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FROM THIS EPISODE

A Saudi freighter the size of an aircraft carrier is being held by a small band of Somali pirates. With a load of two million barrels of crude oil and a crew of twenty-five, it's a valuable hostage for the pirates and a potential environmental disaster if negotiations fail and an oil spill occurs. Guest host Sara Terry explores what’s happened to millions of dollars in ransom paid for the release of other vessels, who the pirates are and why they aren’t being caught by naval forces.


Banner image: The Liberian-flagged oil tanker MV Sirius Star at anchor off the coast of Somalia November 19. Photo: William S. Stevens/US Navy via Getty Images

Ocean Titans

Daniel Sekulich

Producers:
Karen Radziner
Andrea Brody

Making News Southern California Prepares for Storm, Possible Mudslides 5 MIN, 4 SEC

Guests:
Doug Irving, Reporter, Orange County Register

Main Topic Surge in Piracy off Somalia 19 MIN, 41 SEC

Somali pirates want $15 million in ransom money for the Sirius Star, a Saudi tanker carrying $100 million worth of crude oil that they took earlier this month. This morning, there’s news that a Yemeni cargo freighter has been captured. That brings the total of ships now being held by pirates to seventeen. There've been more than 200 incidents this year, with a doubling of attacks off the Somali coast. That’s bad news for a world in which eighty percent of international goods travel by sea. Why has the coast of east Africa became such a dangerous place for shipping? What has caused the resurgence in piracy on the world's oceans? Who are the pirates targeting? Why can't they be stopped? How is the international community responding to the problem?

Guests:
Daniel Sekulich, author, 'Terror on the Seas'
Roger Middleton, Africa Analyst, Chatham House
Joe Angelo, Deputy Managing Director, Intertanko
David Cockroft, General Secretary, International Transport Workers' Federation

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