Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A Return to Piracy

piracy

PI'RACY, n. [L. piratica, from Gr. to attempt, to dare, to enterprise, whence L. periculum, experior; Eng. to fare.]

1. The act, practice or crime of robbing on the high seas; the taking of property from others by open violence and without authority, on the sea; a crime that answers to robbery on land.

Other acts than robbery on the high seas, are declared by statute to be piracy. See Act of Congress, April 30, 1790.
So says Noah Webster.

Eleven pirate attacks off of Somalia last week. Meanwhile, for the year to date:

A total of 199 incidents were reported to the IMB Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC) in the first nine months of 2008. The third quarter of 2008 saw reported incidents spike to 83, a significant increase when compared to the 53 reported in the first quarter and the 63 reported in the second quarter. The reported acts of piracy committed to date in 2008 have included 115 vessels boarded, 31 vessels hijacked, and 23 vessels fired upon. A total of 581 crewmembers were taken hostage, nine kidnapped, nine killed and seven missing – presumed dead.


So a problem we thought we had overcome 200 years ago is back.

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