Peruvian pirates

Given the decent success rate of piracy in the Gulf of Aden, it's actually surprising that high-seas robbery isn't more popular in other parts of the world. (Indonesia is a notable exception.) Today, the AFP reports on what seems to be a textbook pirate attack off the coast of Peru:

A gang of criminals known as "the pirates of the sea" have raided a Japanese tuna trawler off the central Peruvian coast, the office of the port of Callao harbor master has said.

The criminals boarded the 'Kenyu Maru II' before dawn and surprised the 15-person crew, the office said in a statement.

The gang of some 20 criminals tied the crew's hands and feet, then took off with their money, cell phones and the ship's communication equipment.

This is reportedly the second attack by pirates in rowboats on a foreign ship near Callao this year. Of course, stealing money and equipment is quite a bit less ambitious than holding it for ransom, a crime with a bigger payoff but also higher potential for tragic results

I'm also curious about the AFP's decision to put "pirates" in quotation marks in both the headline and lede of the story. Have Somalis copyrighted the term?


China: The Dalai Lama isn't allowed to not reincarnate

The Dalai Lama's suggestion that his successor may be appointed while he is still alive or even elected is, unsurprisingly, not so popular with Tibet's Chinese rulers: 

But Padma Choling, the Chinese-appointed governor of Tibet, said that the Dalai Lama had no right to abolish the institution of reincarnation, underscoring China's hardline stance on one of the most sensitive issues for the restless and remote region.

"I don't think this is appropriate. It's impossible, that's what I think," he said on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's parliament, when asked about the Dalai Lama's suggestion that his successor may not be his reincarnation.

"We must respect the historical institutions and religious rituals of Tibetan Buddhism," said Padma Choling, a Tibetan and a former soldier in the People's Liberation Army. "I am afraid it is not up to anyone whether to abolish the reincarnation institution or not."

China's concern for preserving Tibetan religious traditions here is truly touching.