ambassador's daughter who'd just had a baby. But he threw out the flowers and ended up on the roof, where he shot a panorama of the Tokyo skyline, including the harbor and industrial centers. The US would later use the shots as reconnaissance footage to inform wartime military strategy and plan bombing raids. How Berg delivered the footage to the US government remains murky. He was known for answering questions about his government work by putting his finger to his lips and saying, "shhh." When pressed on how he'd left the hospital with the movie camera, he supposedly responded, "What made you think I had anything in my kimono other than my big pecs and biceps?" After the All-Americans swept the series and Berg's teammates left Japan, Berg stayed for another month. Back in the US, he played for and then helped coach the Boston Red Sox. During World War II, he retired his Red Sox uniform to work for the government. Japan's attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, killed more than 2,300 Americans and catapulted the US into World War II. Millions of Americans joined up. Before Berg's father died in January 1942, he asked his sons, "Why aren't you contributing to this war?" Berg left the Red Sox to work for the Office of Inter-American Affairs, a government agency President Franklin Roosevelt founded to counter Axis propaganda in Latin America. In February 1942, Berg made a radio broadcast addressing the people of Japan, in Japanese, asking for peace; he identified himself as "a friend of the Japanese people" and urged listeners to avoid "a war you cannot win." That summer, his work took him to Central and South America, ostensibly as an goodwill ambassador distributing baseball gear. He fed reports on the political situation to his boss, Inter-American Affairs Coordinator Nelson Rockefeller. The OSS tapped him as a nuclear spy who carried out acts of espionage and sabotage to thwart Hitler's nuclear program. In the wake of Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt recognized the importance of strong foreign intelligence to the Allied war effort. In 1942, he signed an executive order forming the OSS, a clandestine espionage and sabotage agency directed by Gen. William "Wild Bill" Donovan. Donovan, a Republican, was Roosevelt's Columbia Law classmate and a World War I general turned Wall Street lawyer. As the founding father of America's CIA forerunner, Donovan recruited a diverse cast of military and civilian personnel whom he fondly regarded as his "Glorious Amateurs." At its peak in 1944, the OSS employed some 13,000 men and women, with personnel stationed across the world, working not only as field agents but also as codebreakers, researchers, mapmakers, psychologists, scientists, and propagandists who carried out special operations and information warfare. Berg was recruited to the OSS in 1943. With his unusual aptitude, agility, language skills, and information-gathering experience, Berg became the OSS agent that Donovan designated to support the government's top-secret initiative to develop its first nuclear weapons, codenamed the Manhattan Project. It was an undertaking so covert that Roosevelt supposedly didn't even tell then-Vice President Harry Truman about it. Leading researchers and scientists, including Albert Einstein, briefed Berg, teaching him what they hoped would be sufficient background on atomic energy and their adversaries' efforts so Berg could collect vital information and assets from occupied Europe. In 1944, Berg moved throughout war-ravaged Italy to track down important Italian scientists and documents in danger of falling into Hitler's hands. "I see Moe is still catching very well," Roosevelt said after learning Berg had located and extracted Italy's foremost expert in aerodynamics, Antonio Ferri. Ferri had destroyed lab equipment that could help the Axis and gone into hiding in the mountains with a crate of scientific documents. He raised a resistance circuit carrying out guerilla operations to thwart the Axis and enable Allied air drops. Berg and Ferri connected and began parsing and translating the scientific documents. With special permission from Roosevelt, Ferri entered the US with a suitcase and the crate of documents and was escorted to the nation's leading aeronautics research center, in Langley, Virginia. As Manhattan Project scientists raced to develop the atomic bombs that America would drop on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, its leaders remained concerned with where Hitler stood with any similar efforts. If the Axis powers were making progress, it would likely involve German nuclear physicist Werner Heisenberg, a Nobel Prize winner who remained in Germany during the war. In December 1944, Berg was sent to neutral Switzerland for a conference at the University of Zurich with a pistol, a cyanide tablet, and a false identity as a Swiss physics student. His mission was to attend an intimate lecture that Heisenberg was giving at the conference. If Heisenberg mentioned working on a nuclear bomb, Berg was to stand up and shoot Heisenberg point blank, with the understanding that this would also mean being killed himself. Between the German language and the deeply technical physics terminology, Berg left the lecture unsure of what Heisenberg knew. He ended up complimenting Heisenberg on his talk and later insisting on escorting him to his hotel. In the resulting report, which was read by Roosevelt, Berg determined that Heisenberg had low confidence in the German effort and that Hitler was at least two years behind the Manhattan Project. Berg died in Belleville, New Jersey, in 1972 at the age of 70, after a fall at his home. In 2018, House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi awarded a Congressional Gold Medal to OSS personnel. The presentation of Congress's highest civilian honor marked the first collective recognition of the OSS, which President Harry Truman disbanded in 1945. Truman formed the CIA in 1947 from the old OSS headquarters. While Donovan was not employed by America's post-war intelligence organization, many of his "Glorious Amateurs" were, and four would go on to hold the agency's top post. A bronze statue of Donovan — and an OSS book of honor naming the 116 OSS members who were killed during World War II — are on display in the lobby of the CIA's current headquarters in Langley. Berg declined the Medal of Freedom in 1946. He never married or had children. He led a nomadic existence, traveling and, in his later years, living with his sister, Ethel, in New Jersey. Ethel Berg accepted his Medal of Honor after his death and donated it to the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown New York, where it is on display, along with his catcher's mitt and passport. Ethel took Berg's ashes to Israel, but to this day, no one knows where his remains are buried. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826058-how-moe-berg-went-playing-5-mlb-teams-being-us-spy-wwii-who Sun, 21 2019 17:00:06 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826058-how-moe-berg-went-playing-5-mlb-teams-being-us-spy-wwii-who Citizen journalist among 11 civilians killed in northwest Syria A young citizen journalist was among 11 civilians killed in air raids on Syria's Idlib region Sunday, rescue workers and a monitor said, as he filmed the Russia-backed regime bombardment of the battered enclave. Anas al-Dyab, a photographer and videographer in his early 20s, was a member of the White Helmets who also contributed to AFP. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826034-citizen-journalist-among-11-civilians-killed-northwest-syria Sun, 21 2019 15:51:00 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826034-citizen-journalist-among-11-civilians-killed-northwest-syria Big Little Lies: All the songs from season 2 so far - CNET Sufjan Stevens, Portishead, Donna Summers and Patti Smith are among the artists underscoring the Monterey Five this season. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826011-big-little-lies-all-songs-season-2-so-far-cnet Sun, 21 2019 16:03:21 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2826011-big-little-lies-all-songs-season-2-so-far-cnet Hackers expose Russian intelligence agency#039;s secret internet projects in #039;the largest data leak#039; the group has ever faced In what BBC Russia says is possibly "the largest data leak in the history of the work of Russian special services on the Internet," hackers stole 7.5 terabytes of data from a major contractor of Russia's Federal Security Service.  On July 13, hackers targeted a Moscow information technology company, "Sitek," or SyTech, and defaced the company's homepage with a "Yoba Face," a fixture of Russian internet slang that denotes trolling. The hackers relayed data to journalists that detailed several secret Russian internet projects, including Federal Security Service attempts to de-anonymize Tor browsing, scrape social media sites, and split the Russian internet off from the rest of the world. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Russia's principal security agency, the Federal Security Service (FSB), was targeted by hackers in what BBC Russia reports is possibly "the largest data leak in the history of the work of Russian special services on the Internet." On July 13, hackers operating under the name "0v1ru$" breached a major information technology contractor of the FSB, the Moscow company "Sitek," or SyTech, and stole 7.5 terabytes of data. For reference, a terabyte can hold 200,000 5-minute songs, or 500 hours worth of movies.  The hackers defaced the company's homepage with a "Yoba Face," a Russian meme that denotes trolling, along with pictures that showcased evidence of the breach. The 0v1ru$ hackers passed the data along to a larger, more well-known hacking group Digital Revolution, which has targeted the FSB before. It is unclear whether 0v1ru$ is directly affiliated with Digital Revolution, but the latter passed the data along to media organizations and tweeted notable discoveries, suggesting that the FSB rename its activities "Project Collander" after the breach.  Read more: Trump and Iran may be on the brink of a war that would likely be devastating to both sides While the magnitude of the breach may be historic, the data unearthed projects with goals that were already known or suspected, Forbes reported. Nonetheless, the names, affiliates, and targets of the project were kept secret prior to the hackers' breach. The unearthed cyber projects included at least 20 non-public initatives, and 0v1ru$ also released the names of the SyTech project managers associated with them. BBC Russia reports that none of the breached data contains Russian government secrets. Projects referred to as "Nautilus" and "Nautilus-S" appear to be attempts to scrape social media sites for data extraction, and to identify Russian internet users who seek to access the internet anonymously via Tor browsers that withhold users' locations. Forbes reports that the "Nautilus-S" projects is believed to have made progress since its initial launch in 2012, under FSB's Kvant Research Institute.  Project "Mentor" appears to focus on data collection from Russian enterprises, while "Hope" and "Tax-3" appear to relate to Russia's ongoing initiative to separate its internal internet from the world wide web. Russian President Vladimir Putin previously signed provisions for an initiative to ensure that the Russian internet could operate independently from the world wide web in the event that it was disconnected for any purpose, internal or otherwise. BBC Russia reports that SyTech's projects were contracted under the signals intelligence division of the FSB, the same group that was accused of emailing spyware to Ukrainian intelligence officials in 2015. Digital Revolution claims that it passed the breached data onto media organizations without editing or altering any of the information. The 0v1ru$ group is seemingly unknown, and has not released any further comment since the breach. The FSB has not commented on the matter.SEE ALSO: I visited Russia's most iconic department store, a 126-year-old building in the heart of Moscow. It was a far cry from most American shopping centers I've been to. SEE ALSO: The viral app that makes you look old with shocking precision may be quietly keeping all your data — but so is Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, and everything else you're already using SEE ALSO: Peter Thiel slams Google's 'seemingly treasonous' links to China, which he says should be investigated in a 'not excessively gentle manner' SEE ALSO: Thousands of truck drivers have lost their jobs this year in the trucking 'bloodbath.' Here's what's behind the slowdown in the $800 billion industry. Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Nxivm leader Keith Raniere has been convicted. Here's what happened inside his sex-slave ring that recruited actresses and two billionaire heiresses. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825988-hackers-expose-russian-intelligence-agency039s-secret-intern Sun, 21 2019 15:45:17 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825988-hackers-expose-russian-intelligence-agency039s-secret-intern Vigilante Armies Are Fighting Mexican Drug Cartels, but Whose Side Are They Really on? Jorge Lopez/ReutersFILO DE CABALLOS, Mexico—The assault force rolls through this small mountain town not long after dark. Traveling in a fleet of pick-ups with about 15 men in each truck, they are dressed in pixelated camouflage uniforms and ballistic vests and at first glance they look like official army units, but their weapons give them away. Many of these commandos carry AK-47 model assault rifles, which aren’t used by the Mexican armed forces.The logo stamped on the doors of the trucks shows a figure from the Mexican Revolution wearing a sombrero and brandishing a rifle astride a charging horse. Below that are the words Policia Comunitaria, or community police, and a phrase which, roughly translated from Spanish, reads: “Death before surrender or humiliation.”The men in the trucks are members of the United Front of Community Police of Guerrero State, better known by its Spanish acronym of FUPCEG. Tonight FUPCEG’s shock troops are on their way to assault the nearby town of El Naranjo, which is currently held by the forces of an organized crime group called the Cartel del Sur.“We fight to free communities that have been isolated by the criminals,” says a squad leader who asks to be identified only as “El Burro” in an interview with The Daily Beast. “Everyone has a right to security. And to economic freedom. Campesinos [small farmers] and their children shouldn’t suffer under the rule of bandits,” Burro says. “The people of this town have asked us for help, and so that’s what we’re going to do.”El Burro says he got his nickname, which means “the donkey,”  because he can bear heavy loads a great distance despite his slight stature. In his backpack he carries several cans of tuna and crackers and canteens of water. His battle harness holds some 300 rounds of ammunition for his AK-47. Later tonight he’ll lead his squad on foot through the dense pine forests that surround El Naranjo, until they reach the pre-assigned rendezvous point. From there the coordinated strike force will crawl on their bellies until they’re in sight of the cartel stronghold, then wait for dawn to attack.Burro is a veteran of a dozen such engagements with the comunitarios and says he’s personally registered 20 confirmed kills of sicarios, the cartels’ contract killers. A former farmer, he joined the movement “because I was tired of hearing the people’s cries for help go unanswered.”The Cartel del Sur is known for its brutal tactics, including torturing prisoners, and for that reason Burro says he prefers death on the battlefield to being captured by los contras,  as he calls members of the Cartel del Sur.“Will I come back from where I go tonight?” he asks rhetorically. “And if I don’t,” he says, “will my family understand what I died for?”  * * *‘We Have To Protect Ourselves’* * *FUPCEG is an alliance of civilian autodefensas, or self-defense groups, that boasts about 11,700 fighters across 39 municipalities in Guerrero, meaning they’re now present in about half the state. Similar communitario movements have sprung up across Mexico over the last decade, but FUPCEG is by far the largest of its kind.The spike in vigilante militias has polarized public opinion. Some observers see them as noble freedom fighters who succeed where traditional law enforcement has failed. Critics claim the autodefensas and comunitarios (the words are often used interchangeably in Mexico) are at best undisciplined mobs and at worst cartel patsies who do the criminals’ grunt work for them. Either way, their power is growing. A new study by Mexico’s National Human Rights Commission suggests vigilante activity is up by more than 300 percent since the start of 2018, and blames the increase on “insecurity, violence, and impunity.”Mexico’s Game of BonesIn fact, violence in Mexico has reached historic levels this year, with the country averaging an all-time high of 94 killings a day through the first half of 2019. Both 2017 and 2018 also broke previous murder records. As one autodefensa fighter put it, repeating what has become a kind of mantra, "If the government can#39;t protect us, then we have no choice left but to protect ourselves."FUPCEG’s founder and leader is 40-year-old Salvador Alanis. A Guerrero native, Alanis is something of a polymath. An economist by training, he’s also worked as an electrical engineer in North Carolina, and at one time owned several successful fruit and cattle ranches in his home state. Those ranches are gone now. Some were sold off to help fund Alanis’s crime-fighting endeavors, while others have been seized by the mafia groups he opposes.“I spent 12 years working in the U.S.,” Alanis says during an interview in the FUPCEG base in the strategically vital town of Filo de Caballos, high in the sierra of central Guerrero. “In the States I came to know a better life, a better world. I came to take safety for granted,” he says, “but there’s no security like that in Mexico.”The lack of security is even more pronounced in Guerrero, which is Mexico’s leading exporter of opium and heroin, and perennially listed as one of the country’s most dangerous and politically corrupt regions. It doesn’t help that government law enforcement here is undermanned.“We have an insufficient number of police officers to go around,” says Roberto Álvarez Heredia, the state’s security spokesperson. “We need about three times as many cops and public prosecutors as we have,” he says, “and the ones we do have need better salaries.”Recently elected President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, known as AMLO, has touted his newly created Guardia Nacional as a solution to peacekeeping efforts in places like Guerrero, but Alanis remains unimpressed:“So they just sent 3,500 Guardias to Guerrero,” he says, when asked about the new policing initiative. “The last president sent 5,000 soldiers and they couldn’t do anything against the cartels, because the criminals just paid them off. Everyone has a price,” he adds.Still, Alanis is willing to give the Guardia a chance.“We’re going to let them in [to our territory] and see if they behave themselves. See if they’re corrupt, or if they abuse their power. In the past the soldiers used to enter and search any house they pleased, and that’s why we had to run them out. We’re glad to be friends [with the Guardia], but we won’t be their slaves.”* * *A Question of War* * *As protection against a cartel counter thrust, FUPCEG troops man fortified checkpoints at regular intervals all along State Road 196. Here in Filo, Alanis and his command crew are headquartered in what used to be the largest hotel in town. The long, two-story building was abandoned when FUPCEG occupied Filo after a prolonged firefight back in November of 2018. Pocked by bullet holes inside and out, the building no longer has running water, and electricity is intermittent, but the community kitchen in the lobby is always full of gossip and the smell of spicy cooking. During this interview, Alanis sits in what was once the hotel’s main office. He’s stockily built, dressed in a sky-blue Oxford shirt left open at the throat and wearing square-rimmed photochromic glasses. Clear mountain sunshine drifts in through the shot-up windows. In one corner of the room stands a derelict arcade game titled, coincidentally enough, Streetfighter II.When he came back in 2010, Alanis says he found his home town of Ocotito overrun by organized crime.“Murder, kidnapping, extortion, theft. The cartels ruled the state and they’d packed the government and police forces with corrupt officials, so there was no one to challenge them,” he says. After surviving two kidnapping attempts, Alanis decided to take matters into his own hands to “restore justice” to Guerrero.At first it was just himself and a handful of other ranchers, but slowly the movement gathered support. By 2015 their forces numbered several hundred comunitarios operating out of a string of liberated communities around the state capital of Chilpancingo. But he’d made a number of powerful enemies in the process, including capos from the Rojos, Tequileros, and Guerreros Unidos cartels. When those crime groups launched a series of counter-attacks aimed at taking back the newly freed townships, Alanis’ civilian militias were quickly overwhelmed. “We had an army of shop owners and farm workers,” he says in the office of the ramshackle hotel. He unholsters a chrome-plated 10 mm pistol to make himself more comfortable and sets it on the desk before him. “Many of our men didn’t really know how to use their weapons. Meanwhile, we were facing off against experienced and well-armed sicarios, and we couldn’t beat them in battle. It was a question of war, and we weren’t up to the task. We were weak and lacking strategy.”Those factors—along with the defection of some of his most trusted officers, one of whom ran off with his wife—combined to spell defeat for Alanis. His forces scattered and, still hunted by the cartels, he fled to the mountains and went into hiding.“They took everything from him,” says Jackie Pérez, an independent journalist based in Chilpancingo, and an expert on the state’s autodefensa groups. “Salvador lost his livestock, his farmland, even his wife,” she says. “But he’s very intelligent and very patient. He was able to persevere, and come back stronger than ever.”Pérez goes on to compare Alanis to Mexican freedom fighters of the past like Emiliano Zapata and Pancho Villa, at least in terms of tactics. “He doesn’t want to overthrow the government,” she says. “But he is willing to go outside the system to fight for the people’s right to freedom from certain forms of oppression.”In order to continue that fight after being drubbed by the contras, Alanis knew he’d have to change his game plan.“We’d been outnumbered and defeated,” he says. “Now it was time to change strategies.” Part of that strategic shift involved developing a broad network of spies and informants, many of them women, to keep him informed of his enemies’ movements and activities.“Know your enemy as you know yourself,” he quotes Sun Tzu from memory, “and in a hundred battles you will never be defeated.”* * *Controlling The Sierra* * *Alanis isn’t the first comunitario leader forced to revamp his approach after an initial setback. Many other grassroots vigilante groups have cropped up in Mexico to oppose organized crime, only to find they lack the manpower and budget to keep up the fight over time. Unfortunately, that often leads to alliances with well-heeled drug lords, who then use the militias as proxy groups to wage war on their rivals.Guerrero expert Chris Kyle, a professor of anthropology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, says that pattern has been in play for years.“Since 2013 there’s been an explosion of community policing groups in Guerrero,” says Kyle in a phone interview with The Daily Beast. While villages with native indigenous populations that pre-date the Spanish conquest are legally allowed to form such units under Mexico’s constitution, the proliferation of non-indigenous figures “claiming to be community police has baffled authorities.”The swift spread of the comunitarios is related directly to a lack of effective security measures, according to Kyle.“If the state would provide security, many of these groups would likely stand down,” he says. In the absence of state power, however, and due to a lack of sufficient resources to operate long-term on their own, many vigilante squads become co-opted.“The drug trafficking organizations take advantage of them,” Kyle says, because the community police provide the cartels with “a semi-legitimate wing that extends their reach.”Alanis’s FUPCEG umbrella group includes both indigenous and mestizo, or mixed race, cells from all over the state, including the Regional Coordinator for Community Authorities  (CRAC), the oldest and most respected such organization in Mexico. Even so, Alanis admits that part of his revised strategy involved aligning with certain deep-pocketed backers. He claims that instead of working on behalf of a crime syndicate, he’s merely defending free enterprise.This may strike drug enforcement authorities in the United States as a distinction without a difference, but here in Guerrero such distinctions matter.Alanis says that in fact he is not opposed to campesinos growing poppies, since that#39;s the only crop that pays enough to support many families in the sierra. What he#39;s opposed to, as he puts it, is how the Cartel del Sur seeks to drive out competitors, keep prices low, and control poppy farmers through violence and intimidation."The people should be able to grow [poppies] if they want to. Or not, as they see fit. That#39;s up to them. But nobody should be forced to sell [opium gum] at an unfair price to a single buyer. Nobody should be threatened or forced to worry about their family’s safety. All we want is for the people to live in peace,” he says, back in his bullet-riddled HQ.“The Cartel del Sur wants to control the whole sierra,” he adds. “They want to own a monopoly on poppy gum and heroin production, and also extort from shop owners, taxi drivers, you name it. Other businessmen I know want an open market for poppies up here, and they understand that requires healthy local economies. So that’s why they help us fight the contras.”To launch a full-scale assault like the one that liberated Filo would be impossible without outside financial support, according to Alanis. The Filo battle involved some 3,000 comunitarios and hundreds of trucks to ferry them, he explains. When the cost of ammunition, gas, and fighters’ salaries are factored in, a single campaign can cost about 300,000 pesos [about $15,700] per hour. And the Filo firefight alone last for more than seven hours.“We need their help,” he says, referring to those independent opium gum buyers who help fund FUPCEG’s efforts, “but they need us too. If part of the money to liberate the people must come from opium, I’m willing to accept that equation,” the economist by training says.* * *Terrorizing The Resistance* * *During a series of independent interviews conducted in Filo de Caballos and surrounding communities it becomes clear that, prior to liberation by Alanis and his cohorts, local citizens had suffered greatly under rule by the Cartel del Sur.Run by Isaac Navarette Celis, one of Mexico’s most wanted men, the Cartel del Sur specializes in the production and northbound transport of China White, a particularly potent  form of heroin. Navarette is a relative newcomer to Guerrero’s populous criminal underworld, first announcing his arrival back in 2016. Younger drug lords like Navarette often are especially bloodthirsty as they attempt to carve out a competitive niche against established rivals. Residents in the swath of towns and villages formerly under Navarette’s control describe a reign of terror that included kidnappings for ransom, forcing young people to work as sicarios under threat of death, mass killings, crippling extortion rates, and random violence that caused schools, clinics, and small businesses to be shuttered indefinitely.“We denounced the criminals to the police many times but they never did anything to help us,” says Reina Maldonado, 53. Maldonado was married to the comisario, or sheriff, of a village called Corralitos. Last June several sicarios from the Cartel del Sur kidnapped Reina’s husband from their home and brought him to a local safehouse. “He wouldn’t back down from them. He defied their orders and bribes, so they took him,” she said. When Maldonado’s husband’s body was found, she explains, he showed signs of having been tortured and had been shot multiple times.“They killed him to terrorize the village against resistance,” the sheriff#39;s widow says, “but that didn’t work.” Hours after the comisario was reported missing, Alanis arrived with hundreds of comandos to battle it out with those responsible for his murder. Four cartel members were killed in the ensuing firefight, and the rest fled in armored vehicles. According to Maldonado, they haven’t been back to Corralitos since.“Life here is much better now,” she says, as she walks around the ruins of the house where her husband’s body was found. Many of the families that had fled Corralitos under cartel rule have since returned, and the shops and fruit stands that line the small main street are again open for business.“We’re still poor,” Maldonado says, “but at least now we’re safe.”* * *Government Silence* * *Ruperto Pacheco Vega, 44, the mayor of Filo de Caballo, agrees with Maldonado’s assessment:“Many businesses were completely shut down under [Navarette’s] cartel,” he says. “There was no commerce, nobody could move. The store owners couldn’t make a profit due to extortion, and many people were out of work.”Even worse, Vega says, was the cartel’s habit of impressing young men into its service. “They wanted our boys to join them, put on their colors, and fight against Salvador and the comunitarios.” To decline the cartel’s “invitation,” he says, was punishable by death. In contrast, the mayor explains that Alanis has helped local communities diversify their economies. The financial backbone of the region has long been poppy cultivation to produce opium gum to sell to the cartels to make heroin. But a recent drop in the price of heroin (apparently due to U.S. users preferring synthetic opioids like Fentanyl) has caused a backlash among growers. According to Vega, Alanis has been instrumental in helping the farmers develop detailed crop substitution plans in order to replace illicit poppy plots with legal alternatives like avocado, peaches, pears, and lemons.“The government says we mustn’t grow poppies, and that’s fine with us. So we sent them precise and detailed petitions asking for basic subsidies until the [fruit] trees reach maturity,” says Vega, riffing through signed and stamped copies of the official documents addressed to various politicians in Mexico City, including President López Obrador. As with local authorities who ignore cartel malfeasance, it seems the bid for federal assistance to produce legal crops has also fallen on deaf ears.“Their offices acknowledged receipt of our requests,” Vega says, “but we never heard anything back from them.”* * *A Question Of Ethics* * *For all the careful planning put into it, El Burro’s assault on the cartel-held town of El Naranjo didn’t go as expected.“Somebody must’ve talked because they were waiting for us,” says El Burro, in the aftermath of the failed offensive. “They had a damned mortar and belt-fed machine guns. We killed a few of them but we then we had to pull back.”Now rumors are swirling around town that Navarette’s men are planning a counter-attack to retake Filo. Comunitarios run in and out of the lobby of the bombed-out hotel, fetching weapons and ammunition from stockpiles in the armory. Meanwhile Alanis sits surrounded by cell phones and a half-dozen radios, diligently coordinating with units in the field and his mysterious financial backers.In answer to a question about the ethics of his current line of work, Alanis waxes philosophical.“I used to have a different idea about ethics,” he says, putting down his phone. “I never accepted any drug money back when I first began to oppose [the cartels].” But, he adds, that’s also why he lost the first time around. “You see suffering like this,” and he waves his hand as if to take in the whole sierra: “You see people without work. People without health care. Children starving. Kids with no future. And you ask me about ethics?”In Alanis’s estimation, “Our worst enemy is the state, due to their alliance with organized crime. There is no democracy in Guerrero” because the cartels “rig elections” and “control the politicians,” he says.“We came up with a plan to eliminate 65 percent of the poppy plants in our territories and replace them with legal orchards, but the politicians never even answered our letters.” Alanis picks up his phone again. “Why don’t you ask them about ethics?” he says.Read more at The Daily Beast.Get our top stories in your inbox every day. Sign up now!Daily Beast Membership: Beast Inside goes deeper on the stories that matter to you. Learn more. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825737-vigilante-armies-are-fighting-mexican-drug-cartels-whose-sid Sun, 21 2019 09:27:21 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825737-vigilante-armies-are-fighting-mexican-drug-cartels-whose-sid UK #39;asked US not to sabre rattle over tanker seized by Iran#39; The UK is believed to have asked its US ally to initially refrain from making inflammatory public statements about the seizure of the Stena Impero by Iran as they sought a diplomatic solution to the crisis. Donald Trump was noticeably muted in his immediate response and Mike Pompeo, the US secretary of state, said little in the immediate aftermath. Jeremy Hunt, the foreign secretary, spoke with his counterpart Mike Pompeo, who was in Argentina, on Friday night. British and US officials continued to speak through the night on Friday. White House officials did not push back on reports that the UK conveyed a message to the US that it wanted to try to de-escalate the situation. Mr Trump had already spoken to Boris Johnson on Thursday, although it was not clear whether they discussed Iran. The following day, when asked about the Stena Impero, Mr Trump did not give his usual full-throated response to acts of Iranian aggression, instead saying he had "heard about it" and would "work with the UK" Mr Pompeo was asked about Iran during an interview in Argentina late on Friday, but aid only: "We’re doing everything we can in the United States to de-escalate with Iran. We want them simply to cease being the world’s largest state sponsor of terror." The softened tone also came as Mr Trump confirmed he had authorised Rand Paul, the anti-interventionist Republican US senator, to speak to Iranian officials Mr Paul wants to become Mr Trump#39;s "go-between" with Javad Zarif, the Iranian foreign minister, and asked Mr Trump for permission duding a round of golf a week ago. A helicopter hovers over British-flagged tanker Stena Impero near the strait of Hormuz Credit: Reuters Mr Trump confirmed late on on Friday: "Rand is a friend of mine. And Rand asked me if he could involved.  The answer is yes. We#39;ll see what happens. Iran is showing their colours. It#39;s going to work out very nicely." However, there are also suggestions that, in private, Mr Trump has become increasingly frustrated with the Iran situation in recent days. He is believed to have been displeased at the reluctance of Iran#39;s top leaders to meet with him, especially since he stepped back from a planned military strike last month. There were indications of that frustration during his muted response on Friday when he said: "This only goes to show what I#39;m saying about Iran. Trouble. Nothing but trouble." Meanwhile Lt Gen. Robert Ashley, head of the US Defense Intelligence Agency, said he believes Iran "does not want war," and "the outcome would be very horrific for all". Iran was aiming to drive a wedge between the Us and its European allies, he said Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum, he added: “What you see is an attempt to break that status quo, to look to divide us with our European powers." The US is already monitoring its commercial cargo ships in the Strait of Hormuz using military aircraft. Meanwhile, Russia accused the US of “taking advantage” of rising tensions in the region to deploy hundreds of extra troops to Saudi Arabia. Around 500 are being  being sent  to the Prince Sultan Air Base, east of Riyadh, Russian senator Konstantin Kosachev said: "Neither Iran nor the United States, by and large, are interested in a real war. However, the game of nerves and the raising of stakes will continue." Germany#39;s called the seizure of the British tanker an "unjustifiable intrusion" on shipping which "further exacerbates an already strained situation." A German foreign ministry spokesman said: "Another regional escalation would be very dangerous, it would also undermine all ongoing efforts to find a way out of the current crisis." France condemned the seizure and said it "harms the needed de-escalation of tensions." A US defence official told CNN the US is using armed military aircraft to monitor American commercial cargo ships on their passage through the strait, which can take eight hours. There were no further details given and it was not clear whether the monitoring was being extended to non-US ships. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825083-uk-39asked-us-not-sabre-rattle-over-tanker-seized-iran39 Sat, 20 2019 18:41:22 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2825083-uk-39asked-us-not-sabre-rattle-over-tanker-seized-iran39 How To Maximize Return On Time When Building A Startup In Your Free Time To maximize startup value with limited time, first, seek the support of a mentor so that you don't waste time. Second, be honest with yourself about the end result from pursuing a startup venture. Finally, alleviate risk by elevating your validation indicators. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2824938-how-maximize-return-time-when-building-startup-your-free-tim Sat, 20 2019 20:54:00 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2824938-how-maximize-return-time-when-building-startup-your-free-tim Florida sheriff to investigate Epstein#39;s work release A Florida sheriff launched an investigation Friday into whether his department properly monitored the wealthy financer Jeffrey Epstein while he was serving a sentence for soliciting prostitution from underage girls. The inquiry will focus on whether deputies assigned to monitor Epstein in a work-release program violated any rules or regulations, Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw said in a statement. Under a 2008 plea deal, Epstein was allowed to spend most of his days at the office of his now-defunct Florida Science Foundation, which doled out research grants, rather than in the county jail. http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2824618-florida-sheriff-investigate-epstein39s-work-release Sat, 20 2019 01:28:22 GMT http://monterey.ipub.us/news/2824618-florida-sheriff-investigate-epstein39s-work-release