'This Week' Transcript: Pirate Standoff

PHOTO The 17,000 tonne Maersk Alabama, a U.S.-flagged, Danish-owned container ship is seen in this undated handout image

ABC'S "THIS WEEK WITH GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS"

APRIL 12, 2009

SPEAKERS: GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS, HOST

ADM. THAD ALLEN, COMMANDANT, U.S. COAST GUARD

JIM SCIUTTO, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT

[*] STEPHANOPOULOS: Good morning and welcome to THIS WEEK. High speed showdown. Pirates kidnap an American captain.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (Inaudible) dying so we can live.

VIDEO: International Pirate Threat
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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Media focus is singular. What do we have to do to help with the process to bring Captain Phillips home?

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STEPHANOPOULOS: With hundreds of attacks, tens of millions in ransom, an ancient scourge is now a modern threat. Is force the answer, terrorism a fear? We'll get the latest from Africa and Washington.

Then.

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UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You'll no longer have that sense of freefall.

George
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BARACK OBAMA, U.S. PRESIDENT: What you're starting to see is glimmers of hope.

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STEPHANOPOULOS: Will talking up the economy help turn the corner? That and all the week's politics plus the Obama's new puppy on our roundtable with George Will, Newt Gingrich, ABC White House correspondent Jake Tapper, the Nobel Prize winning economist Paul Krugman of "The New York Times" and Ruth Marcus from "The Washington Post".

And as always the Sunday funnies.

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VIDEO: Susan Rice on N.K. Nukes
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STEPHEN COLBERT, TALK SHOW HOST: I am no fan of President Obama. He is a socialist. If I wanted to share my wealth with my friends, I'd have friends.

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ANNOUNCER: From the heart of the nation's capital. THIS WEEK with ABC News chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos. Live from the Newseum on Pennsylvania Avenue.

STEPHANOPOULOS: Happy Easter and Happy Passover. For those of you tuning in this morning expecting to hear from Pastor Rick Warren, we were too, but the pastor's representatives canceled moments before the

VIDEO: Susan Rice on Obama Diplomacy
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scheduled interview, saying that Mr. Warren is sick from exhaustion. We hope he recovers quickly and we're going to turn instead to the hostage standoff off the coast of Somalia.

The U.S. ship Maersk Alabama is back now, its crew safe onboard but the captain, Richard Phillips, continues to drift towards land in a lifeboat with four Somali pirates demanding safe passage and $2 million in ransom.

Senior foreign correspondent Jim Sciutto is on the scene. And so Jim, we know that the crew is OK right now. That the captain is drifting toward land but are there any active negotiations for his release?

JIM SCIUTTO, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: We heard yesterday that there was an impasse to the negotiations reached. The Somalis offering to forego the ransom as long as the pirates were not arrested. Contacts with Somali elders who were doing the negotiations for the pirate side have told us that wasn't good enough for the U.S. side. We've spoken with the Defense Department. They insist they're continuing the negotiations until Captain Richard Phillips is released.

STEPHANOPOULOS: And Jim, the big concern is if a lifeboat gets to land and the pirates spirit Captain Phillips off, they're never going to be able to find him. What is the military doing to prevent that from happening?

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