NAIROBI, May 30 (Reuters) - Somali pirates fired rockets as they seized two freighters off the lawless Horn of African coast bringing to three the number of ships hijacked this week, a Kenyan maritime official said on Friday.
"The two ships were hijacked on Wednesday," Andrew Mwangura, head of the Kenya-based Seafarers Assistance Program, told Reuters.
"We do understand that the pirates on board two fast boats fired rockets at the ships. The number of crew on the ships are still unknown," he said.
Hijackings are common in the chaotic country’s un-patrolled waters, where pirates normally treat hostages well in anticipation of hefty ransoms.
He said there was little information available on the seized vessels — Arean and Lehmann Timber — other than where they were registered and who their owners were.
Local officials said the two ships were commandeered towards the Ras Bina area in the relatively peaceful Puntland region where pirates were also holding a Dutch-owned ship seized over the weekend along with its Russian and Filipino crew.
Somalia has been mired in anarchy since the 1991 ouster of a dictator.
An interim government formed in 2004 struggles to assert its authority but is facing an Iraqi-style Islamist insurgency in the capital Mogadishu and elsewhere.
In the latest of such attacks, residents of the south-central town of Baidoa, 245 km (152 miles) southwest of Mogadishu, said on Friday suspected Islamists hurled a grenade at a house belonging to a lawmaker in the interim government, badly wounding his family.
The legislator was not in the house at the time of the attack.
"We received 10 wounded people mostly children including the lawmaker’s wife. The mother and three children are in serious condition. The rest are stable," Abdikadir Bare, a doctor in a Baidoa hospital where the victims were taken told Reuters. (Reporting by Aweys Yusuf in Nairobi and Mohamed Ahmed in Baidoa; Writing by Guled Mohamed; Editing by Matthew Jones) africa.reuters
Jesus Saves - but Maradona scores on the rebound.
Almost an entire battalion of Russian soldiers committed suicide last year, the country’s chief military prosecutor has said.
A total of 341 military personnel killed themselves in 2007, a reduction of 15% on the previous year.
But Sergei Fridinsky said the numbers were worrying and called for a national strategy to prepare men for service.
Bullying, often extremely violent, is rife in the army and is the most common reason for suicide.
"Almost a battalion of military servicemen - 341 people - were irrevocably lost in the past year as a result of suicide," Mr Fridinsky said.
The BBC’s Russia analyst, Steven Eke, says dedovshchina - literally, rule of the elders, a culturally specific, often very violent, form of bullying, is cited as the most frequent trigger for young soldiers taking their own lives.
Conditions of military service - compulsory for one year for Russian men - are so harsh that many parents and young men offer bribes to avoid getting conscripted.
Yet Mr Fridinsky said that about half of the suicides were among professional, contract-based soldiers, who would not face this kind of bullying.
He suggested that Russia use the experience of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan to help their troops deal with the psychological trauma of combat. news.bbc
In this Dec. 10, 2007 file photo, Secretary of Commerce Carlos Gutierrez gestures as he speaks at the China-United States Innovation Conference in Beijing, China. U.S. authorities are investigating whether Chinese officials secretly copied the contents of a government laptop during a visit by Gutierrez to China in December and used the information to try to hack into the department’s computers, officials and industry experts told The Associated Press via
ST. PAUL, Minn., - You’ve heard of the Bobblehead doll that baseball teams love to hand out to fans. So how about a bobble-foot?
The St. Paul Saints are putting their own twist on the popular promotion, in a nod to one of the most notorious Minnesota stories of last year.
At Sunday’s game, they’ll give 2,500 fans a miniature bathroom stall with a pair of lower legs and feet - one of which is spring-loaded so that it taps.
A Saints press release notes that, "It doesn’t matter if your tapping style is done with a ‘wide stance."‘
That’s a not-so-subtle reference to Idaho Republican Sen. Larry Craig, who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct after an undercover police officer arrested him for allegedly soliciting sex in a bathroom stall at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The team is an independent club that plays in the American Association.
Attention - I will pay CASH MONAY for one of these joints. Come on, you know you want one too. I think they should make a Hillary 3 AM bobblephone version.
Any bets for what’s going in this dish?AA "Fall-off-the-bone chicken"?AA Is that a proper culinary term?AA I still want that Bell Pepper.