News / Europe

    Amid Phone Hacking Scandal, Murdoch Withdraws Bid for BSkyB

    News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London July 11, 2011.
    News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London July 11, 2011.

    Media baron Rupert Murdoch has withdrawn his bid for control of British Sky Broadcasting amid Britain's phone-hacking scandal and allegations against his journalists.

    Parliament was poised Wednesday to vote overwhelmingly for a non-binding resolution calling on Murdoch to end his $12 billion bid for control of the satellite television company. But before the vote, a Murdoch deputy, News Corporation president Chase Carey, said it had "become clear" it would be "too difficult" for the company to try to win approval for the acquisition "in this climate."

    The company's retreat is a blow to Murdoch's efforts to consolidate and expand his British media operations.

    News of the World

    It came as British officials and much of its population have recoiled at allegations that journalists at the News of the World tabloid that Murdoch closed last weekend, and at his other publications, hacked into phones of ordinary citizens and paid police for information for stories they were working on. News of the World reporters allegedly hacked into the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler and relatives of British soldiers who had been killed in combat.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron told Parliament he will look into whether victims of the 2001 terrorism attacks in the United States were targeted in the phone-hacking.

    Were 9/11 victims hacked?

    Cameron said a new police investigation should be able to resolve whether journalists at the Murdoch publications sought to access information about the 9/11 victims. A non-Murdoch newspaper, The Daily Mirror, claimed that some journalists had approached a private investigator in the United States to try to access the phone data of some of the victims of 9/11.

    Cameron told lawmakers that the phone-hacking and police bribery scandal is a "firestorm" that is consuming parts of the media and police, and "indeed our political system's ability to respond." But he said the focus now must be on the victims and to "make sure the guilty are prosecuted."

    Cameron, like other British politicians, has often sought Murdoch's approval and support from his British publications, including the News of the World. But with the burgeoning scandal, he has sought to distance himself from Murdoch, telling lawmakers that a wide-ranging investigation must be "as robust as possible."

    He said the media's relationship with police must be investigated, and questioned why earlier warnings about press misconduct "were not heeded."

    Cameron later met with Dowler's family at 10 Downing Street, the prime minister's residence.

    Murdoch fights back

    Even as the 80-year-old Murdoch withdrew the BSkyB bid, one of his publications, The Sun tabloid, struck back at one allegation against its reporting. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown had claimed earlier in the week that the newspaper's reporters had accessed confidential medical records that showed his infant son had contracted cystic fibrosis, leaving him and his wife Sarah in tears as they learned that a story was being published about their son Fraser.

    But the newspaper posted a headline "Brown Wrong" on its latest edition, saying that it first learned about the boy's diagnosis from the father of another child who has cystic fibrosis.

    The Sun said it was "not aware" that Brown or any of his associates complained about the story.

    Concerns about News Corp

    In the United States, Senator John Rockefeller has called for an investigation into the allegations to determine whether News Corporation has broken any American laws.

    Senator Rockefeller said he is concerned that Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns The Wall Street Journal, Fox Broadcasting and other U.S. media companies, might have targeted the 9/11 victims and their families.  He warned the consequences could be "severe."

    British lawmakers have summoned Murdoch, his son, James, and other company executives to answers questions next week about the various allegations.

    You May Like

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora