100,000 Red Shirt Protesters March in Bangkok

Somali pirates hijacked a Danish-owned container ship with 20 American crew members aboard. This is the sixth hijacking this week. Somali pirates target the Gulf of Aden which connects the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Over 21,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden a year. Most of the pirates are based in Somalia which currently has no real government. Because most of the traffic is commercial, the pirates have been very successful in getting millions of dollars in ransom in exchange for release of the ships. In this case, the Maersk Alabama was carrying aid to Mombasa, Kenya, MSNBC.

100,000 protesters in Thailand called for the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The protesters, who wear red shirts, are  supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in 2006. Thailand’s government has been in turmoil since then. In 2008 anti-Thaksin protesters, wearing yellow shirts, took control of government buildings and shut down Thailand’s airports. Their demands were met when two pro-Thaksin prime ministers were removed from office. Prime Minister Abhisit came into power last December, but the red shirt supporters say he was not democratically elected. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under King Bhumibol Adulyadej who has been ruling since 1946. The King has played a role in Thai politics and is credited with helping Thailand’s transition to democracy in the 1990s, Associated Press.

The Moldova uprising we reported on earlier was in large part composed of students who organized via Facebook and Twitter, or as CNN ominously puts it, were “summoned by Facebook or Twitter.” BBC News slideshow documenting the destructive and violent turn of the protests.

Official death toll from Monday’s earthquake in central Italy rises to 260, Fox News.

Soyuz, a Russian spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and Richard Garriott, an American space tourist back to Earth from the International Space Station, landed safely in Kazakhstan yesterday, Space.com. Richard Garriott’s website with mission updates.

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