Somalia Hub

British Merchant Navy Uses Britney Spears Music To Scare Off Somali Pirates: VIDEO


Merchant navy officers off the north-eastern coast of Africa have a new weapon to ward off Somali pirate raids on marine vessels. Not guns. Not bombs. Just Britney. 

The "Work B***h" singer and pop diva has been heard floating over the waves and she is reportedly sending the pirate's skiffs packing. Early hits "Baby One More Time" and "Oops! I Did It Again" are the most effective songs in this new defensive strategy which is aimed at lessening the impact of ransom-seeking attacks, of which there were 176 in 2011 alone. 

The Mirror reports:

Second Officer Rachel from Aberfoyle in Scotland said: “Her songs have been chosen by the security team accompanying our tankers because they thought the pirates would hate them most. These guys can’t stand Western culture or music, making Britney’s hits perfect...There are a lot of lives and cargo at stake so security is of prime importance. The speakers can be aimed solely at the pirates so as not to disturb the crew. They’re so effective the ship’s security rarely needs to resort to firing guns - as soon as the pirates get a blast of Britney they move on as quickly as they can.”

The music is currently used as a second line of defence and is broadcast when initial calls from armed security guards on board fail to deter the pirates.

Though humorous in concept, the strategy has been effective in protecting cargo and personnel on board ships surrounding the Horn of Africa.

In other news, Spears sat down with BBC Radio TV and radio host for "Its' Britney Witch!", a dramatized reading of the Vincent Price monologue from Michael Jackson's "Thriller".

Check it out, AFTER THE JUMP...

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AP Backs Up Story About Gay Man Stoned to Death in Somalia

Yesterday I posted about a report from Identity Kenya that a man had been stoned to death for being gay in Somalia.

Map_somaliaThe AP is now backing up the report:

A militant official and a Somali resident say al-Shabab fighters have stoned to death a man for carrying out a homosexual sex act. The resident, Yusuf Abdi, said the group buried a blindfolded man to his waist last Friday and threw stones at him until he died.

An al-Shabab official said one of its judges sentenced the man to death because he forced a 13-year-old boy to have sex with him. The al-Shabab member insisted he not be named.

It's important to note that such charges are often trumped up in extremist countries in order to produce a sentence.

A group, Somalia Gay Community, published photos on a Facebook page said to depict the stoning, though it appears they were from another horrific incident in 2009.

Gay Teen Stoned to Death in Somalia as Village Watched: Report

A gay man was allegedly stoned to death for being gay in Somalia, Identity Kenya reports:

Map_somaliaAccording to Somali Gay Community, the young man, Mohamed Ali Baashi ,18, was buried in a hole up to his chest and then pelted with rocks by members of the Al Qaeda link group Al Shabaab on Friday, March 15, in Barawe, about 50 miles from the capital, Mogadishu.

The group, through its Facebook page, Somali Gay Community, posted three photos of alleging they were from the stoning.

However, Identity Kenya could not independently verify this claims or the alleged stoning and efforts to reach the group have not been successful.

The group said the young man was accused of sodomy and was stoned to death by Islamic rebels while horrified villagers were forced to watch.

According to the reports, a judge announced that Mohamed Baashi, along with a man who had been accused of murder, had both confessed to their crimes. The alleged murderer got a more merciful punishment. He was shot to death, the group said over the weekend.

One of the photos posted by the Somalian group is inset above. The other two are graphic.

UPDATE: At least one of the photos appears to be from this incident in 2009.

Ugandan Homophobia Could Complicate States' 'Shadow War' With Somali Militants: Report

UgandanPaperThe United State government has said that it will not provide aid or assistance to nations that criminalize homosexuality.

While that's not entirely true — look at Egypt, for example, where gay people are institutionally ostracized — David Axe at Wired reports that the Ugandan government's zealous crusade against LGBT people may complicate a "proxy shadow war" the U.S. has been waging against Somali militants:

The growing LGBT schism between the U.S. and Uganda threatens one of the most remarkable alliances in recent years. Since the deaths of 18 American troops in Mogadishu in 1993 — the Black Hawk Down incident — the U.S. has been reluctant to deploy significant forces onto Somali soil, even as Islamic militants took advantage of a devastating civil war to seize huge swaths of the East African country.

Instead, Washington recruited proxy armies to do American bidding in Somalia. The Pentagon’s direct involvement includes naval bombardments, air strikes and deadly commando raids launched from a constellation of secret bases. But U.S.-trained and -supported African troops do most of the hard fighting, and almost all of the dying, in the grinding battle against Somali Islamists. America’s Somalia intervention isn’t just a shadow war — it’s a proxy shadow war.

But Kampala’s persecution of gays could compel Washington to end the alliance before it has a chance to expand beyond the Somalia campaign.

Officials say that Uganda is the second most important military ally we have on the Eastern African coast. Do you really think the Defense Department is going to call of its actions to uphold LGBT rights? And, more importantly, do you think the Ugandan government will change its tune to keep reaping in that sweet, sweet American dollar?

News: Johnny Weir, Maryland, Nicolette Sheridan, True Blood, Bush

 roadKiller withdraws "guilty" plea in Ryan Keith Skipper murder case. The plea bargain would have spared William Brown Jr. the death penalty. Brown is now scheduled to go on trial October 12.

Jackmanmilk  roadJackman's got milk.

 roadNicolette Sheridan bitchslaps Desperate Housewives creator Marc Cherry.

 roadFigure skater Johnny Weir to be subject of reality show: "The half-hour 'Be Good Johnny Weir' will follow its subject, his coach, choreographers and hangers-on as they ready for the 2010 Winter Games. Sundance has ordered eight episodes of the series, which is produced by Endemol's Original Media."

 roadMaryland General Assembly approves tax breaks for domestic partners: "The bill adds same-sex domestic partners to the list of family members who can inherit homes without paying taxes on that property."

 roadJohn Barrowman wants to be a dad: "We really would like to be parents. I'm extremely broody and emotional right now. I think this year will be the year Scott and I look into making something happen. We're trying to work out whether to take the adoption route or something else. he other night I went to see Jason Donovan in Priscilla Queen Of The Desert and I was in floods of tears watching the scenes between him and his son."

 roadTrue Blood is on its way back to Bon Temps.

Devera  roadTrans drag performer murdered in Fayetteville, North Carolina.

 roadNew Archbishop of England and Wales Vincent Nichols on gay relationships: ""I will always be happy as a guide to stick with Pope Benedict..Homosexuality - is it a sin? Homosexuality is not a sin. A person who is of a homosexual orientation is as worthy and as dignified as anybody else and one of the things I regret about our society is that it tends to identify people by their sexual orientation and that is a diminishing of a person. "Nobody should be put in a box because of their sexuality."

 roadDemocracy Now: Somali piracy originally began because of illegal fishing and toxic dumping by Western ships off the coast.

 roadLindsay Lohan eggs on the paparazzi.

 roadBUSH SIX: Former Bush administration officials may face torture charges in Spain — Alberto Gonzales is among them. Video.

Bloom  roadOrlando Bloom is Main Street's finest.

 roadNew orangutan population numbering up to 2,000 found in Indonesia: "A team surveying forests nestled between jagged, limestone cliffs on the eastern edge of Borneo island counted 219 orangutan nests, indicating a 'substantial' number of the animals, said Erik Meijaard, a senior ecologist at the U.S.-based The Nature Conservancy."

 roadIsaac Mizrahi is a slob: "It takes a lot of effort for me to look this put together. If I had my way, I would sit on the couch all day and eat ice cream and go to pieces with my dogs because that is the ultimate luxury to sit and watch TV with one's dogs. I don't get time enough to do that. My boyfriend thinks I'm a little nuts because that's all I want to do on my time off and he's bored with that. He wants to go to India or something, but I'm not doing that, it's too late for India.""

Dolphin Force Field Blocks Chinese Ship from Somali Pirates


Who needs snipers when you have dolphins?

"Thousands of dolphins blocked the suspected Somali pirate ships when they were trying to attack Chinese merchant ships passing the Gulf of Aden, the China Radio International reported on Monday. The Chinese merchant ships escorted by a China's fleet sailed on the Gulf of Aden when they met some suspected pirate ships. Thousands of dolphins suddenly leaped out of water between pirates and merchants when the pirate ships headed for the China's. The suspected pirates ships stopped and then turned away. The pirates could only lament their littleness before the vast number of dolphins. The spectacular scene continued for a while."

Apparently, however, they're loyal to the Chinese.


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