April 10, 2009

Somalian pirates stop captain's escape

Per New York Times, Captain Richard Phillips who was taken hostage on Wednesday when Somailian pirates hijacked his container ship, the Maersk Alabama, attempted to escape today by jumping into the Indian Ocean from "their slow-moving lifeboat".

Captain Phillips remained in the water for a short period of time before the pirates "hauled him back on board," per the Times.

U.S. Twitterers responded with their prayers and thoughts.

  1. Lindsay Clark
    nomadderwhere (Indianapolis, Ind.) The captain obtained by Somalian pirates is a best friend's neighbor. Lesson: pirates are crazy and REAL...and the Kevin Bacon law applies.
  2. Lee Lewis
    jubchuqun (Undisclosed) The Somalian Pirates renigged on their prisoner exchange and kept the American Captain. Duh! They're Pirates!
  3. Betty Nguyen
    bettynguyencnn (Atlanta, Ga.) A U.S. Captain held hostage by Somali pirates. He tries to escape but fails. What next - how should the U.S. respond?
  4. Paul Wayne
    pw9r (Seattle, Wash.) Captain Phillips tries to escape Somali pirates is recaptured. Somalia has a black shadow of shame hanging over its head.
  5. FlashBack1968
    FlashBack1968 (San Antonio, Texas) Please keep Captain Richard Phillips in prayer since he heroically put himself in harms way to save his crew.
  6. Lani McWilliams
    LaniThinksSo (New Orleans, La.) How can pirates call for back-up? Very scary. Prayers for Richard Phillips.


Fiji placed in emergency rule

Per Radio New Zealand, military leader Frank Bainimarama was reinstated as Prime Minister on Saturday, regaining control of the government for the second time and placing a "firm grip" on his rule of the nation.

Public Emergency Regulations were put into place on Friday, effectively putting the nation in emergency rule in which all media organizations will be monitored closely by the government, per the article.

Few tweets from Fiji itself could be found, but one university student in Fiji's capital Suva downplayed the news.

  1. Bhavin Marvadi
    bhavinm (Suva, Fiji) RT @FijiLomalagi : http://twitpic.com/34n7b - Here's what "turmoil and chaos" look like in Fiji today!
  2. Bhavin Marvadi
    bhavinm (Suva, Fiji) @aMMPh Unharmed? You' talking like we're going to get killed or something. Intl.media has overhyped the real situation. We are perfctly safe

Twitterers in nearby New Zealand expressed their opinions on the developments.

  1. dominotheory
    dominotheory (Auckland, New Zealand) Yet another too-short coverage of a serious issue in Fiji on channel one news.
  2. Naca Nabunobuno
    lewavesi (Auckland, New Zealand) is appalled with the political monkey antics going on in Fiji...
  3. Scott Mayo
    toxaq (Auckland, New Zealand) Feeling sorry for Fiji. What a mockery of democracy.

Other Twitterers around the world spoke of the nation in tourist terms.

  1. BlueRidgeblog
    BlueRidgeblog (Valle Crucis, N.C.) Kinda ruins the vacation plans: RT @BreakingNews: BULLETIN -- FIJI'S PRESIDENT ILOILO DECLARES A STATE OF EMERGENCY &EXTENDS POLICE POWER.
  2. Jas Darrah
    jdarrah (Edmonton, Canada) Fiji is right now putting the banana in banana republic. Shame - another coup in one of the nicest countries I've ever visited.
  3. Stephen Megitt
    steeben (Toronto, Canada) really such a shame about Fiji. one of the nicest places i've visited, but, it is not without a tumultuous past. http://snipr.com/fnp1e


Featured TwitPic: Early morning moon in Cape Town, South Africa

"Please enjoy this moon at 7am" (Posted by @2oceansvibe, Cape Town, South Africa, April 10, 2009)


Tornadoes touch down in Nashville area

Per The Murfreesboro Post, multiple tornadoes were spotted in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, on Friday afternoon, according to eyewitness accounts and emergency personnel.

Murfreesboro is about 30 miles from Nashville. A tornado was also reported in Western Kentucky, per The Kentucky Post.

Several Twitterers in Murfreesboro confirmed the tornadoes, and provided live tweets during the storm.

  1. andde
    andde I just walked my ass in walmart and they said they are under tornado warning. I said hell nah and left.. the weather crazy I'm soaked haha
  2. Phillip Maddox
    phillipmaddox I saw the tornado dude. It was freakin huge. We got super lucky. They shut down 24 over here. Cars flipped with people in them
  3. lisasasse
    lisasasse A tornado just hit the neighborhood behind our house, thank God for His protection!
  4. marcus snyder
    metonymy4sale . .another tornado just tore through murfreesboro . houses are 'gone' . absolute chaos ...
  5. Amy B.
    some_coreopsis They're saying at least ten houses were destroyed by the tornado. Not my area of town, thank the Lord. All is safe out here.
  6. Brandon Felder
    brandon_felder Again, for those wondering. Yes, I am fine. I did see the tornado out front of my work place which was awesome and scary.

Several twitterers in Murfreesboro found out about the tornadoes through sirens.

  1. Valerie Jones-Ray
    semicaustic Crap. Are those tornado sirens?! I can't tell. I don't know what they sound like! But it doesn't sound like anything else I've heard.
  2. Nate Tallman
    natetallman Tornado sirens going of. I'm out and about.
  3. heather
    zhak just woke up to tornado sirens! o_O Woooooo!
  4. Scott Mills
    scottiemills just heard the sirens go off in Murfreesboro and a guy say "SEEK SHELTER NOW!" If I never see you tweets again.. I love you.

Some tweeted a link to a YouTube video with footage of one tornado:


Boys outnumber girls in China by 32 Million

Per the Wall Street Journal, 32 million more boys than girls populate China due to its selective abortion practices. The imbalance is likely to continue for decades, per the article.

Twitterers express concerns over the large gender gap.

  1. Ann-Katrin B
    AnnKatrin_B (Germany) 32 million more boys than girls in China according to Swedish news today. Going to mean trouble when they grow up and want to settle down
  2. LG
    TheLostSwede (Taipei, Taiwan) @riceagain 32 million more boys than girls in China... nice going... at least there will be less people in a couple of generations...
  3. Mark Fidgett
    MortgageMark (Vancouver, B.C.) 32 million more boys than girls in China. Why : (


Italy mourns quake victims

Per CNN, thousands of people gathered today at a mass funeral to lay the 287 victims of Monday's earthquake in Central Italy to rest. The funeral was held outside an airplane hanger, due to fears of aftershocks that could create debris, at a town adjacent to L'Aquila, the town that was at the center of the quake. All area cardinals and bishops attended the funeral mass on Good Friday and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi was also in attendance.

Twitterers are reacting to the unfolding events:

  1. Luca Belletti
    bitful (London, U.K.) Tv at gym shows Italy quake mass funeral images on tv. Life is fleeting, i shall live every moment of this weekend to the fullest.
  2. Giorgia  Ciriotto
    cirigio96 (Italy) Sono triste... La mia naz
    ione e' in lutto. Un tremendo terremoto ha colpito la regione dell' Abruzzo. I morti e i senza tetto sono tanti.... (I am sad...My nation is in mourning. A terrible earthquake hit the region of Abruzzo. The dead and homeless are so many...)

  3. dbevilacqua
    dbevilacqua (Milan, Italy) Mi sento vicino a tutti quelli che oggi hanno lasciato per sempre i loro cari, morti nel terremoto in abruzzo (I feel close to all those who have now left forever their loved ones died in the earthquake in Abruzzo)
  4. Davide Di Cillo
    DavideDiCillo (Oakland Park, Florida) reading about L'Aquila earthquake's numbers, 289 people lost their lives, almost 40,000 left their homes. My prays and thoughts go to them.

  5. MoDarling
    MoDarling (Greenpoint, New York) Just talking about Italy earthquake with my dad, a lot of my grandmother's family from that area. :(
  6. Roger Gagnon
    RogerGagnon (Toronto, Canada) Funeral services for Italy earthquake victims held outside; Churches not safe enough to use. So sad.

  7. Yasmine
    Yasmine1986 (Location not listed) Takin' a moment to reflect on this week, praying for the lives lost in Italy's earthquake.

Twitterers are still looking over the damage done to this small Italian town. @anbucco posted this TwitPic of damage:


Israel's Iranian threats debated

Per The Daily Star-Lebanon, a debate arose within the U.S. administration regarding Israel's threats to carry out strikes as a means of leverage in future negotiations with Tehran. The debate arose after General David Petraeus, currently the chief of CENTOM, stated that Israel might strike Iran due to their nuclear sites and active nuclear programs before the Senate Armed Committee Hearings last week.

Yet, Vice President Joe Biden stated to Wolf Blitzer of CNN, that he didn't think that Israel would launch a pre-emptive strike against Iran based soley on the fact that Iran had nuclear programs running.

The debate soon spilled over to Twitter.

  1. Avi Abelow
    avirach (Efrat, Israel) Who voted for this guy? Signs that US Admin. under Obama looking for strategic partnership with Iran and dumping Israel http://bit.ly/Bqrz3
  2. JIDF
    JIDF (Jerusalem, Israel) US and Israel may fall out over Iran - The National Newspaper [del.icio.us] http://tinyurl.com/c7wjlm
  3. James Pyles
    jamespyles (Boise, Idaho) @MikeBoss ...but it may come down to the US under Obama embracing Iran and the Persian/Arab world and proving it by slam dunking Israel
  4. The Yellow Shark
    YellowShark (Bozeman, Montana) an excellent article on the difficulties and possibilities of unwinding tensions between #US, #Iran, and #Israel: http://is.gd/rt62
  5. Brian Coplin
    BrianINC (San Francisco, Calif.) Obama administration warns Israel, NOT!! Iran http://bit.ly/11n4e what are we doing? It just doesn't end the stupid acts just won't stop
  6. Vered Sharon
    VeredSharon (Silicon Valley, Calif.) Israel on US talks w/ countries like Iran that breed terrorism:Go ahead and talk. A bit cheeky. Will Obama pull something out of hat???