Rice pirates

A boat carrying more than 1.87 million pounds of rice for still-starved fishermen off the coast of Somalia was hijacked by "pirates," according to the United Nations World Food Program. The boat with its 10 crew members was intercepted while sailing north of Mogadishu, the country's capital. Thousands of people are dependent on U.N. food donations in the wake of the December tsunami, which devastated not only Indonesia and Sri Lanka, but also parts of Somalia. According to this Bloomberg report, it is believed that the crew and its cargo are still safe.


Tut's truffles

Good marketing, it seems, can resurrect the dead. In conjunction with the blockbuster King Tutankhamen exhibit which opened in Los Angeles County Museum of Art last week, See's Candies has released a box of truffles, complete with the boy king's image, to commemorate the event. The California-based chocolate institution claims (or has been proclaimed?) that it is "The Official Chocolate of King Tut." I would have preferred Mummy Gummies.


We'd rather starve

A number of refugees from Zimbabwe are starving amid a hunger strike following the rejection of their asylum application in Britain. A BBC report says that while the official government line is that the refugees aren't in any immediate danger if returned home, refugee organizations maintain that if the men are returned, they face "very grave danger."

Zimbabwe is anything but stable, as army bands backed by president Robert Mugabe have destroyed large settlements in the cities, pushing citizens into the even more impoverished countryside. Political suppression is rampant, as is food shortages and malnutrition. A current government-sponsored campaign to root people out of cities is called Operation Murambatsvina, or "Drive Out Trash."