From CNN, a little something for the folks who insist that paying tribute to pirates is a perfectly sensible economic transaction, and one that the recipients deserve for the hardships the West has inflicted upon them:
Piracy accelerated after the fall of the Somali government in the early 1990s and began to flourish after shipping companies started paying ransoms. Those payments started out being in the tens of thousands of dollars and have since climbed into the millions.
Oh, and yesterday they opened fire on the US-flagged food-aid ship that was transporting the American captain who had been held hostage by that other group of deprived, honest fishermen (who didn’t get the millions of dollars they politely requested at gunpoint).
[update 4/26: two recent data points worth noting]
Earlier Sunday, Kenyan maritime groups said Somali pirates had released another Yemeni freighter and its 15 crew members. The ship was seized in January with a cargo of petroleum products.
Separately Sunday, the captain of an Italian cruise ship said his security staff fought off a pirate attack in the region Saturday with pistols and a water hose. Commander Ciro Pinto told Italian media the ensuing gunfight damaged the ship, but the 1,500 passengers were unhurt.