Though the number of Somalian pirates has plunged, many officials remain concerned. (Courtesy of

Somalian pirates are being blamed for the seizure of an oil tanker off the coast of Somalia with eight Sri Lankans aboard, possibly the first hijacking of a large commercial vessel since 2012.

The ship’s crew sent a distress signal Monday evening, saying the vessel was being approached by high-speed boats.

Abdirisak Mohamed Dirir, chairman of Puntland’s anti piracy operation, denied that any of Puntland’s troops were involved in the seizure of the ship. He said it was hijacked by “Somali pirates.”

The merchant ship that was intercepted was reportedly en route to Mogadishu, the Somali capital, from Djibouti, and was diverted toward Alula, a port in the semi autonomous Puntland region in northeastern Somalia, Ali Shire Mohamud Osman.

The Ministry of Interior and Security is currently awaiting more details.

South Africa Launches Hate Crime Unit With Nigeria

The Nigerian government has called for the African Union to step in and stop the “xenophobic attacks” amid a spate of deadly violence.

Last month, more than 20 shops in Atteridgeville and at least 12 houses near the capital Johannesburg were targeted. Nigerian government officials claim 20 of its citizens were killed in South Africa last year.

South Africa’s Foreign Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has recently decided to launch an “early warning” system established between two countries after the string of attacks on migrants in the country.

The new monitor will reportedly “help prevent violence” against foreigners and their businesses.

Historic Atlanta Bank Nominates First Black President

Raphael Bostic has been appointed as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, the first black president of one of the Fed’s regional banks in its 104-year history.

Bostic, who accepted his position Monday, said he recognized the historic importance of his new role.

“It’s not lost on me that I would be the first or I am the first African-American to lead a Federal Reserve institution,” Bostic said. “It’s a tremendous privilege. I tell people I’m now a ‘Jeopardy’ question. So, you know, I do recognize that it is a very big deal.”

In a statement, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta said it embraces diversity and was impressed with what Bostic’s “deep knowledge of income inequality, economic opportunity and consumer banking issues.”

Lauren M. Poteat

Lauren Poteat is a versatile writer with a strong background in communications and media experience with an additional background in education and development.

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