November 6, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - When is a pirate not a pirate? A federal court may provide an answer in a trial that opened in Washington this week of a Somali official who helped win release of a hijacked Danish cargo ship and crew for $1.7 million ransom, but who played no part in seizing the vessel or holding it for 71 days. U.S. courts have convicted dozens of Somali pirates in recent years, part of a vast multinational effort that has helped curtail the rampant hijacking of oil tankers, freighters, sailboats and other ships off the Horn of Africa.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2013 |
SAN DIEGO - Eager to strengthen its ties with the U.S., the government of Thailand agreed not to charge for use of its docks and wharves when three Navy ships arrived in 2010 for a multi-nation exercise at sea. So when a bill arrived weeks later at the Navy regional headquarters for $110,000, the Navy began asking questions. That led to an expansive, international investigation into whether the Navy and U.S. taxpayers were getting ripped off at ports throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
November 3, 2013 |
If it weren't for Google trying to cover it up, the old sea-worn barge stacked four stories high with customized shipping containers may not have become an object of global fascination. But Google being Google with all its out-there projects - many ripped from the pages of sci-fi bestsellers - the secrecy behind the barge has taken on a life of its own. Google isn't saying anything, and having guards shoo away prying eyes has only added to the mystery. Since the barge was discovered 10 days ago, my imagination has raced through mind-blowing possibilities.
October 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Two Americans were taken hostage by pirates who attacked their ship off the coast of Nigeria, U.S. officials said Thursday. The captain and chief engineer of the C-Retriever, a U.S.-flagged oil supply ship, were kidnapped in the attack early Wednesday in the Gulf of Guinea, according to news reports. The ship is owned by Edison Chouest Offshore, a maritime company based in Cut Off, La. A company spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. The identities of the hostages weren't released.
October 23, 2013 |
FedEx Corp. said Wednesday it expects the busiest Cyber Monday shipping week in its history this year as more consumers turn to shopping online for the holiday season. The company said it expects to move more than 22 million shipments on Cyber Monday, which falls on Dec. 2. That's an 11% increase over last year's Cyber Monday, the marketing term for the Monday after Thanksgiving, when online retailers offer holiday shoppers steep discounts. FedEx also projects it will handle more than 85 million shipments between Dec. 1 and Dec. 7, its busiest week of the year.
October 22, 2013 |
Online behemoth Amazon.com raised the minimum order price to get free shipping to $35, a decision that could give the retailer a big boost during the crucial holiday season. The $10 bump affects the company's Super Saver Shipping, which for years offered free shipping on any orders that cost $25 or more. The move comes just days before the Seattle company releases its third-quarter earnings results. "This is the first time in more than a decade that Amazon has altered the minimum order for free shipping in the U.S. " the company noted in a Tuesday blog post . "During that time, we have expanded free shipping selection by millions of items.
October 18, 2013 |
Amazon.com said it is now shipping the latest version of its Kindle Fire tablet, just a few days before Apple holds an event where it is expected to announce a new lineup of its iPad tablets. The Seattle-based online retailer announced Friday that the 7-inch Kindle Fire HDX is now shipping to customers, after its announcement in September. The $229 Kindle Fire HDX features a redesigned, more angular look, a higher resolution screen than its predecessor and a new customer service feature called Mayday.
October 18, 2013 |
A North Korean freighter seized in Panama for carrying contraband fighter jet engines and missile components from Cuba will be released soon and allowed to return home with most of its crew members, Panamanian authorities have decided. The ship's captain and first officer, however, will remain in Panama pending a decision by United Nations inspectors on whether they should face charges of violating sanctions on weapons trade, Panamanian Foreign Minister Fernando Nunez Fabrega told journalists in Panama City.
October 10, 2013 |
When Paul Greengrass directs a thoroughly dramatic tale based on true events and Tom Hanks takes on the title role, you think you know what to expect. But just you wait - the piercingly realistic "Captain Phillips" will exceed your expectations. The story of the six days that Richard Phillips, captain of the cargo ship Maersk Alabama, spent in April 2009 first trying to avoid a gang of Somali pirates and then as their restive captive, this film does an impeccable job of creating and tightening the narrative screws.
October 9, 2013 |
Italian authorities have arrested a 35-year-old Tunisian with a reported history of human smuggling in last week's deadly sinking of a boat packed with some 500 Africans migrants trying to reach Europe, according to media reports. Khaled Ben Salem was identified by other survivors of the Thursday shipwreck as one of the men who brought the overloaded boat from the Libyan port of Misrata toward Italy, the reports said. The boat caught fire and sank just half a mile off the Italian island of Lampedusa.