April 9, 2009
Posted: 1443 GMT


Hello everyone,

The pirate attack on a U.S.-flagged ship  off the horn of Africa has become a hostage standoff. The mood is tense, and FBI negotiators were called in to bargain for the release Maersk Alabama Captain.

You saw it unfold on CNN: the ship was attacked yesterday by armed pirates. The crew then managed to fend them off. But the pirates abducted Captain Richard Phillips and are still holding him on one of the cargo ship's lifeboats.

We'll be live in the Gulf with the latest on the tense negotiations.

Also on tap: the grief and the hopelessness of those who lost loved ones in the Aquila earthquake in central Italy. Families are already starting to bury the dead. We will go live to Italy and discuss tomorrow's plan for mass funerals on Good Friday.

We will also analyze the latest economic numbers and corporate results. In layman's terms, the number of people filing jobless claims is high, but not as high as expected. It's bad – not atrocious. And these days, NOT atrocious sends markets higher.

The real question is: are we bouncing back? President Obama is cheering from the sidelines. The American president says people should refinance their homes or buy new ones. The rates are low, he says. Tell the banks that.

Also at the International Desk, new pictures of reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il and the latest on the imprisonment of an American reporter in Iran.

If times permits: the story of a cat burglar in Idaho who is actually a real cat. I'm still wrapping my mind around that one.

See you on TV,


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Filed under: Today At The I-Desk

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mike   April 9th, 2009 3:31 pm ET

in WW2 convoys saved ships and lives.

Why are they not being introduced off Samalia?

Emmanuel   April 9th, 2009 4:35 pm ET

three letters – U S B – Unmanned Speed Boat
for reconnaissance, escort, detect and protect that are Cruising along the four sides of the ship will then be supported by UAV

Mike Henderson   April 9th, 2009 6:04 pm ET

Have just watched Matthew Chance reporting on the Georgia protest. This man gets nothing right:

1. When reporting on the August war from Gori – he told viewers that the Russians had bombed Gori causing severe damage and many casualties. Not true – the Russians bombed a military camp near Gori and a couple of stray bombs hit Gori damaging 3 apartments and causing a few deaths and injuries (still terrible but not deliberate).

2. He reported from Tskinvali (again August war) standing in front of a burnt out tank, saying the town had been devastated – there were no buildings behind him at all, and no pan to show any devastation.

3. He reported today from Tbilis that Saakashvili still has support in Georgia – absolutely untrue. I am English and have lived here for 12 years with my Georgian family. Saakashvili has ZERO support (except for his immediate accolites – who are getting fewer in number daily).

tarek   April 9th, 2009 8:10 pm ET

Hi Hala, and idesk team.

how are you all, I hope all of you in good mood and happy.

Regarding pirates, most of the time people turn to crime when they are hungry poor or have no one to stop them but mostly when they are to deal with such matter, its easy smiply ( feed them ).

On the other hand i like the over all look but still you need to add some blue and pink to show face of idesk if you know what i mean.

best regards to hala and all, wish you a hppy new year coming soon.

Manuel Vilhena   April 9th, 2009 10:31 pm ET


Today in the Quest Means Business has been said that in 2008 pirates in Somalia attacked more that 100 boats. That means that they do it on a daily basis. I think that situations like the one that is happening now are completely non-sense in the 21st century.

Best wishes,

Coventry, UK

Don Miles   April 10th, 2009 5:17 pm ET

The events off of Somalia where an American naval captain is being held by pirates tugs at our sense of need to bring about an effective solution.
However, all that could be done is being done. It is only a matter of time, if the pirates don't use violence upon Captain Phillips, before the pirates will be confronted with the choice between losing their own lives or giving up Captain Phillips to the American naval forces which have collected at the hostage taking site.

Andrea   April 11th, 2009 4:08 pm ET

Maybe for security reasons, the news media isn't giving out much information, but the same thing over and over on the air is driving me batty! Can we get some updated reports on the air? Praying for the brave Captain and his family.

adam   April 11th, 2009 5:34 pm ET

hello everyone
for me this group is nothing more than criminals. I hope that the african leaders will jion there hands with mr obama`s administration to stop them.
I Praying for the brave Captain and his family.


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