Ravi Somaiya

Stories by Ravi Somaiya

  • christopher-coke-captured-hsmall

    The Deadly Saga of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke

    Jamaican authorities finally captured suspected drug lord Christopher "Dudus" Coke yesterday. It marked the end of a violent years-long battle that revealed a cozy relationship between gangsters and politicians in that country.
  • mugabe-diamonds

    Diamonds Are Robert Mugabe's New Best Friends

    Robert Mugabe sees a newly mined diamond deposit in Zimbabwe—so rich it is described in The New York Times as "a freak of nature"—as the key to extending his 30-year rule over the country.
  • oil-spill-moratorium

    Trust Us, Asks Oil Industry in Face of Deepwater Drilling Moratorium

    Representatives of several oil companies will stand in front of a federal judge today and ask for a moratorium on deepwater drilling to be lifted. The government argues that more work needs to be done to assess the issues associated with drilling at depth. BP CEO Tony Hayward argues ... well, nothing really. He was busy racing his yacht over the weekend.
  • execution-intro

    The Mechanics of an Execution by Firing Squad

    Ronnie Lee Gardner, a convicted murderer who opted to be put to death by firing squad, was strapped to a chair at a prison in Draper, Utah, and shot with .30 caliber bullets just after midnight. Here's how it happened.
  • svanberg-bp-hayward

    Farewell Hayward: Meet the New Face of the BP Oil Spill

    In an interview with Britain's Sky News, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg revealed that CEO Tony Hayward, reviled by many, will hand over day-to-day dealings with the gulf oil spill to managing director Bob Dudley.
  • oil-spill-aerial

    A History of Incorrect Oil-Spill Estimates

    Over the course of the last two months, the estimate for the amount of oil billowing from the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico has gone from 1,000 barrels per day to 60,000 barrels. Here's a brief history of who was wrong, and when.
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    Kirk Accused of Exaggerating His Teaching Record

    Mark Kirk, the Republican contender for Barack Obama's former Illinois Senate seat, had previously misrepresented his military service in the course of campaigning. Now his oft-recalled time as a teacher is being questioned too.
  • cheney-bp-silence

    Dick Cheney Breaks Silence, Blames Obama for Oil Spill

    The former Vice President, often blamed for setting the stage on which the BP oil disaster played out, had been mysteriously silent as critics rallied against him. He finally responded in a speech.
  • nigeria-oil-mainx

    The Other Spills

    While the gulf oil spill gets all the attention, less high-profile but often equally damaging oil and gas spills continue across America and around the world.
  • north-korea-soccer

    North Korea's Uncomfortable Moment in the Spotlight

    At the U.N., where it must answer for the sinking of a South Korean warship, and at the World Cup, where rumors of odd behavior are rife, North Korea has been dragged uncomfortably into the spotlight.
  • sharron-angle-revolution

    Sharron Angle Joins Calls for Armed Revolution in America

    Sharron Angle, the Republican nominee for Harry Reid's Nevada Senate seat, has called for armed revolt against the government. Glenn Beck's new novel, "The Overton Window," encourages concerned citizens to pick up a gun, too. And they're not the only public figures calling for violent insurrection.
  • mexico-drug-deaths

    More Than 40 Die in One Day as Mexico's Drug Wars Escalate

    The last four years of Mexico's drug wars have already killed at least 23,000 people. Last night more than 40 died as rival gangs clashed in prison and federal police officers were ambushed in two other attacks.
  • kyrgyz-uzbek-clashes

    Ethnic Violence in Kyrgyzstan Kills Hundreds

    Three days of clashes between Kyrgyz and ethnic Uzbeks in south Kyrgyzstan have killed hundreds of people. It is the worst ethnic violence in the region in recent years.
  • afghanistan-miner-minerals

    Afghanistan's Dangerous New Wealth

    Afghanistan has struck gold. And iron. And copper, cobalt, and lithium. A U.S. survey discovered almost $1 trillion of mineral deposits there, reports The New York Times. But it may not be good news.
  • Some Suspect Foul Play in S.C. Primary

    In South Carolina's surprising Democratic Senate primary, Alvin Greene's opponent and at least one political expert suspect foul play. A look at the anomalies in the results.
  • cheney-bp-silence

    Dick Cheney's Silent on the Spill

    When the Obama administration, or the media, contradict the former vice president's views on national security, he is far from shy about expressing his distaste. But facing a firestorm of criticism over the oil spill, he's been notably silent.
  • bp-oil-estimate

    Feds Double Gulf Oil-Leak Estimates

    First BP said about 5,000 barrels of oil were leaking into the Gulf of Mexico each day. Then an independent panel revealed it was more likely to be between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels. Now a federal group revised that to as much as 30,000.
  • darfur-deaths-jem

    What Happened to Darfur?

    Last month, according to a United Nations report, about 600 people were killed violently in Darfur—the largest number since the U.N. was deployed in 2008. So why aren't we paying attention anymore?
  • palin-oil-obama

    Sarah Palin and Big Oil

    The former governor's barbs against President Obama over the oil spill leave some inconvenient truths out of her own history.
  • primaries-sharron-angle-hsmall

    The Unexpected Candidates Who Could

    Some eccentric and unusual candidates snuck under the wire in Tuesday's primaries and will be competing in November's elections. Here's our guide to the fringe candidates to watch.
  • goldman-sachs-plaque

    Federal Commission Says Goldman Sachs Is Holding Back Information

    The federal panel investigating the financial crisis subpoenaed Goldman Sachs on Monday for information on the company's role in contributing to the recession, with commission chairman Phil Angelides citing Goldman's "deliberate effort to run out the clock" as a factor in the subpoena.
  • deepwater-horizon-explosion

    Leaked Reports Expose BP's Safety Record

    Newly revealed internal safety investigations carried out by BP indicate an alarming pattern of neglect and a culture skewed towards silencing whistleblowers. The reports were turned up in an investigation by ProPublica and The Washington Post.
  • gal-tease-rich-behaving-badly

    Bernie Behind Bars: Madoff’s Plush Prison Life

    Wondering how poor Bernie Madoff is faring in prison? A new report describes an unrepentant man who boasts of his fraud and lives a relatively cushy life inside the big house.
  • Helen Thomas Retires Over Israel Remarks

    It's a sad end to a wonderful career, but perhaps not too surprising for a woman who was increasingly partisan in her golden years. Helen Thomas, who turns 90 on Aug. 4, announced her sudden retirement Monday following a firestorm of controversy over some ill-chosen remarks about Israel, which found their way onto YouTube.
  • animals-oil-spill-wide

    The Oil Spill's Gruesome Toll

    It's day 46 of the gulf oil spill. As many as 800,000 gallons a day of crude oil are still filling the Gulf of Mexico. And these new, shocking images of oil-drenched birds in Louisiana are likely to characterize the spill for some time.
  • china-military-tensions

    New Tensions Arise in U.S.-China Relationship

    The Chinese snub of Defense Secretary Robert Gates highlights how recent events—including the sinking of a South Korean ship and U.S. dealings with Taiwan—have increased tensions between the U.S. and China.
  • jan-brewer-arizona-hsmall

    Jan Brewer Joins List of Pols Stretching Military Service

    Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said she was particularly upset by opponents of the state's controversial immigration law calling her a Nazi because her father had died fighting in World War II. It seems that's not completely true.
  • credit-card-debt-hsmall

    Paying America's Debt, With Your AmEx

    A government program that allows concerned citizens to help pay off the national debt with donations now accepts credit-card payments. Is this a good use of your personal MasterCard?
  • israel-soldier-watches-flotilla

    'Second Wave' of Ships Head to Gaza

    The MV Rachel Corrie, an Irish ship named for a peace activist killed by an Israeli bulldozer in Gaza in 2003, escaped the deadly attacks earlier this week. It is two days from land, and campaigners on board say they are determined to defy Israel once more.
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    Steve Jobs's Strange Defense of Foxconn

    Thirteen workers have committed suicide, or tried, this year—half of that number in May—at a factory that makes shiny products for Apple. But Apple's CEO/talisman told the All Things Digital Conference that all is well because they have "restaurants and movie theaters and hospitals and swimming pools. For a factory, it's pretty nice."