Friday, April 17, 2009

ABC 20-20 covers Somalia/Indian Ocean piracy problem

ABC “20-20” tonight (April 17) covered the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean, particularly in the vicinity of Somalia. John Quinones reported.

The main text report of the show is by Eamon McNiff, “Among the Somali Pirates: Codes of Conduct, Life on Land: As Captain Phillips Returns Home, Watch Never-Before-Seen Footage of a Pirate's Life” link here. The report discussed the pirates’ “code of conduct” which includes not harming the passengers (normally) and paying the man who enters first and takes the most risk the most. However, in recent years pirates have become heavily armed and take on much larger commercial ships.

The pirates say that the main reason for the increase in activity is economic. Major companies came in about twenty years ago and destroyed all the fishing off the coast, driving young men with families into unemployment.

CEOs of private companies defended the practice of ransom because they say they are pledged to get their unarmed crews home safely.

There was a brief scene at the US Merchant Marine Academy on Long Island with a piracy-repelling training exercise.

Another segment on tonight’s 20-20 covered out the reluctance of AIG to payout claims to Iraqi war veterans despite the lavish behavior of executives during the bailout period.

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