World and Nation

Shorts (left)

Ford to Sell Aston Martin to Group Led by Ex-Racer

Ford Motor Co. will raise $848 million toward its overhaul plan by selling Aston Martin, its British luxury sports car brand, the automaker said Monday.

The principal buyer is David Richards, a former British racing champion who described the transaction as beginning “a new era, perhaps a new chapter in this extraordinary story of Aston Martin,” a 94-year-old nameplate best known as the preferred ride of James Bond.

Joining Richards in the deal are the American banker John Sinders and two Kuwaiti investment firms, Investment Dar and the Adeem Investment Co.

Ford, which has owned at least 75 percent of Aston Martin since 1987, will retain a stake worth $77 million, held in a separate class of preferred shares.

Ford, which put Aston Martin on the market six months ago, closed out the worst year in its history in January, losing $12.7 billion amid slow sales of its biggest moneymakers, pickup trucks and sport utility vehicles.

Court Blocks Snowmaking At Indian Sites

A federal appeals panel Monday blocked a ski resort’s plan to make artificial snow by spraying treated wastewater on mountains that Indian tribes consider sacred.

In a unanimous ruling, a three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, in San Francisco, overturned a lower court ruling from January 2006 that would have allowed the resort, the Arizona Snowbowl, to proceed with the snowmaking and other upgrades on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff.

Thirteen tribes, along with the Sierra Club and other environmentalists, had appealed the decision. They said using wastewater, no matter how clean, would offend deities and spiritually contaminate herbs and other plants used for medicine and religious ceremonies.

In addition, the tribes said, the resort and the U.S. Forest Service, which has jurisdiction over the mountain and had approved the plan, had failed to study adequately the safety and effects of the wastewater.

Chief Army Medical Officer Ousted in Walter Reed Furor

The Army’s top medical officer was forced into retirement Monday, yet another aftereffect of the disclosure of shoddy conditions for outpatients at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.

The ousted officer, Lt. Gen. Kevin C. Kiley, the Army surgeon general, became the third high-ranking official to lose his job because of shabby living quarters and bureaucratic tangles endured by wounded troops returned from combat.

“I submitted my retirement because I think it is in the best interest of the Army,” Kiley said in a statement released by the military. “We are an Army Medical Department at war, supporting an Army at war. It shouldn’t be and it isn’t about one doctor.”

Before Monday’s announcement, Kiley had indicated a desire to continue serving. Just last Tuesday, he told the Senate Armed Services Committee, “I still think I’ve got the right skill sets and the right experience to fix these problems.”

Army officials said Kiley would most likely suffer the financial penalty of retirement benefits at two-star level, one rank lower, since he had not completed the required three years’ service as a three-star general.