Top of the Morning: Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea Abduct American Sailors

Top stories from DAWNS Digest

Pirates in the Gulf of Guinea Abduct American Sailors

As regular DAWNS Readers will no doubt know, piracy off the west coast of Africa has been a growing concern for the past couple of years. This incident may finally put the issue on America’s radar.  “The United States is investigating reports that pirates kidnapped two Americans from a U.S.-flagged ship off the coast of Nigeria in West Africa, where security has been a growing concern. The incident involves a U.S.-flagged vessel, the 222-foot C-Retriever, in the Gulf of Guinea…The ship’s captain and chief engineer were abducted early Wednesday morning, according to the British security firm AKE. Rick Filon of AKE said Nigerian Central Naval Command has provided no additional information.” (USA Today

Polio Outbreak Confirmed in Syria: Hundreds of Thousands At Risk 

On Saturday, the WHO offered  vague report of potential polio outbreak in Syria. Yesterday, it was confirmed…on World Polio Day, no less! “Initial tests came back positive for polio in two of the 22 cases and final laboratory results due next week from a WHO reference laboratory in Tunis are ‘very, very likely’ to confirm presence of the virus, Rosenbauer said. There is no cure for the highly infectious disease, it can only be prevented through immunization, usually three doses. More than 100,000 children under age five are deemed at risk of polio in Deir al-Zor province, he said. Most of the countryside is in opposition hands but the city of Deir al-Zor itself is still partially controlled by government forces.” (VOA

 Reversing a Trend, International Aid Levels Set to Increase

The slight increase may be credited to David Cameron’s efforts. “Aid from the top 15 global donors – all from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) – is estimated to reach US$127 billion by the end of 2013, reversing the aid declines of the last two years, according to projections from the Australian National University’s Development Policy Centre. This represents a less than 1 percent increase over 2012, and is mainly due to some donors pursuing the commitment to give 0.7 percent of national income to development aid by 2015, a promise made by 15 European governments in 2005. The UK has promised to stick to this commitment, agreeing to raise aid from 0.56 percent to 0.7 percent of GNI, representing an increase of $3.7 billion.” (IRIN