A total of 180 incidents of piracy and armed robbery against ships were reported to the International Chamber of Commerce’s (ICC) International Maritime Bureau (IMB) in 2017, according to the latest IMB report.This is the lowest annual number of incidents since 1995 when 188 reports were received.In 2017, 136 vessels were boarded, while there were 22 attempted attacks, 16 vessels fired upon and six vessels hijacked.In 15 separate incidents, 91 crewmembers were taken hostage and 75 were kidnapped from their vessels in 13 other incidents. Three crewmembers were killed in 2017 and six injured.In 2016, a total of 191 incidents were reported, with 150 vessels boarded and 151 crewmembers taken hostage.Persistent danger in the Gulf of GuineaIn 2017, there were 36 reported incidents with no vessels hijacked in this area and 10 incidents of kidnapping involving 65 crewmembers in or around Nigerian waters. Globally 16 vessels reported being fired upon – including seven in the Gulf of Guinea.“Although the number of attacks is down this year in comparison with last year, the Gulf of Guinea and the waters around Nigeria remain a threat to seafarers. The Nigerian authorities have intervened in a number of incidents helping to prevent incidents from escalating,” Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB, said.Sentencing Somali piratesNine incidents were recorded off Somalia in 2017, up from two in 2016.In November, a container ship was attacked by armed pirates approximately 280 nautical miles east of Mogadishu. The pirates, unable to board the vessel due to the ship’s evasive manoeuvring fired two RPG rockets, both of which missed, before retreating.Six Somali pirates were subsequently detained by European Union Naval Force, transferred to the Seychelles and charged with “committing an act of piracy” where they face up to 30 years’ imprisonment, if convicted.In the Philippines, the number of reported incidents has more than doubled, from 10 in 2016 to 22 in 2017. According to the report, the majority of these incidents were low-level attacks on anchored vessels, mainly at the ports of Manila and Batangas.Vessels underway off the Southern Philippines were boarded and crew kidnapped in the first quarter of 2017.“However, alerts broadcast by the IMB’s Piracy Reporting Centre (PRC), on behalf of the Philippine authorities, have since helped to avoid further successful attacks,” IMB said.
Journalist Julie Chen visited the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism on Tuesday as a guest speaker for Professor Mary Murphy’s entertainment, business and media course.Chen, who co-hosts CBS’ The Talk and the CBS reality series Big Brother, graduated from the Annenberg School in 1991.Q&A ·Mary Murphy, professor at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, interviewed journalist and media personality Julie Chen on Tuesday night. – Samuel Chang | Daily TrojanMurphy said that Chen, along with Barbara Walters, Meredith Vieira and Katie Couric have expanded the role of female journalists on American television. Annenberg Dean Ernest Wilson III said it was fitting to welcome Chen as one of the first guests in the new Wallis Annenberg Hall.“I applaud the example she presents to the Annenberg school, which is 80 percent women,” Wilson said.During her time at Annenberg, Chen said she and her fellow students were told it would be beneficial to take a job in a smaller news market but she was reluctant to leave Los Angeles and worked for four years behind the scenes at the local ABC station before taking a job at a local news station in Dayton, Ohio.“I looked at that job as a super long business trip,” Chen said.She admitted that she has faced sexism and racial discrimination throughout her career. While in Dayton she was told she would not get the opportunity to anchor the newscast because she was Asian and, therefore, didn’t look like the market the newscast was attempting to reach.Chen admitted publicly on The Talk last year that she had eyelid surgery but emphasized to Murphy’s class that it was not an attempt to look less Asian, though some in her family were offended by her decision.“I met with an agent who looked at my resume tape and was saying you have to [get the surgery] to look more interested. During your cutaway shots you look bored. This guy said ‘You get it done, you will go to a top ten market.’ I did.” Chen said.Chen said that while women in the news industry have made great strides, society still treats women differently from men, and it will likely remain that way for the foreseeable future.“I feel there is a level of sexism when a woman can’t go gray if they’re in front of the camera but a man can,” Chen said.But that was only one of many difficult decisions Chen would face. After moving to New York and starting work as a newsreader for CBS, she was approached about hosting a new reality show called Big Brother. At the time, Chen said she was still doing the morning news in New York and her dream was to work for 60 Minutes. She was told she could continue doing morning news, but if she did not take the job hosting Big Brother it could be considered insubordination because she was a CBS employee.“They said they needed someone who knows how to ask questions on live TV and I asked ‘Am I forever sealing the door on 60 Minutes?’ and [the person in charge of the news division] said ‘yes,’” Chen said.Chen, who is married to CBS President and CEO Les Moonves, said that after she had a baby she wanted to stay in Los Angeles permanently rather than move between Los Angeles and New York. When the opportunity came along to be a co-host on The Talk, it was intriguing.Chen is the only journalist by trade who sits on the panel which consists of Chen, Sheryl Underwood, Aisha Tyler, Sharon Osbourne and Sara Gilbert. Much of the show consists of interviewing celebrities rather than covering hard news stories as Chen did early in her career.“It’s a lot of fun,” Chen said. “It’s not as important, but at this age and stage of my life I have a five-year-old, I can’t get sent to the Middle East because I may not come back.”Joshua Guerra, a sophomore psychology major, said it was interesting hearing about the variety of subjects Chen had the opportunity to cover.“I’m considering studying journalism,” Guerra said. “I don’t watch The Talk and I didn’t know much about Julie [Chen], but it was interesting that she made such a big jump in her career.”Freshman public relations major Alena Beas said she follows celebrity culture and news closely and was excited to have the opportunity to speak with Chen in person.“Annenberg always discusses how they are able to bring important, well-educated guest speakers, and tonight they did,” Beas said.For sophomore psychology major Melissa Hatch, the fact the Chen was a USC alumna was the most exciting part of the event.“She was in our place not too long ago and, being a woman, it was great to see how she made it so far,” Hatch said.