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Somali Pirates Attack French Military Flagship

first_imgBy Dialogo October 09, 2009 La unica forma de combatir la pirateria, es manteniendo un grupo de marinos de la tripulacion del buque, entrenados y armados de escopetas contra motines, para repeler el abordage. esta medida no puede operar en barcos cisternas que trasporten GAS! es altamente peligrosa, por sucapacidad de explotar con una chispa de un tiro. Somali pirates attempted to storm the French navy’s 18,000 tonne flagship in the Indian Ocean after mistaking it for a cargo vessel, the French military said. The crew of La Somme, a 160-metre (525-foot) command vessel and fuel tanker, easily saw off the brazen night-time assault by lightly armed fighters on two lightweight skiffs and captured five pirates, a spokesman said. “The pirates, who because of the darkness took the French ship for a commercial vessel, were on board two vessels and opened fire with Kalashnikovs,” Admiral Christophe Prazuck said in Paris. La Somme is the French command vessel in the Indian Ocean, overseeing French air, sea and land forces fighting Somali pirates and hunting terrorists under the banner of the US-led Operation Enduring Freedom. Officers on the ship have directed commando operations to free French hostages in the hands of Somali pirates. The pirates tried to flee when they realised their mistake but were pursued by French forces who, after an hour-long chase, caught one of the skiffs, Prazuck said. On it they found five men but no weapons, water or food as the pirates had apparently thrown all of the boat’s contents overboard, the spokesman said. A Western official at sea in the area, speaking to AFP on condition of anonymity, said that there had been an exchange of fire between the warship and the pirate launches. “One of the skiffs managed to get away in the night because La Somme was busy with the first pirate boat,” he said. “Despite the arrival of other vessels, they haven’t yet managed to find the second boat,” he said, adding that many warships in the area were busy hunting another group which attacked a cargo ship off the Seychelles on Sunday. The world’s naval powers have deployed dozens of warships to the lawless waters off Somalia over the past year to curb attacks by pirates in one of the world’s busiest maritime trade routes. La Somme was operating 250 nautical miles (460 kilometres) off the Somali coast, on its way to resupply fuel to frigates patrolling shipping lanes as part of the European Union’s Operation Atalanta anti-piracy mission. This was not the first time that Somali pirates have mistakenly attacked a French naval vessel. Several pirates were captured in May when they attempted to board a frigate in the area. Somalia has had no proper government since it plunged into lawlessness after President Mohamed Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991. The country is riven by factional fighting and pirate gangs operate freely from several ports along its Indian Ocean and Gulf of Aden coasts. According to the environmental watchdog Ecoterra International, at least 163 attacks have been carried out by Somali pirates since the start of 2009 alone, 47 of them successful hijackings. Last year, more than 130 merchant ships were attacked, an increase of more than 200 percent on 2007, according to the International Maritime Bureau’s Piracy Reporting Centre in Kuala Lumpur. Pirates have in recent weeks resumed attacks with the end of the monsoon season. Last week Somali gunmen captured Spanish fishing boat The Alakrana with 36 crew members in the Indian Ocean. The US Maritime Administration warned last month that the end of the monsoon season was likely to bring an increase in piracy off Somalia and urged shipping companies to be vigilant. Calmer waters allow pirates, who often operate in small fibreglass skiffs towed out to sea by captured fishing vessels, to hijack freighters, trawlers and private yachts. Cruise vessels have also been attacked.last_img read more

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Swim teams ready for UW-Green Bay

first_imgThe University of Wisconsin men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams open their season at 2 p.m. Friday afternoon with a meet against the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at the UW Natatorium. The Badgers will begin their quest to improve on last year’s impressive run, where the men finished 19th at the NCAA national meet and the women placed 11th. The road to improvement will be difficult, however, as both teams lost key members from a year ago, most notably Olympian Carly Piper.”We have a very young squad this year, especially on the men’s side. I’m looking forward to watching the younger kids especially to see how they handle certain situations,” said head coach Eric Hansen, who will take the first meet with a grain of salt, but believes his swimmers have the mindset that they will be in top form against Green Bay. “They are all business. I understand how long the learning process is going to take, but they will put a lot of pressure on themselves.”When the two teams met a year ago, Wisconsin’s men’s and women’s teams emerged from the pool victors, a feat Hansen is confident can be repeated Friday.”I like our chances. The women’s team is really impressive right now and the men’s team is just young,” Hansen said. “The thing we are really stressing is to be aggressive, but to implement the things we have taught here technically. The main purpose of this is to come together as a team, though.”Because the lineups and events that UW swimmers will race in are still very fluid, Badger swimmers will likely be subjected to a variety of races beyond their personal specialties.”Each kid will swim one primary event, but we are going to challenge some of them to swim events they don’t normally swim, early in the season, so it will be interesting to see,” Hansen said.The women’s team has high preseason expectations, with many of the swimmers able to swim competitively in many different events, epitomized by first-team all-Big Ten selection and Big Ten Freshman of the Year Susan Johnson, who will likely see work in the backstroke and butterfly, as well as the team medleys.”We have a lot of women with national and international experience and I don’t think anything is going to surprise them, and this is just the first step towards what we want to do for them, which is to climb into the Top Ten in the country,” Hansen said.The men only return two upperclassmen this season in senior Michael Hamm and junior Tom Molzahn, who also serve as team captains. Gaining experience will be priority one for the men’s team as they look to overcome their youth and surprise teams in the Big Ten and on the national scene.”The big theme of this year is going to be gaining experience, because we only have one junior and one senior,” Hansen said. “Our two upperclassmen are very much our leaders and other than that, our kids are very much in the learning phase right now. At the same time, I can’t remember ever having a more motivated group of people as a team. It’s very exciting.”last_img read more

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Barca deny Abidal had illegal liver transplant

first_img“FC Barcelona roundly deny any irregularity in the matter,” the club said in a statement in English on their website.Abidal, a former France international, received a liver transplant in April 2012 at the Hospital Clinic in Barcelona and resumed his playing career a year later before retiring in 2014.The Eric Abidal foundation also issued a “categorical denial” of any “irregularities in the treatment of his illness”.On Wednesday morning, online newspaper El Confidencial reported that a telephone tap of former club president Sandro Rosell, suggested that the club illegally acquired a liver for the player.Rossell is due to face trial on charges of money laundering in connection with Brazilian TV rights sales and was also investigated for the deal which brought Neymar to Barcelona.Abidal, who is 38, was named Barcelona’s sport director in June.“The club are saddened by the lack of rigour in the spreading of such information about such a sensitive issue,” said the Barcelona statement.The clinic and the Spanish organ donation organisation (ONT) both issued statements denying any wrong-doing, although ONT added that it had opened an internal investigation.0Shares0000(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today) 0Shares0000Eric Abidal returned to action after a liver transplant to the joy of his Barcelona team-mates © AFP/File / Lluis GENEBARCELONA, Spain, Jul 4 – Barcelona denied on Wednesday that they illegally bought a transplant liver for their former defender Eric Abidal.Contacted by AFP, a Barcelona court said it had investigated a possible crime of organ trafficking for more than a year before deciding not to proceed because of a lack of evidence.last_img read more

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