pirates! (and the arctic, and a few other naval matters)

Just a quickie so I can close some of these tabs. I continue to regret the lack of good photos. Everyone seems to use two or three of the same pics over and over, but I’ve used them all already. So I’ll lead with this story on the grounds that it’s the only one with a photo I can use….

Admiral’s ‘Urgent’ Plea: Pirate-Fighting Sonic Blasters

Nato war ships boost security at Somalia coast
EU Developments For Legal Framework to Fight Piracy

Yea its a lot of legal mumbo-jumbo, but basically, the EU is saying if you capture pirates and your state doesn’t want to prosecute them because the laws in your state are too broken to deal with international piracy, then another European state whose laws actually work can prosecute the pirates for the nation who captured the pirates.

Seized arms ship owner in talks with pirates
Danish freighter hijacked in Somalia
Pirates demand ransom from Turkish company

The Arctic is a geopolitical story, but also an environmental one. I’m just going to mix them up here:
Unmanned robot subs key to Canada’s claim on Arctic riches

Europe’s Arctic adventure – The new cold rush for resources
Japan asked to join new Arctic shipping regime
Arctic Sea Ice Decline Shakes Up Ocean Ecosystems

And on to assorted naval matters:

Navy Commissions First Littoral Combat Ship Freedom
Rosy Future for Navy’s Troubled Shoreline Fighters?

And finally, the Russians seem to keep having this sort of problem:
Russian sub accident points to Navy’s shortcomings

news- pirates, space, etc

Pirates Seize Malaysian Tanker Off Somalia’s Coast
Frigate unable to aid pirate victims

Iran to send first astronaut into space within 10 years
NASA Releases Plan For Ares I Vibration Problem
How to Mine Martian Water

Big stink as Israel unleashes ‘skunk’ on Palestinians

Blowin’ In The Wind: Bloomberg’s Green Energy Plan
If Congress Lifts the Offshore Oil Drilling Moratorium, What Happens Next?
Birds ‘off the pace’ with warming

news stories- the friday night, ready for my nap edition

Shell eyes Iraq as Nigeria raids continue

Caribbean Pirate Attack and the Hero Dog

Any question that involves the Black Sea Fleet is laying the foundation for war:
Crimea’s port dispute: Ukraine wants Russian fleet out of Sevastopol

Arizona Ruling: No religious right to marijuana

Weisberg acknowledged that Arizona courts have allowed the possession of peyote for religious use by the Native American Church.

But he said prosecutors in that case never showed that peyote was addictive or being used in quantities harmful to the health of the participants.

Anyway, the judge added, the long and continuous use of peyote by a “discrete and well- defined group” makes it different from drug-use claims by other religions.

The Army’s Banana Peel Weaponry

Six Georgian Policemen Wounded in Georgian-Ossetia Conflict Zone

Ancient map prompts renewed debate over Arctic sovereignty

NASA Nanosatellites Catch Ride on Rocket, Demonstrate Technology
John Glenn Calls Bush Space Vision an Unfunded Mandate

OK, tomorrow’s shaping up to include some serious mayhem. See you Sunday or Monday.

news- a post-meetup quickie

Too busy barbecuing in the park and ranting about Spain to give you much tonight. Insert witty remarks as necessary.

Truck Stops to Sell Tasers

The most dangerous seas in the world
Gates warns of militarization of US foreign policy
Breakaway Abkhazia opens mission in Moldova’s separatist region
Georgia pokes holes in German peace plan
Muslims furious at anthem and symbols adopted by Bosnian Serbs
Nasa Official: Moon Capsule Not Likely to Be Ready By 2013

news news news – sneaky animals, more georgia, etc

News of the weird kicks it off tonight, with two entries by way of Fortean Times and another one that’s not:
Teenager finds baby bat in her bra
Pictured: The moment an unsuspecting shopper is attacked by a hungry seagull
Naked man hijacks bus

I think Jim Lobe’s got this one right:
Despite Fireworks, War Clouds Recede

But while those events, as with Wednesday’s missile launches, which sent the price of oil up two dollars, grabbed the headlines, the back pages suggest a somewhat different story – that, in advance of a period of intensified diplomacy, all sides are seeking to gain as much leverage as possible.

US Secretary of State in Georgia Hours After Deadly Georgian Firefight
Su-25 fighters detected in skies over Georgia-S Ossetia zone
US, Russia trade charges over Georgia amid war warnings

Space shuttle gets its final assignments
U.S. Finds It’s Getting Crowded Out There: Dominance in Space Slips as Other Nations Step Up Efforts

Pirates free German ship off Somalia

“The ship and its 15 crew members were released on Tuesday afternoon after pirates received a ransom of $750,000,” Ali Farah Warfa, the acting district commissioner of the Somali coastal town of Eyl, told The Associated Press by telephone.

He said the ransom came in by another ship and was paid to 18 pirates, most armed with AK-47s and heavy machine guns, in Eyl, 2300 miles north of Mogadishu.

Pain Ray vs. Snipers

the news again- pinkos in space

I don’t know about you, but I get really sick of liberals who always whine about the cost of the space program, as if we wouldn’t just shift the money to the military if we cut NASA. Anyway, here’s a promising panel at the Netroots conference:
Progressive NASA and Space Policy Under a New Administration

Yesterday it was beer. Now it’s tea. Things are progressing in the wrong direction:
Woman overpowers thief with tea and sympathy

‘Science fiction like’ weapons on tap for political conventions

South Ossetia releases detained Georgian officers
Georgian rebel region calls for peace talks: report

news stories- asteroids etc

Let’s start with things that go boom:
100 years on, mystery shrouds massive ‘cosmic impact’ in Russia
Early life survived huge cosmic impact

Abkhazia blames Georgia for bomb blasts
Georgia launches a three-track diplomatic effort on Abkhazia

Macedonia-Kosovo Border Marking Starts
Turkey’s Calik Group invests in Kosovo

Former Iraqi detainees sue U.S. military contractors
AT&T Whistleblower: Spy Bill Creates ‘Infrastructure for a Police State’

And this by way of the Danger Room:
Scooter to be featured on Discovery Channel: Weapon is made for crowd control

news stories- guinea pigs, plutoids and pepper spray

VA testing drugs on war veterans

Getting ready for the Democratic National Convention:
Denver stocks up on pepper weapon: City orders guns that fire special plastic balls

Denver had war games this week. Minneapolis had them last week. Denver’s got the Dems this summer, and Minneapolis has the Republicans. But that’s not related at all:

The exercise by special ops troops, supported by Denver police SWAT teams and firefighters, is intended to prepare for a terrorism threat in a “realistic urban environment,” said Lt. Steve Ruh, a spokesman for the U.S. Special Operations Command, headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida.

Military and police officials dismissed reports that the exercise was preparation for the Democratic National Convention coming to Denver in August.

“We have nothing to do with the Democratic National Convention,” said Ruh, noting that similar counterterrorism exercises have been conducted in Manhattan, Los Angeles and Houston.

Things still aren’t going well in Afghanistan:
Taliban apparently prepare for major battle near Kandahar

Robot Finds Mars Dry So Far

Strife and discord within the International Astronomical Union:
IAU Snobbery
Hail Eris, etc.

5th human foot washes up on B.C. shore

While the similarities to the other found feet is strong, she said there’s no indication this foot is related to the other cases.

“We’re certainly not discounting the possibility that this may be linked to the other recovered feet, but it’s just too premature and very speculative for us to even entertain that right now,” she said.

news stories- eris gets snubbed, sex in the church

This story barely even mentions Eris. What an unoriginal snub.
Pluto Now Called a Plutoid

Meanwhile, back on Mars:
Mars Soil Sample Finally Delivered to Phoenix Instrument

Pirates attack cattle ship bound for Western Australia
Pirates attack Cameroonian military convoy in Bakassi
Will piracy never be sunk?

Piracy is as old as seafaring and even ancient states suffered from this evil. Julius Caesar was probably one its most famous victims. Captured in the Aegean Sea in 75 BC, he was released for the princely ransom of 50 talents (the pirates had only asked for twenty, but Caesar insisted he was worth more), and promised his captors to come back and execute them, which he promptly did.

Danger Room debunks activist folklore:
Protesters Panic Over ‘Crap Cannon’

They had sex WHERE?

An Italian couple who were caught having sex in a church confessional box while morning Mass was being said have repented and made peace with the local bishop.

Their lawyer said they had been drinking all night and realized they had gone too far.

OK, real news some other time.