News / Europe

British PM Defends Phone-Hacking Links

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, flanked by Finance Minister George Osborne (R), speaks about phone hacking to parliament, July 20, 2011
Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, flanked by Finance Minister George Osborne (R), speaks about phone hacking to parliament, July 20, 2011

British Prime Minister David Cameron is fighting for his political reputation after being linked to an explosive media scandal in Britain.  Cameron addressed parliament on Wednesday.

Cameron was defending himself against criticism that he has been too close to former editors at British tabloid News of the World.

Illegal hacking into voicemail

Allegations have been made that journalists at News of the World illegally hacked into the voicemail of thousands of people.

The prime minister appointed a former editor, Andy Coulson, as his press chief. Another former editor, Rebekah Brooks, is said to be a close friend of Cameron. Both Coulson and Brooks have resigned as a result of the hacking scandal and the paper itself has been closed down.

Cameron on Wednesday said when he hired Coulson he had no reason to believe ill of him.

"I have said very clear that, if it turns out that Andy Coulson knew about the hacking at the News of the World, he will not only have lied to me, but he would have lied to the police, to a select committee, to the Press Complaints Commission and of course perjured himself in a court of law," said Prime Minister Cameron.

Coulson left News of the World in 2007 after one of his reporters was jailed for phone hacking. Coulson denied having known about the interceptions. He was hired by Mr. Cameron soon after.

The prime minister said Wednesday that, in hindsight, hiring Coulson was a mistake.

'Catastrophic error of judgment'

Ed Miliband, leader of the opposition Labor party, said Cameron had made a catastrophic error of judgment.

"So that the country can have the leadership that we need, why doesn't he do more why doesn't he do more than give a half-apology and give a full apology now for hiring Mr. Coulson and bringing him into the heart of Downing Street," said Miliband.

The scandal has also revealed alleged links between the British tabloid and the police force. Two senior police officers have resigned.

David Lea, a Western Europe analyst at the London-based consulting firm Control Risks, says the scandal is far from over and may well spread further.

"There have been a few suggestions that 9/11 victims had had their phones hacked and a few suggestions that British celebrities had had their phones hacked while they were in the United States, in one case even a United States-registered mobile phone," said Lea. "It would not at all surprise me if there is a much bigger story linked to the U.S. to come out of this."

In the United States, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has been looking into a report by Britain's Daily Mirror.  It said reporters with the rival News of the World offered to pay a New York police officer for private phone records of some victims of the 2001 U.S. terrorist attacks.

In Britain, A criminal investigation into the phone hacking is ongoing. Journalists are alleged to have hacked into the voicemails of a number of celebrities including the British actor Hugh Grant. Victims of crime may also have been hacked, including a teenage girl who was murdered.

Rupert Murdoch, head of News Corporation which owned the now defunct News of the World, flew out of Britain on Wednesday. Speaking to MPs on Tuesday, he apologized for the alleged hacking.

You May Like

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid