Police to get 10,000 Taser guns

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, is to arm police with 10,000 Taser stun guns in an escalation of the government’s fight against violent crime.

Smith will unveil plans tomorrow that will enable all 30,000 front-line response officers to be trained in firing the electric guns at knife-wielding thugs and other violent suspects.

Smith said yesterday that £8m will be made available to all 43 police forces in England and Wales to buy the new 50,000-volt weapons.

She said their use will be extended from small units of dedicated firearms officers to up to 30,000 police response officers across the country.

Read morePolice to get 10,000 Taser guns

Peter Schiff On Fast Money – The Man Who Called The Collapse – 11/20/2008

This is important. Watch it. Peter Schiff has been right, is right and will be right in the future.
Forget about deflation that is nonsense, that is like Bush or Paulson telling us that ‘the economy is sound’.

Source: YouTube

World’s only private resort for billionaires goes bankrupt

World’s only private resort for billionaires goes bankrupt

World’s only private ski and golf resort for billionaires, Yellowstone Club (Montana, USA), has gone bankrupt. The club, which has Microsoft founder Bill Gates among its members, is unable to call in its credits, RIA Novosti reports. The company, which serves billionaires, has thus failed to withstand the financial crisis.

The most expensive and luxurious resort in Montana has filed for bankruptcy on account of its debts evaluated at $343 million. The debts had been saved as a result of the aggressive expansion politics and an intention to build additional offices in Scotland, Mexico and on the Caribbean islands.

Yellowstone is the location of the most expensive house in the world – the estate of logging tycoon Tim Blixseth worth $167 million. Blixseth founded the club in 1999. The resort has “cheaper” offers too – priced from 4 to 16 million dollars.

Read moreWorld’s only private resort for billionaires goes bankrupt

All US Financials Will be Nationalized in a Year

It’s not preferable, but all major U.S. financial companies will eventually be under government control because the alternative is so much worse, Hugh Hendry, chief investment officer at hedge fund Eclectica Asset Management, said Friday.

“All financials will be owned by the U.S. government in a year,” Hendry said. “I bet you.”

(Watch the accompanying video for Hendry’s full comments here.)

Nationalizations take dramatic losses from the private sector and places them on the larger balance sheet of the public sector, he said.

“It’s not good,” but society is vulnerable and society is going to have to intervene, Hendry said.

Shareholders Should Get Nothing

Because the taxpayers are forced to foot the bill for bailout out the banks, shareholders shouldn’t be compensated, Hendry added.

Read moreAll US Financials Will be Nationalized in a Year

Worst of global crisis yet to come: IMF chief economist

The IMF’s chief economist is warning the global financial crisis is set to worsen and the situation will not improve until 2010, a report says.

Olivier Blanchard also warned that the institution does not have the funds to solve every economic problem.

“The worst is yet to come,” Blanchard said in an interview with the Finanz und Wirtschaft newspaper, adding that “a lot of time is needed before the situation becomes normal.”

He said economic growth would not kick in until 2010 and it will take another year before the global financial situation became normal again.

Read moreWorst of global crisis yet to come: IMF chief economist

More than 80,000 jobs cut in just five days

More than 80,000 job losses were announced around the world this week as the global recession tightened its grip in virtually every business sector.

A Financial Times study of company announcements, press briefings and union statements over the past five working days reveals the spread and depth of the downturn.

Jobs have haemorrhaged from businesses as diverse as a Chicago kosher hot dog factory, a German airline and car plants in Japan. Companies have been forced into savage cost cutting as the effects of the credit crunch have sapped confidence and sent order books and commodity prices plummeting.

Almost 30,000 job losses have been announced by British companies alone in the past two weeks.

Read moreMore than 80,000 jobs cut in just five days

Dark days see warnings of worse to come

The weekly newsletter sent out on Friday by Fathom, a London-based economic consultancy, said it all. “It’s getting really ugly out there,” it said. “It may be true that we have passed the first phase of this crisis, but that does not mean the next phase will not be worse, perhaps very much worse.”

The investors reading those dire warnings will already have spent their week seeing a heap of evidence piling up that the economic crisis is spreading around the world. Record after grim record was broken in the financial markets, as long-term interest rates sank to their lowest for decades, in some cases their lowest ever.

Any lingering hopes that some parts of the world economy, particularly the fast-growing emerging markets such as China, would remain immune to the crisis were snuffed out. With remarkable speed in the past two months, a worrying but apparently manageable credit crunch has turned into a global financial crisis and a recession across much of the world’s economy.

Read moreDark days see warnings of worse to come

Hillary Clinton accepts post as Secretary of State in Obama administration

Senator Hillary Clinton has accepted Barack Obama’s offer to become US Secretary of State, as the president-elect moved at rapid speed to assemble an all-star cabinet amid steep challenges at home and overseas.

Mrs Clinton, 61, had been uncertain if she should give up her Senate seat to join Barack Obama’s staff Photo: GETTY

Friends of the former First Lady told American news organisations that she had firmly decided to give up her seat as a senator for New York and become the international face of the man who thwarted her presidential ambitions in a long and sometimes bitter battle for the Democratic Party’s nomination.

Other reports said Mr Obama will nominate Timothy Geithner, 47, as his Treasury Secretary. As head of the New York federal reserve bank he has been involved with the $700 billion bail-out of Wall Street, which he will take charge of if confirmed.

As a former treasury official, Mr Geithner has invaluable Washington experience and will be considered a wise choice. Stocks soared as news of his appointment reached Wall Street.

He will probably be joined around the cabinet table by Bill Richardson, the New Mexico governor, who has been reportedly selected as commerce secretary after losing out to Mrs Clinton as secretary of state, the most prestigious job beneath the presidency.

Read moreHillary Clinton accepts post as Secretary of State in Obama administration

Shining new, latest design and impossible to sell: Car trade in crisis

New cars wait to get loaded onto trucks

THEY sit parked in rows stretching as far as the eye can see, destined for a prolonged battering from the wind and rain as the global economic turmoil stalls sales. The world’s carmakers are also going nowhere fast, some teetering on the brink as they seek massive bail-outs to stay in business.

Britain’s manufacturers felt the chill yesterday, with Honda announcing a two-month halt to production at its Swindon plant from February.

It came as BMW’s Mini factory in Oxford closed for three days ahead of an extended Christmas break because of falling sales.

In a further sign of the gloom enveloping the industry, car production fell by a quarter last month to the lowest level for 17 years. Commercial vehicle making sank even further, down by 41 per cent.

Buyers, nervous about their financial security, are deserting the showrooms, with the trade in Scotland suffering its largest drop in sales last month since the early 1990s. Registrations plunged by 26 per cent to 10,190 compared with October last year.

Read moreShining new, latest design and impossible to sell: Car trade in crisis

Austrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety

Advocates Call for Immediate Ban of All GM Foods and GM Crops

(Los Angeles, CA.) – A long-term feeding study commissioned by the Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety, managed by the Austrian Federal Ministry of Health, Family and Youth, and carried out by Veterinary University Vienna, confirms genetically modified (GM) corn seriously affects reproductive health in mice. Non-GMO advocates, who have warned about this infertility link along with other health risks, now seek an immediate ban of all GM foods and GM crops to protect the health of humankind and the fertility of women around the world.

Feeding mice with genetically modified corn developed by the US-based Monsanto Corporation led to lower fertility and body weight, according to the study conducted by the University of Veterinary Medicine in Vienna. Lead author of the study Professor Zentek said, there was a direct link between the decrease in fertility and the GM diet, and that mice fed with non-GE corn reproduced more efficiently.

Related article and documentary:
Exposed: the great GM crops myth
The World According to Monsanto – A documentary that Americans won’t ever see.

In the study, Austrian scientists performed several long-term feeding trials over 20 weeks with laboratory mice fed a diet containing 33% of a GM variety (NK 603 x MON 810), or a closely related non-GE variety used in many countries. Statistically significant litter size and pup weight decreases were found in the third and fourth litters in the GM-fed mice, compared to the control group.

The corn is genetically modified with genes that produce a pesticidal toxin, as well as genes that allow it to survive applications of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup.

Read moreAustrian Government Study Confirms Genetically Modified (GM) Crops Threaten Human Fertility and Health Safety

Rich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply

  • States and companies target developing nations
  • Small farmers at risk from industrial-scale deals

Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies.

The head of the UN Food and Agriculture Organisation, Jacques Diouf, has warned that the controversial rise in land deals could create a form of “neo-colonialism”, with poor states producing food for the rich at the expense of their own hungry people.

Rising food prices have already set off a second “scramble for Africa”. This week, the South Korean firm Daewoo Logistics announced plans to buy a 99-year lease on a million hectares in Madagascar. Its aim is to grow 5m tonnes of corn a year by 2023, and produce palm oil from a further lease of 120,000 hectares (296,000 acres), relying on a largely South African workforce. Production would be mainly earmarked for South Korea, which wants to lessen dependence on imports.

“These deals can be purely commercial ventures on one level, but sitting behind it is often a food security imperative backed by a government,” said Carl Atkin, a consultant at Bidwells Agribusiness, a Cambridge firm helping to arrange some of the big international land deals.

Read moreRich countries launch great land grab to safeguard food supply

Billions more wiped off Citigroup shares

  • Market jumps on hopes of new treasury secretary
  • Boost fails to help US banking giant

Wall Street ended a volatile week with renewed confidence last night, after reports that Barack Obama has chosen Timothy Geithner, the head of the New York Federal Reserve, as his treasury secretary.

As speculation mounted over Geithner’s nomination, shares rebounded. The Dow Jones industrial average recorded a 494-point gain on the day as stocks surged by 6.5% to close above the psychologically important 8,000 level at 8046.42. It was still 5% down for the week, however, as worries persist about the global economic slowdown.

Geithner, 47, has always been a favourite to take the top job and his appointment is expected to be announced by the Obama camp in the next 24 hours.

Banking stocks still suffered, though, despite the market’s abrupt recovery.

Citigroup, once the world’s biggest banking group, saw another $5bn (£3.35bn)wiped off its value after an emergency board meeting failed to come up with any initiative to stem the unprecedented flight of investors. Shares fell to $3 after the bank’s chief executive, Vikram Pandit, ruled out selling its retail stockbroking arm, Smith Barney, in an attempt to stop the rout.

Shares in Citigroup have lost more than half their value this week since Pandit announced plans on Monday to sack 52,000 workers. Measures by the bank and its biggest investors to reverse the share price decline, from a level of $54 two years ago, have all failed.

However, a Citigroup source within Pandit’s inner circle, defended the bank last night, saying the sinking share price “has nothing to do with our viability”. The source added that it was of no consequence if the price fell to zero.
(Obviously an expert!…)

“This is all about market perception,” she said, claiming that the market was wrong. “We are the same as everybody else. Our stock price is declining but so is everybody else’s.”
(…and a great observer too!)

Read moreBillions more wiped off Citigroup shares

U.S. eyes “surge” of over 20,000 for Afghanistan

“U.S. President-elect Barack Obama says he wants to focus more on the Afghan war and plans to persuade other nations to send more soldiers.”
More ‘change’. The soldiers have been strongly supporting Ron Paul and they exactly knew why!

A British military vehicle drives past an Afghan man in Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province October 20, 2008.
REUTERS/Abdul Qodus

CORNWALLIS, Nova Scotia (Reuters) – The Pentagon is considering a plan to send more than 20,000 troops to Afghanistan over the next 12 to 18 months to help safeguard elections and quell rising Taliban violence, officials said on Friday.

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he and top commanders had discussed sending five brigades to Afghanistan, including four brigades of combat ground forces as well as an aviation brigade, which a defense official said would consist mainly of support troops. An Army combat brigade has about 3,500 soldiers.

Gates said much of the infusion could take place before Afghanistan holds elections by next autumn.

Read moreU.S. eyes “surge” of over 20,000 for Afghanistan

Downey Seized, Sold to U.S. Bancorp as Mortgage Fallout Spreads

Nov. 22 (Bloomberg) — Seizure and sale of Downey Financial Corp. and two smaller lenders may cost the FDIC more than $2 billion as foreclosures rise and home prices extend declines in the worst housing slump since the Great Depression.

U.S. Bancorp acquired Downey and smaller PFF Bank & Trust, California thrifts crippled by bad mortgages, yesterday in a deal brokered by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Community Bank of Loganville, Georgia, was also closed and its $611.4 million of deposits taken over by Bank of Essex in Tappahannock, Virginia.

Regulators this year have closed the most banks since 1993 as mortgage defaults and tightening credit froze markets. The collapse of IndyMac Bancorp Inc. was among the biggest in history, costing the FDIC $8.9 billion. The agency expects Downey’s demise to deplete its Deposit Insurance Fund by $1.4 billion, with PFF costing $700 million and Community $240 million.

Read moreDowney Seized, Sold to U.S. Bancorp as Mortgage Fallout Spreads

US will guarantee up to $1.4T in bank debt

WASHINGTON: Federal regulators will guarantee as much as $1.4 trillion in U.S. banks’ debt in a bid to get the distressed financial system pumping again. They also took steps to make it easier for private investors to buy failed banks seized by the government.

Against a bleak economic backdrop, news that New York Federal Reserve President Timothy Geithner is President-elect Barack Obama’s choice for Treasury secretary gave battered Wall Street a shot in the arm Friday. The Dow Jones industrials zoomed nearly 500 points as stocks erased roughly half the losses racked up the prior two days. Investors have been seeking a clear message from Obama on who will lead his economic brain trust during the financial crisis.

Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. voted to approve the bank-debt guarantee program, which is part of the government’s financial rescue package. The FDIC program is meant to break the crippling logjam in bank-to-bank lending by guaranteeing the new debt in the event of payment default by the borrowing bank.

Some analysts have said that freeing up bank-to-bank lending with the guarantees won’t necessarily translate into a thaw in broader lending as banks are still wary of making loans to businesses and consumers.

Read moreUS will guarantee up to $1.4T in bank debt

Antiwar groups fear Barack Obama may create hawkish Cabinet

Activists note that most of the candidates for top security posts voted for the 2002 resolution authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq or otherwise supported launching the war. Reporting from Washington — Antiwar groups and other liberal activists are increasingly concerned at signs that Barack Obama’s national security team will be dominated by appointees who favored the Iraq invasion and hold hawkish views on other important foreign policy issues.

The activists are uneasy not only about signs that both Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) and Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates could be in the Obama Cabinet, but at reports suggesting that several other short-list candidates for top security posts backed the decision to go to war.
“Obama ran his campaign around the idea the war was not legitimate, but it sends a very different message when you bring in people who supported the war from the beginning,” said Kelly Dougherty, executive director of the 54-chapter Iraq Veterans Against the War.

The activists — key members of the coalition that propelled Obama to the White House — fear he is drifting from the antiwar moorings of his once-longshot presidential candidacy. Obama has eased the rigid timetable he had set for withdrawing troops from Iraq, and he appears to be leaning toward the center in his candidates to fill key national security posts.

The president-elect has told some Democrats that he expects to take heat from parts of his political base but will not be deterred by it.

Aside from Clinton and Gates, the roster of possible Cabinet secretaries has included Sens. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) and Richard G. Lugar (R-Ind.), who both voted in 2002 for the resolution authorizing President Bush to invade Iraq, though Lugar has since said he regretted it.

“It’s (absolutely not) astonishing that not one of the 23 senators or 133 House members who voted against the war is in the mix,” said Sam Husseini of the liberal group Institute for Public Accuracy.

Read moreAntiwar groups fear Barack Obama may create hawkish Cabinet

Obama will nominate Clinton to be his Secretary of State right after Thanksgiving

More ‘change’ coming.

Hillary Will Get SOS Nom Soon
CBS News has learned that President-elect Barack Obama will nominate Clinton to be his Secretary of State right after Thanksgiving, reports Bill Plante.

(CBS/ AP) President-elect Barack Obama is on track to nominate Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state, an aide to his transition said Thursday.

CBS News has learned that Mr. Obama is likely to make the nomination official after Thanksgiving.

One week after the former primary rivals met secretly to discuss the idea of Clinton becoming the nation’s top diplomat, the two sides were moving quickly toward making it a reality, barring any unforeseen problems.

The transition aide told The Associated Press that the two camps have worked out financial disclosure issues involving Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, and the complicated international funding of his foundation that operates in 27 countries. The aide said Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton have had substantive conversations about the secretary of state job.

Read moreObama will nominate Clinton to be his Secretary of State right after Thanksgiving

Mint suspends orders amid rush to buy bullion; One European client purchased 30,000 ounces for $33 million

FEARS of the unknown long-term effects from the global financial crisis have sparked a new gold rush.

With retail and wholesale clients around the world stocking up on the precious metal, the Perth Mint has been forced to suspend orders.

As the World Gold Council reported that the dollar demand for gold reached a quarterly record of $US32 billion ($50.73 billion) in the third quarter, industry insiders said the race to secure physical gold had reached an intensity that had never been witnessed before.

Perth Mint sales and marketing director Ron Currie said the unprecedented demand had forced the Mint to cease orders until January, with staff working seven days a week, 24-hour days, over three shifts to meet orders.

He said Europe was leading the demand, with Russia, Ukraine, Middle East and US all buying — making up 80 per cent of its sales. One European client purchased 30,000 ounces for $33 million.

“We have never seen this before and are working right at capacity. And we are seeing it from clients in the shop buying one ounce, right up to 30,000 ounces from overseas clients,” Mr Currie said.

Read moreMint suspends orders amid rush to buy bullion; One European client purchased 30,000 ounces for $33 million

Obama Team Said to Explore `Prepack’ Auto Bankruptcy

U.S. President-elect Barack Obama looks on before the start of a meeting with Senator John McCain of Arizona, former Republican presidential candidate, at Obama’s transition office in Chicago, Nov. 17, 2008. Photographer: Frank Polich/Bloomberg News

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — President-Elect Barack Obama‘s transition team is exploring a swift, prepackaged bankruptcy for automakers as a possible solution to the industry’s financial crisis, according to a person familiar with the matter.

A representative of Obama’s team has already contacted at least one bankruptcy-law firm to say that Daniel Tarullo, a professor at Georgetown University’s law school who heads Obama’s economic policy working group, would call to discuss the workings of a so-called prepack, according to this person.

U.S. lawmakers yesterday delayed until December a vote on whether to give General Motors Corp., Ford Motor Co. and Chrysler LLC a $25 billion bailout. GM today said it would idle production at four plants an extra week and return some corporate jets to conserve cash. Automakers could use a judge-supervised bankruptcy to reduce debt and reject expensive contracts.

“It creates the environment to deal with GM’s problems but limits government financial commitment,” said bankruptcy lawyer Mark Bane of Ropes & Gray in New York.

Bankruptcy is just one option being examined. Obama told CBS News’s “60 Minutes” on Nov. 16 that government aid to automakers might come in the form of a “bridge loan,” advanced if the industry could draw up plan to make itself “sustainable.” The president-elect earlier urged Congress to approve as much as $50 billion to save automakers, using the model of Chrysler’s bailout in 1979.

Read moreObama Team Said to Explore `Prepack’ Auto Bankruptcy

U.S. Stocks Rally as Obama Picks Tim Geithner to Head Treasury

Timothy Geithner, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, speaks during an Economic Club of New York luncheon in New York, on June 9, 2008. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg News

Nov. 21 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks rallied and the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index rebounded from an 11-year low after President-elect Barack Obama picked New York Federal Reserve Bank chief Timothy Geithner to head the Treasury.

“This news could really give the stock market a badly needed shot in the arm,” Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ Ltd. in New York, wrote in an e-mail to clients. Geithner is a “fantastic choice to help lead the financial markets out of the wilderness.”

Citigroup Inc. pared a 35 percent slide and JPMorgan Chase & Co. trimmed a 16 percent tumble in the final hour as a Democratic aide said Obama will name Geithner to replace Henry Paulson. National-Oilwell Varco Inc. and Chesapeake Energy jumped more than 20 percent as oil rose for the first time in six days. The rally came after this week’s rout dragged the S&P 500’s price-to-earnings valuation to the cheapest since 1995.

Read moreU.S. Stocks Rally as Obama Picks Tim Geithner to Head Treasury

The global economy is being sucked into a black hole

This Is Not A Normal Recession

Moving on to Plan B

“The Winter of 2008-2009 will prove to be the winter of global economic discontent that marks the rejection of the flawed ideology that unregulated global financial markets promote financial innovation, market efficiency, unhampered growth and endless prosperity while mitigating risk by spreading it system wide.” Economists Paul Davidson and Henry C.K. Liu “Open Letter to World Leaders attending the November 15 White House Summit on Financial Markets and the World Economy”

The global economy is being sucked into a black hole and most Americans have no idea why. The whole problem can be narrowed down to two words; “structured finance”.

Read moreThe global economy is being sucked into a black hole

IMF Needs Its Own Rescue Package Now

Turkey is reported to be in negotiations with the International Monetary Fund for a $40 billion loan. Very shortly, the Baltic States and at least a dozen developing countries will be filing for IMF handouts. But how will the venerable lender of last resort fund itself?

According to a fact sheet posted on its website in October, the IMF had $200 million available for emergency loans to the third-world, and another $50 billion in “additional resources”. But the IMF’s liquidity is rapidly dwindling. Between the crisis facilities concluded with Ukraine, Hungary, Serbia, Iceland and Pakistan, and the expected spate of new loan requests, the IMF should be running out of money within the first quarter of next year. Quite simply, unless the rich nations (including American tax-payers) can add to the IMF’s funding capabilities, the global recession will cause unprecedented havoc, chaos, hunger and turmoil in the world’s poverty pockets.

Read moreIMF Needs Its Own Rescue Package Now

Honda to close Swindon factory for two months

The plant’s 4,800 employees will be laid off for the duration of the closure, although they will still receive basic pay

Honda Jazz. Photograph: Garry Weaser/Guardian

Japanese car giant Honda added to the economic gloom today, announcing it is to shut its UK factory in Swindon for two months in February and March next year in response to falling sales.

The plant’s 4,800 employees will be laid off for the duration of the closure, although they will still receive basic pay, the company said. Some will be employed in training and on maintenance.

But the plan alarmed the unions, which believe Honda had considered plans to make 1,300 people redundant but opted to close the plant for two months to avert job losses.

Read moreHonda to close Swindon factory for two months

Bush and Olmert to meet over Iran’s nuclear ambitions

The White House, announcing the meeting with Mr Olmert, gave little indication that Tehran’s nuclear ambitions would be at the top of the agenda

President Bush is to hold White House talks with the Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday after publication of a nuclear watchdog’s report this week showing that Iran may have stockpiled enough enriched uranium to make a nuclear bomb.

The International Atomic Energy Agency believes that Iran has amassed 630kg of low enriched (=useless) uranium, up from 480kg in late August. Some experts believe this is enough to produce the weapons-grade material needed for a crude nuclear device similar in size to that which America used to destroy the city of Nagasaki at the end of the Second World War.

Sean McCormack, the US State Department spokesman, said: “It’s concerning. This is a matter that will be taken up next week at the IAEA Board of Governors meeting.” Asked if Tehran now had sufficient material to build a bomb, he suggested that there were different opinions. “Some said it was enough; others said it was not enough, but close,” said Mr McCormack. “In any case, you don’t want Iran to get close.”

In its report, the IAEA said that Iran was working hard roughly to double its number of operating centrifuges. European diplomats say that Iran might have 6,000 centrifuges enriching uranium by the end of the year – and plans to install another 3,000 early next year.

Read moreBush and Olmert to meet over Iran’s nuclear ambitions

CIA lied about shoot-down of missionary plane, report says

An investigation by the agency’s inspector general finds that officials covered up details of the 2001 incident over Peru that killed two Americans and wounded three other people.

Reporting from Washington — An internal investigation by the CIA found that agency officials engaged in a cover-up to hide agency negligence in the downing of a private airplane over Peru in 2001 as part of a mistaken attack on an aircraft suspected of carrying illegal narcotics.

Excerpts of an internal CIA report released Thursday accuse agency officials of lying to members of Congress and withholding crucial information from criminal investigators and senior Bush administration officials.The disclosure could lead to the reopening of a probe into whether agency officials committed crimes in the attack on the aircraft, which was transporting American missionaries, and then covering it up.

The attack killed Veronica Bowers and her infant daughter and injured three others, including Bowers’ husband and young son. It was carried out by a Peruvian warplane working with CIA surveillance craft.

Rep. Peter Hoekstra of Michigan, the ranking Republican on the House Intelligence Committee, described the revelations as “a dark stain” on the CIA and called for information to be shared with the Justice Department to determine whether reopening the investigation is warranted.

“To say these deaths did not have to happen is more than an understatement,” said Hoekstra, who added that the agency’s inspector general had uncovered “continuous efforts to cover the matter up and potentially block criminal investigation.”

Read moreCIA lied about shoot-down of missionary plane, report says