Egypt, which is heavily dependent on the fees it charges ships to go through the canal, has expressed concern over a possible drop in the country's income — though it says it's hopeful an international flotilla patrolling the pirate-infested waters will be able to ensure safe passage.
"For sure it will have a bad effect" if it continues, Gen. Ahmed Fadel, head of the Suez Canal Authority, told The Associated Press at his office overlooking the canal.
At least two shipping companies have announced their vessels will take the long route around the southern tip of Africa rather than go through the canal, which requires crossing through the Gulf of Aden, scene of most pirate attacks.
The 120-mile long canal gives a vital shortcut linking the U.S. and Europe with the Indian Ocean and its Asian ports.
The Suez Canal runs between the Mediterranean and the Red Sea, where there have been no pirate attacks. But the only access from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean is through the Gulf of Aden, where Somali pirates have hijacked more than three dozen ships and attacked dozens more so far. more..http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/world/6137874.html
Since the hijack of the Sirius Star on November 17 the world's attention has focused on Somali piracy, and we are the first ...
The Pirates Of Somalia - Somalia
Pirates 'to release Ukraine ship'
Somali pirates holding a ship full of military hardware have reached a deal with its Ukrainian owners to release it, reports say. Gunmen seized the Kenya-bound MV Faina, carrying 33 tanks, grenade launchers and ammunition, on 24 September. A pirate spokesman said releasing the ship was "a matter of time", but gave no details of a ransom payment. Attacks by Somali pirates have escalated sharply in recent months, causing international concern. Last month they seized a Saudi oil tanker, the Sirius Star, carrying oil worth more than $100m (£65m). Negotiations are currently under way for the release of the vessel and its 25-man crew. more..http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/africa/7757259.stm
Somali Pirates Attack Cruise Ship
Two pirate boats opened fire on the six-star Nautica as she sailed between Somalia and Yemen on Sunday.
The cruise ship, which carries 690 passengers and 386 crew, was sailing past several groups of fishing boats when two small skiffs tried to intercept it.
Captain Jurica Brajcic began evasive manoeuvres when the pirates were about 1,000 yards away from the ship and managed to avert the attack more.
Somali pirates to free Yemen cargo ship
BOSASSO, Somalia (Reuters) - Somali pirates have agreed to release a Yemeni cargo ship, the MV Amani, without ransom, after negotiations between the hijackers, local elders and provincial officials, a minister said on Friday.
"No ransom was paid, but after negotiations, the pirates will get off the ship soon. The Yemeni ship will be released in the coming hours," Ali Abdi Aware, state minister of the northern province of Puntland, told Reuters.
The ship was seized on November 25 in the Gulf of Aden. No other details about the vessel, its crew and cargo were available. more..http://www.reuters.com/article/worldNews/idUSTRE4B01PU20081201?feedType=RSS&feedName=worldNews
Somali pirates agree deal for Ukrainian ship release
days, but the fate of a Saudi oil carrier was unclear hours from a 25-million-dollar ransom demand's expiry.
Sugule Ali, spokesman for the pirates who hijacked the MV Faina in September with its cargo of battle tanks and weapons, said it was "a matter of technicality and time" before the vessel was freed.
"I can't tell you what the ransom is, but what can I say is that agreement has finally been reached," Ali told AFP from the ship. more..http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/world/12/01/08/somali-pirates-agree-deal-ukrainian-ship-release
Before He Goes
What President Bush could accomplish in his final days in office.
by William Kristol
and explain that the task must be finished in both theaters. He can address issues like getting ROTC back on elite campuses (a position Obama also favors). And while he's at it, perhaps he could tell various admirals to stop moaning about how difficult it would be to deal with the pirates off the coast of Somalia (isn't keeping the shipping lanes open a core mission of the Navy?) and order the Navy to clobber them. If need be, the Marines would no doubt be glad to recapitulate their origins and join in by going ashore in Africa to destroy the pirates' safe havens.
Meanwhile, we seem to have al Qaeda mostly on the run (though not defeated). Here at home we haven't had a second attack, and in the West generally, it's over two years since a major attack. Bush can make the broader point that being on offense has been a successful strategy, and that the best form of public diplomacy is making it clear that joining the jihad is a losing proposition. more..http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/015/876qyutv.asp