- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 11, 2009

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama has been getting updates on the U.S. citizen still held hostage by Somali pirates and the negotiations to free him.

The White House says the president has received updates on paper and by phone on Saturday. Administration aides met at 8 a.m. and at 2 p.m. to discuss the four-day-old situation off the east coast of Africa.

Somali pirates tried to take the U.S.-flagged Maersk Alabama on Wednesday. The crew fought back the pirates, but the pirates captured Capt. Richard Phillips, who remains trapped on a lifeboat.

The White House says aides are also in touch with the Department of Defense.

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