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April 19, 2009

Pirate attack stopped

Yet another pirate attack was stopped this weekend by NATO forces in the Gulf of Aden. There have been numerous pirate attacks over the past couple of weeks, some of which have turned deadly. Things really started to take a turn when a US captain was taken hostage by pirates when his ship was attacked off the coast of Somalia. Three of those pirates were shot dead by snipers almost four days later and the captain was saved. Since then, in what pirates have said is revenge for the killings, the pirates have been attempting to hijack more and more ships. The pirates were stopped in this attempt and apprehended by the NATO forces. They were then questioned and released. There is no procedure for catching pirates at this time so most of the time they are warned and then released.

April 12, 2009

Pirates killed as Captain saved

After being held hostage for 4 long days, American captain Richard Phillips is now safe. Navy seals rescued Phillips from the pirates that were keeping him hostage on Sunday night. The seals killed three of the pirates with sniper shots after they were seen pointing guns into Phillips' back throughout the night. The captain and pirates had been aboard a small lifeboat and were being followed by a United States ship throughout the four days. A fourth and final pirate aboard the lifeboat turned himself in and is believed to be in negotiations with the United States. There is a fear that the violent end to this crisis could end in more hijackings. These could possibly be in retaliation to the deaths of the three pirates. The United States is expected to watch the area more closely along with other members of NATO. For now the US is happy that captain Phillips is safe and in their hands.

April 5, 2009

Deadly Earthquake

A deadly earthquake struck Italy early Monday morning and has resulted in at least 16 deaths, some of which are children. The quake was a 6.3 magnitude quake and that it struck around 3:30 a.m. local time.
There are still dozens of people unaccounted for and 10,000 to 15,000 buildings were damaged in the quake. Over 100,000 people have left their homes.
At the moment there are policemen and volunteers desperately searching for survivors with track dogs.
The earthquake took place just 70 miles from the capital of Rome. It is the first major earthquake since 2002, when an earthquake killed 28 people.
It is reported that the area had been subject to multiple jolts over the past few days and then the earthquake hit this morning.
At least 4 of the dead are children, and there remains to be more children missing in the debris. A college dorm is among the buildings that collapsed and there are still students missing at this time.

March 8, 2009

Military to reduce troops in Iraq

In the next 6 months, military forces will withdraw 12,000 troops from Iraq. There are currently over 142,000 United States troops in Iraq, a number that the new President Obama says will be gone by May of 2010. Some of those troops will be leaving now, approximately 8,000 in fact. Another 4,000 British troops will also leave Iraq, with no one returning in place of them. The troops are leaving due to increased stability and security in the country. The war in Iraq has been going on for 6 years starting this month. Former President Bush signed an agreement to have all troops out of Iraq by December 31, 2011. It appears as if the troops will be long gone by then.

March 1, 2009

11 dead in bus crash

What should have been a joyous day turned tragic when a bus filled with wedding guests was struck by a train in New Delhi, India. Eleven people were killed in the accident and 18 more were injured, at least four of those people suffered serious injuries. Among the dead was an 8-year-old girl, making this story even more tragic. The driver of the bus was reportedly trying to pass vehicle near a railroad crossing and did not see the train closing in. There were no rails to stop traffic and the driver drove right to the tracks. The crash occured late on Saturday night, perhaps indicating that darkness could have played a factor into the crash.

February 22, 2009

Prison escape

Someone walking by the Athens prison on Sunday afternoon may have thought there was a movie being shot there as they watched a helicopter scoop up two inmates from on top of the prison. This was no movie however, and two inmates did escape the prison, and still have not been found. One of the inmates, Nikos Paleokostas, has now escaped from prison twice via helicopter. The helicopter was apparently hijacked at the airport and then driven to the prison where it picked up the inmates. The pilot of the helicopter was later found near the deserted helicopter bound and gagged, but with no injuries. Prison guards did fire shots at the helicopter but no injuries were reported. The first time that Paleokostas escaped from prison via helicopter he was able to remain unseen for many months before being recaptured by police. There is currently a manhunt for both of the inmates, but so far neither have been found.

February 8, 2009

Australia's Bushfires

Bushfires in the state of Victoria are responsible for over 100 deaths and nearly 500,000 destroyed acres. The death toll is the highest in the history of Australia's bushfires, which are an annual occurance.
Drought conditions and temperatures reaching 118 degrees last week have made it nearly impossible to contain the fires.
Firefighters are doing the best they can to prevent the fires from spreading to more densely populated areas of the state like the capital of Melbourne.
Police have recovered bodies of victims inside of their cars as they tried to flee the flames. They have also found them inside the remains of their homes.
Over 640 homes have been destroyed by the blazes and that number continues to rise, along with the death toll.
There have been many donations made by people from all over the world, so many in fact that the donation centers are having trouble operating.
FIrefighters hope that falling temperatures and traces of rain Sunday will help them contain the fires. The fires appear to have been started intentionally by someone, but at this point police have no suspects.