Alleged spies appear in court

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SANTA ANA – A Downey man indicted for acting as an agent for the Chinese government without the knowledge of the United States was granted $250,000 bail on Friday.The defense attorney for Chi Mak, 65, told a federal judge in Santa Ana that Mak did not present a flight risk and is a loyal U.S. citizen.Mak was indicted Tuesday along with his brother, Tai Wang Mak, 56, of Alhambra. Tai Wang Mak was also at the bail hearing, but he remains in jail because his case was put over for cross examination until Nov. 28.The case stems from an FBI investigation into the Mak brothers and their wives that alleges they were involved in a plot to steal secret technology for a new generation of American battleships.Chi Mak was in court wearing an olive jumpsuit. His family, who would not comment on the case, was also in court.Chi Mak allegedly downloaded encrypted files from an Orange County company working on the Navy technology, according to an affidavit by an FBI agent. Chi Mak then allegedly passed the information on a disc to his brother, who was to take it to China. Tai Wang Mak and his wife were arrested Oct. 28 at Los Angeles International Airport.Ron Kaye, the Pasadena-based attorney for Chi Mak, presented Judge Marc Goldman with character witnesses for his client. He painted Chi Mak as an upstanding citizen. Assistant U.S. Attorney Greg Staples said if Mak flees the country to China he would likely never be seen again since the United States has no extradition treaty with that country.Kaye attacked the government’s case against his client, saying the information Chi Mak took home was not classified top secret information. The Mak brothers face 10 years in prison if convicted.The Associated Press contributed to this story. jason.kosareff@sgvn.com(626) 962-8811, Ext. 2717last_img read more

Mediocrity as a raging epidemic

first_imgThe dictionary describes mediocrity as a low degree of merit, an unresponsive attitude imbued with a general apathy, a middle state of existence.To say that we live in a time of mediocrity is to give mediocrity a bad name. We aspire to very little, we are satisfied with nothing, and we live without expectation. Part of the decline stems from the daily dose of political rot meted out by the media, the incessant air waves and sound bytes of mediocre men who control and charge the atmosphere with daily venom.And they are everywhere. Replacing genuine heroes like Gandhi, Tagore and Einstein, they rush in and out of the television frame, people with 10 minutes of fame, casting aspersions on each other, men and women with rasping opinions but no vision, spewing volumes of self-righteous indignation.The daily face of the politician, the cricketer, the bureaucrat, the journalist, the film hero and the Godman- those interchangeable personalities of India.The movie star’s opinion on trade, the minister’s opinion on art, the journalist’s view of nuclear energy, the cricketer on corruption, the bureaucrat’s participation in the Literary Festival, all contaminate daily life to a point of distraction and diversion.Public domainA minister for agriculture controls a private cricketing body; a cricketer joins the Rajya Sabha; a Communist party leader writes a regular newspaper column; a film actress wins elections in Rajasthan, a convict in Uttar Pradesh. Substitutions can be made between politics, sport, religion, film, smuggling.In the relentless public view of the power game, the nation’s daily debates take place from uncertain, immoderate positions. Everyone must have a say; everyone must disagree; everyone must express their belief in public forums.advertisementEveryone must be known for their volubility, their public presence, their hits on Facebook, the number of followers on Twitter, the number of disciples at a public fast, the number of cars in the garage.Amorphous and always deliberately vague, visibility imparts a renewed sense of purpose. Even in their most private moments, the TV cameras must be on.Public service means continual public consumption; the strange sight of agitated men, shunting in and out of cars with blinking red lights, between Parliament house and jail, between hotel conference and airport, descending from the sky to inspect a flood.The hollow faith of position, status and national enterprise moulded into a daily and charged practice.Without responsibility or achievement, the mere act of maintaining position becomes responsibility, even achievement.It rankles first with the lack of political idealism, bordering on polemical confusion.The Communists still call each other Comrade and their meeting, a Politbureau, but are the first to propound theories of private investment as progress.NGOs bask in a halo of goodness, keeping up the theme of Gandhian austerity, all the while keeping a hand firmly in the deep pockets of their foreign benefactors.Economists reel under the pressure of urgency for poverty line solutions, but must make time for the summit at Davos. The Godman speaks less of God than of more pressing mortal things like corruption, and if elected, to find a cure for black money through the rigorous practice of yoga.Corruption Pampered by idleness and inaction, on air and in the press, in country maidans and at India Gate, emotions run high- a convenient substitute for decisions.But they are relentless in their plunder.One hundred thousand crore, three lakh thousand crore, the figures are meaningless.In the far reaches of burnt out cities, at the edge of treeless forests, bloated bodies come up for air, gratifying their appetites in lust and treasure- a little rape here, a bauxite mine there.But they must daily pamper their dead weight with a high diet, squeezing their servers with gold-studded fingers, and letting others bend to their immodesty.Their true ideals- of uncontrolled prejudice and savage division- are a new form of life’s inspiration.Change Even the false ambitions of the young, the verbal fluency of the intellectuals, and the oscillating conviction of the politicians leave little but a gnawing incompleteness- as if the scale of ordinary life can only be viewed in a flash of personal viewpoints.It is rhetoric of mindless populism, where everything hinges on the economy, material output, rising aspiration, leaving a maladjusted social system, and a people unlinked to any collective desire for change.In the bleached atmosphere of the new century, it is hard to tell apart the ridiculous from the sublime, falsehood from utter falsehood.When the believers are themselves on sale, the equation hardly matters.advertisementMost people, most cultures, that live in hope, do so only because they expect life to change, and for the better. When people begin to believe that change is impossible, when even the floundering has ceased, there is little but terminal decline.The only hope for the future that fills the heart with any optimism is the quick passing of the present, and its replacement with a successor that owes nothing to the present. Something good is bound to rise from the ashes. Far away there are daily rumblings of a coming transformation.In small town, in village, a minor prophet with gentler intentions is on the rise. Living the new ideal on tamped earth, a faint hint of hope, still faint, but ready to remake the world.In an era marked by mediocre men, and a complete absence of applied ideas, is it a wonder that the old profession of leadership flounders for lack of applicants?It was Choudhary Charan Singh who said that the leader of a country of 600 million farmers should himself be a farmer. The Indian leader today is merely a repeat image of the mass he represents. He is just one of us.last_img read more

Will be real challenge to follow Misbah-ul-Haq, admits Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed

first_imgNewly appointed Test skipper Sarfraz Ahmed has admitted that it will be a real challenge for him to follow the footsteps of his predecessor and Pakistan’s most successful captain Misbah-ul-Haq in the longest format of the game.At a reception held at the Prime Minister’s residence in honour of Pakistan’s Champions Trophy victory on Tuesday, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Shaharyar Khan announced that he had offered the role to Sarfraz, who accepted it.Sarfraz has been rewarded with the country’s Test captaincy after he led the national team to an elusive Champions Trophy title in England.Pakistan trounced India by a record 180-run margin in the final at the Kennington Oval in London on June 18 to lift their maiden Champions Trophy title.Sarfraz feels that leading Pakistan in Tests will be completely different to that of ODIs and Tests.”It will be very different to ODIs and T20s,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Sarfraz as saying.”Misbah bhai did so well for so long and he really built the side up, a side that had some great success and was very stable. So it will be a real challenge to follow on from that. And Tests anyway are not easy. You need some serious patience. I will try and do as best as I can. I’ve had some success with the limited-overs captaincy and hope I can do likewise with the Tests,” he added.The wicketkeeper-batsman took over the T20I captaincy from all-rounder Shahid Afridi after the 2016 World T20 and became ODI captain when Azhar Ali resigned in February this year.advertisement”I’ve come step by step. When I became T20 captain, I was vice-captain first. When I became ODI captain, I was vice-captain. Now I’m Test captain, I was vice-captain,” said Sarfraz.”So of course this is a challenge but I’m prepared for it. My responsibilities have increased so I will have to work harder on my fitness but I’ve been working hard on the ‘keeping and batting as well,” he added.This announcement from the PCB chairman ended the long-lasting speculation over the over the identity of Misbah’s successor as Test captain.The 42-year-old, who retired at the end of Pakistan’s tour of West Indies in May, was longest serving and most successful Test captain for Pakistan, leading them to 26 wins in 56 matches.Misbah retired from the International cricket after Pakistan’s first series win against West Indies in the Caribbean island.Misbah played 75 Test matches, scoring 5,222 runs and is currently seventh on the list of Pakistan’s all-time Test run-getters.The 42-year-old also inspired Pakistan to the top of the ICC Test team rankings for the first time in history in 2015, although their stint at the top was short-lived as India replaced them soon after.He served as Test captain from late 2010 onwards going to become the most successful test captain for his country.Sarfraz’s Test captaincy debut will be against Sri Lanka in the UAE, which will comprise three Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is starting October 19.last_img read more