Oct 21

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CNN\’s Dan Rivers walks through the the remains of the area where Gadhafi was found in Sirte, Libya.

Oct 11

US and British commandos have rescued 23 crew members and arrested 11 pirates on board the Montecristo   Fearing for their lives, the crew locked themselves inside an armoured area of the ship and waited for help [Reuters]

British and US commandos have raided an Italian vessel hijacked by pirates off the coast of Somalia, rescuing the carrier’s 23 crew members and capturing its assailants, Italy’s foreign ministry said.

“The vessel [Montecristo] has been freed… thanks to the joint intervention of two ships from the United States and British navies” operating as part of NATO’s anti-piracy operations, the foreign ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.

The 11 pirates who hijacked the cargo ship “gave themselves up and are being held in detention”, the statement continued.

The crew, seven Italians, six Ukrainians and 10 Indians, locked themselves inside an armoured area of the vessel when the pirates boarded the ship on Monday, said Ignazio La Russa, Italy’s defence minister.

La Russa told journalists that the US and British commandos had used helicopters to judge the level of danger a raid would pose to the crew, but had met no resistance from the pirates.

Franco Frattini, Italy’s foreign minister, described the raid as “an important operation in international anti-piracy collaboration” and praised the British and American commandos for the mission’s success.


“We are relieved, but have not yet been able to contact the crew,” said a spokesman for the Tuscany-based D’Alesio shipping company. “In the meantime, we are contacting the families,” he added.

The father of one of the crew members, Pietro Raimondo, said Italian officials had told him that his son was in good shape.

“We are happy. We are celebrating the liberation,” Antonio Raimondo told Italy’s ANSA news agency.

The Montecristo was travelling from Liverpool to Vietnam with a cargo of scrap iron when it was captured by pirates about 1,000km east of the Somali coast on Monday. The pirates had made no demands.

Piracy menace

Earlier on Tuesday, Italy’s shipowners association, Confitarma, announced it was signing a protocol with the defence ministry to allow military forces to travel aboard ships in dangerous areas to ward off pirate attacks.

Pirates flourish off largely lawless Somalia by attacking passing ships, taking hostages and demanding ransoms to free them and the vessels.

On April 21 Somali pirates captured an Italian cargo ship headed for Iran with 21 crew on board, including six Italians, in the Arabian Sea near Oman.

In the same month, a Danish assault team freed 18 hostages after boarding a hijacked vessel off Somalia’s coast. Ten days later, South Korean commandos stormed a container ship and freed 21 hostages on board.

Pirates currently hold at least 10 ships and 251 people hostage, according to Harrie Harrison, commander of the anti-piracy military coalition European Union Naval Force.

Mar 03

In the Old Testament’s Book of Judges Gideon led Israel to victory over
the Midianites, who dwelled in the southeast of Palestine, with a small
army equipped with only trumpets, lit torches and jars to conceal the
torches’ flames. Following Gideon’s instructions, his three hundred
soldiers blew their trumpets and smashed their jars as they shouted “a

sword for the Lord, a sword for Gideon”. With that, the tens of thousands of Midianite troops
fled in fear. Armed with just a microphone, one-drop rhythms and purifying lyrical flames,
singer Richie Spice is the Gideon of contemporary reggae. The publicly declared “prince of fire”
uses culturally uplifting, spiritually fortified words to defeat the negative content that informs
much of popular (Jamaican) music. Fittingly, “Gideon Boot” is the title track of Spice’s brilliant
fourth album. Recorded over the timeless “Johnny Too Bad” rhythm (taken from The Slickers 1970s
hit of the same name, popularized in the film “The Harder They Come”) the song details Spice’s
strategic plan for delivering his musical sermon to an awaiting global audience. “I need a Gideon
boot and a khaki suit to stand out inna Babylon and defend the truth/ I got a strong reggae beat
with a mic in my hand fe lead out de youth dem outta destruction and let de people know right from

Just like the singer’s previous albums “Universal”, “Spice In Your Life” and “In The Streets to Africa”,
“Gideon Boot” contains inspiring messages specifically aimed at empowering vulnerable youth. Spice
confidently juxtaposes his songs of valor with unity themes (“Living In Love”, “Getting Harder”) and
the importance of staying focused (“Make Up Your Mind”, “Hang On In There”). Spice’s flawless
vocals effortlessly scale the high notes then smoothly segue into scatted improvisations as he
weaves intricate, evocative melodies throughout this exquisite 15-track set that is certain to carry
his name to unchartered territories for Jamaican music.

The traditional Rastafarian Nyabinghi drumming that dominates the opening cut “Babylon Falling”
heralds the seriousness of Spice’s musical mission. “World Is A Cycle”, sung over producer Arif
Cooper’s haunting “Guardian Angel” rhythm, is, as Spice explains, “a song for the children and for
the parents saying be careful because what you do can fall right back on you and your kids.”

Also included is the current Jamaican hit “The Plane Land” which display’s Spice’s superb story
telling skills. The song’s lyrics detail the frustration that oftentimes accompanies post 9/11travel.
“Saddle up myself fe take interrogation…tek off mi shoes, tek off mi tam, if they ever find you with a
spliff yu gone another land.” “It is a song everyone can relate to if they travel,” notes Spice, “and
if they don’t travel, they will learn this is what we go through as entertainers as we go to other

Since 2004, when his apocalyptic single “Earth A Run Red” became the year’s most popular reggae
song, Richie Spice has performed throughout the world, insuring that cultural roots reggae isn’t
relegated to a bygone era but continues as a thriving, evolving musical genre.

Born Richell Bonner in the Kingston, Jamaica suburb of St. Andrew, Richie Spice hails from a musical
family that includes his older brother Pliers (from the deejay/singer duo Chaka Demus and Pliers of
“Murder She Wrote” fame), singer Spanner Banner and deejay Snatcher Dogg. It was Spanner Banner,
(best known for his mid 90s hit “Life Goes On”) who first brought Spice to the recording studio;
the hopeful singer, admittedly, couldn’t manage the rigors of professional recording but the
opportunity opened his eyes to the proficiency required to succeed in the reggae industry.
“That experience show me that to reach anywhere there is a lot of work to be done,” Spice reflects.

Spice continued working towards gaining a foothold in the music industry and shortly thereafter
he met veteran producer Clive Hunt who produced his breakthrough single, the engaging lovers rock
tune “Grooving My Girl”, still one of the most popular songs in Spice’s repertoire. “Grooving” was
initially featured on Spice’s 2000 debut album “Universal”, as was the song that would make him a
household name in Jamaica, “Earth A Run Red”.

Since 2004 Spice has become one of reggae’s most in demand talents and the recipient of numerous
awards and accolades. He received the Most Cultural Artist Award at the 13th annual South Florida
Reggae Soca Awards in 2005; he was voted the Male Singer/Singjay of the Year at Jamaica’s IRIE FM
Awards in 2007 and following his performance at the first annual “Black My Story” concert held in
Kingston on Feb. 2, 2008 Spice was honored for his positive musical contributions. His 2004 album
“Spice in Your Life” was listed among the year’s best reggae releases by the New York Times; “In
the Streets To Africa”, released in 2007, reached number 6 on the Billboard Reggae chart and one
of the album’s biggest hits “Youth Dem Cold” peaked at number 59 on the Billboard Top 100 Singles
Chart and ranked at number 29 on Vibe Magazine’s Best 44 songs of 2007. Now with the release of
“Gideon Boot” even greater recognition is assured for Spice’s talent, as is the expansion of his
international fan base.

“I’ve always had a wide meditation of having my music go out there to the world because I know it
can go far,” says Spice. “But it is very hard singing of righteousness in the world. When you sing
of good you will find that evil rise up and try to dominate good. But I will continue the fight, go
out there and have people hear what I am saying.”

Feb 28

HALLE BERRY .surprisingly bitter custody battle with Gabriel Aubry over daughter Nahla, it’s hard to view her pristine, Mother Nature-taunting beauty in quite the same way. And that goes for her strapless, beaded Marchesa gown, too. On the surface, it’s beyond reproach, save for an excess smattering of tulle sprouts

along the hemline. But as we’ve learned in recent weeks, problems aplenty can lurk beneath an otherwise flawless façade, and they can turn even the most beautiful things unlovely. To tell you the truth, we don’t wanna look too closely. Moving on …