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April 10, 2009
Posted: 1502 GMT

Hello everyone,

Our two lead stories throughout the week continue to top our rundown.

We will kick things off with funeral masses in central Italy for dozens of the victims of the Aquila earthquake.

Our Paula Newton tells us the victims haven't reached the "coping" stage of the grieving process yet. They are still in shock. Their lives, their homes, in ruins. We'll take you there live.

Also today, the dramatic standoff in the high seas off Somalia. Captain Richard Phillips, whose merchant ship was attacked by pirates earlier this week, is still being held hostage on a drifting lifeboat.

There's a U.S. Navy destroyer, FBI hostage negotiators, two more ships are on the way and President Obama is monitoring developments. To add to the drama, Captain Phillips today tried to make a break for freedom but was re-captured.

We're live in the Gulf with Barbara Starr and at the Pentagon with Chris Lawrence.

Also today, we'll look at violence in America's two war zones: Afghanistan and Iraq. In northern Iraq today, five American soldiers were killed in a massive truck bomb. It's the deadliest attack against the U.S. military in Iraq in over a year. We are live in both Afghanistan and Iraq.

Markets are closed today for Good Friday, but I had fun reading Paul Krugman's Oped in the New York Times about the need to make banking "boring" again. When left unchecked, as it was for a few decades before the current meltdown, Krugman writes that finance "turned into the monster that ate the world economy."

We'll put that debate to one side today and give bankers a break on a public holiday.

Finally, don't forget to vote in our I-Desk poll today. Today we're asking whether you think President Obama's increased spending on America's wars will make a difference to the violence in the region.

See you on TV,

Hala

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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk


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Tarek (BB)   April 10th, 2009 4:39 pm ET

Hi Hala, and the rest of IDesk Team.

I hop every one in a good health and happy, althoght the time in Aquila is more then sad no words can cover the feeling of Aquila people victimes but it is out of hand. I really donot have money right now to donate for the victimes familly but ican donate my blood if any one need it its A+ type. I am sorry but earth quaick is out of hands, it could happen at any place at any time. just we say please GOD have mercy on us and to the children of the world.

Best regards to Hala and IDesk team. bye.

Pastor GODWIN ODIA   April 10th, 2009 5:11 pm ET

somebody say dat christians got it all wrong about d crucification of Jesus,
whoever the confuse man it is not important. thank for d name of Jesus.
Thank God for christianity and christian, very tolerant people, some religion will kill people, insulting other religion, because they speak against their religion.
Thank God for Jesus, at the name of Jesus People are getting save. this is wat christianity is all about.

MisBB   April 10th, 2009 6:11 pm ET

I hope they left that poor captian go soon. I also hope we dont fall victm to there demands as that would open a pandoras box on hostage taking.

Robert, Louissiana   April 11th, 2009 12:11 am ET

Somalia Pirates Problem
The area is way too large to protect all of it all the time and it’s not good to put protection on each ship because it might lead to damage to ships and cargo.

So reduce the area that needs protection by forming Convoys. Ships could leave their previous ports at carefully planned times to avoid long waits before convoys start.

This way it would be possible to protect all of the merchant ships all of the time with far fewer military ships than if they travel through the danger area one at a time. It would allow us to wait till they have zero or very few hostages before more aggressive action is taken.

Michael MacNamara   April 11th, 2009 2:43 am ET

Here's the picture, as reported on CNN tonight. It's midnight and an American citizen is trying to reach the safety of an American Navy Destroyer, sent to this very place attempting to save his life, to rescue him and ideally, to capture the criminals who threatened an innocent American life for financial gain.

The moment the pirate criminals opened fire on Captain Phillips, presumably to kill him, the American Destroyer should have vaporized the lifeboat and all four pirates. Why didn't they? Perhaps the crew was asleep!! During the two days this US Navy vessel has been sitting and waiting, would not the absolute priority be to rehearse and prepare for every contingency, including the possibility of the hostage jumping off the lifeboat and swimming towards the ship? Seems the US had one moment of opportunity to stop this stand-off and blew it!!!

Don Smith   April 12th, 2009 12:48 am ET

It would be a simple matter to provide protection if the ships would arm themselves with private security. Trained snipers could easily eliminate potential boarders before they reached the ships. It's almost a given that the problem has gotten out of hand – everyone must participate in their own defense

Ronni   April 12th, 2009 12:48 am ET

Being a Vietnam Veteran I am appalled that Somalians fire on our US ships and men inIIntenational Seas. Anytime this happens as far as I am concerned , this translates automatically to war. What's with all the political debates. We have a destoyer sitting right there. It's time the US shows it's strength and show the rest of the world that you don't mess with us. Use that destroyer and blow these piarates away. I guarentee there won't be another attach. When are those that argue the point that reasoning must be used in solving this matter. Wrong! It has been proven throughout history that these type of people don't work things out. We need to put the fear of God into their heads. And the fear of the U.S. in their minds. To all the peacemakers that disagree, all of you get on a boat and go to Somalia and teach those people love. I dare you.

Manohar   April 14th, 2009 8:44 am ET

No it is not about what is written above. Rather it is about what is not written above. After regularly reading American New Mags/Papers online I am firmly convinced that after preaching democracy to the whole world the Americans have always supported dictatorial regimes. Okay forget the Government. What about the US Media?

Look at the event of Indian Elections. BBC has pages full with news about it. I have searched the whole of CNN website there is no news about it. I went deep inside clicked International then clicked India. The whole page had no articles. Considering the fact that this is the worlds largest election. Even the percentage of people who vote in India (Even Kashmir this time) it is more than USA. Americans are only obsessed with themselves, their economy, their elections – the rest of the world? What world? Is there a world beyond USA??

Ewan Cameron   April 14th, 2009 4:31 pm ET

International community needs to agree with the Somalia GOVT
how best to undermine the pirates; remove their access to weapons
and ensure justine is enacted asap! Fighting on the high-seas with
the pirates will inevitably end in too great a loss of life and cargo
for Western sensitivities.

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