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Morning Brief: U.S. in standoff with pirates

Top Story The crew of the Maersk Alabama, the U.S. cargo vessel that was hijacked by pirates yesterday managed to retake control of their ship, but the pirates are holding the ship’s captain on a nearby lifeboat. A U.S. Navy destroyer, th USS Bainbridge (right), has been dispatched to the scene and negotiations for the ...

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070122-N-0318S-004 Tampa Bay, Fla. (Jan. 22, 2007) - Sailors man the rail as the guided-missile destroyer USS Bainbridge (DDG 96) pulls into terminal three in Tampa Bay, to participate in Tampa Navy Week. Tampa Navy Week is one of 26 Navy Weeks planned across America in 2007. Navy Weeks are designed to show Americans the investment they have made in their Navy and increase awareness in cities that do not have a significant everyday Navy presence. U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st class Jesse A Sherwin III (RELEASED)

Top Story

The crew of the Maersk Alabama, the U.S. cargo vessel that was hijacked by pirates yesterday managed to retake control of their ship, but the pirates are holding the ship’s captain on a nearby lifeboat. A U.S. Navy destroyer, th USS Bainbridge (right), has been dispatched to the scene and negotiations for the release of Captain Richard Phillips are ongoing. Though dead-in-the-water after running out of fuel, the lifeboat has enough provisions for a week so negotiations could last for some time. Phillips and his first mate were trained in anti-piracy tactics.

The World Food Program has confirmed that the ship was carrying food aid meant for Somalia, Uganda and Kenya.

Europe

Forty thousand Georgians marched to demand the resignation of President Mikheil Saakashvili. 

Moldova’s government has accused neighboring Romania of stirring up this week’s post-election riots and has expelled the Romanian ambassador.

The death toll continues to rise from Italy’s recent earthquake.

Middle East

Iran said it will consider an offer of nuclear talks with the United States.

Followers of Moqtada al-Sadr marched to commemorate the sixth anniversary of the fall of Baghdad and demand the withdrawal of U.S. troops.

A group of Israeli settlers attacked a neighboring Palestinian village in the West Bank.

Americas

President Barack Obama is moving ahead with an overhaul of the U.S. immigration system this summer.

Obama will not meet one-on-one with Hugo Chavez at next week’s Summit of the Americas.

As federal examiners investigate U.S. banks, it appears likely they will need more bailout money.

Asia

Thailand is moving ahead in hosting the 10-nation East Asian summit despite massive anti-government protests.

Corruption is undermining efforts to train and equip the Afghan police.

Kim Jong Il’s leadership was renewed by North Korea’s parliament.

Africa 

Algerians vote in presidential elections today. Incumbent Abdelaziz Bouteflika is heavily favored to win.

Human Rights Watch has released new data on atrocities committed in Eastern Congo.

A Ugandan spy was charged with embezzling thousands of dollars meant for AIDS patients.

Photo: U.S. Navy

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