News / Europe

Records Show Britain's Cameron Kept Close Ties to Murdoch Officials

Newspapers at a news vendor in central London, with the advertisement apology for News International, July 16, 2011. News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch signed the company advert entitled
Newspapers at a news vendor in central London, with the advertisement apology for News International, July 16, 2011. News Corporation chairman Rupert Murdoch signed the company advert entitled "We are sorry", which appears in British national newspapers.

In Britain, newly released records show that Prime Minister David Cameron has kept a close relationship with key executives from Rupert Murdoch's media empire at the center of a phone-hacking scandal.

Mr. Cameron has disclosed that he met 26 times with officials of Murdoch's News Corporation since he became the country's leader 14 months ago, more than twice the number of visits he has had with any other media organization. The records showed that Rebekah Brooks, who resigned Friday as chief of Murdoch's British press operations, is the only person he had invited twice to his weekend retreat Chequers.

The leader of Britain's Conservative government also hosted Andy Coulson at Chequers in March, two months after he left as his spokesman. Coulson is the former editor of the News of the World tabloid that Murdoch closed a week ago and is at the heart of allegations that journalists hacked into the cell phones of a murdered teenage girl, dead soldiers and others. Coulson was charged earlier this month with corruption and conspiring to intercept communications, one of nine arrested so far in the scandal.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague said that it was not surprising that in a democratic society there would be "some contact" between Britain's leader and media executives. But the opposition Labor Party said the frequent meetings showed Mr. Cameron's "extraordinary lack of judgment."

The revelations of Mr. Cameron's contacts with Murdoch officials came as the 80-year-old tycoon embarked on an effort to apologize for the phone hacking and journalists' payments to police for information.

In a letter signed by Murdoch published in the British press on Saturday, he says he and his international media conglomerate, News Corporation, are sorry "for the serious wrongdoing that occurred" and the "hurt suffered" by those affected by some of his journalists' widespread phone-hacking and payments to police for information.

The apologies come after Les Hinton resigned Friday from his post at the head of the U.S. media group Dow Jones Friday in the wake of the scandal, just hours after Brooks quit.

Dow Jones is owned by Murdoch's News Corporation.  But Hinton's resignation is tied to his previous role overseeing News Corporation's British newspapers, including News of the World, while journalists there illegally accessed cell phone conversations.  

In a staff memo announcing his departure, Hinton apologized to those hurt by the News of the World journalists' actions, though he said he had been ignorant of what was going on at the time.

Aside from closing News of the World, the firestorm over the scandal also has forced Murdoch to abandon efforts to push through a $12 billion bid for British Sky Broadcasting, a satellite television company.

Brooks has agreed to testify before the British Parliament next week about the scandal. Murdoch and his son, James, who heads News Corporation's international operations, will also testify before parliament next week, after initially refusing to do so.  

In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun a probe into whether News Corporation employees tried to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and their families, or tried to bribe police for information.

 

Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch has published an apology in the British press to the victims of the News of the World phone-hacking and police bribery scandal.

A letter signed by Murdoch and published Saturday says he and his international media conglomerate News Corporation are sorry "for the serious wrongdoing that occurred" and the "hurt suffered" by those affected by some of his journalists' widespread phone-hacking and payments to police for information.

The apologies come after Les Hinton resigned from his post at the head of the U.S. media group Dow Jones Friday in the wake of the scandal.

Dow Jones is owned by Murdoch's News Corporation.  But Hinton's resignation is tied to his previous role overseeing News Corporation's British newspapers, including News of the World, while journalists there illegally accessed cell phone conversations.

In a staff memo announcing his departure, Hinton apologized to those hurt by the News of the World journalists' actions, though he said he had been ignorant of what was going on at the time.

Hinton's resignation came just hours after Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World editor who currently oversees News Corporation's British newspapers, also stepped down.

Murdoch shut down News of the World last week.  The firestorm over the scandal also has forced Murdoch to abandon efforts to push through a multi-billion-dollar bid for British Sky Broadcasting, a satellite television company.

As News Corporation announced the public apology, the 80-year-old Murdoch visited at a London hotel with the parents of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old British murder victim whose phone was hacked by News of the World. A lawyer for the family described Murdoch as "very humbled" and "very shaken" as he offered his apology.

Brooks has agreed to testify before the British parliament next week about the phone-hacking and police bribery scandal. Murdoch and his son, James, who heads News Corporation's international operations, will also testify before parliament next week, after initially refusing to do so.

In the U.S., the Federal Bureau of Investigation has begun a probe into whether News Corporation employees tried to hack into the phones of victims of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and their families, or tried to bribe police for information.

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told reporters in Australia Friday the Justice Department has received a number of requests from lawmakers to look into the allegations involving News Corporation, and is "progressing in that regard" through the appropriate law enforcement agencies.

Murdoch's company has several lucrative news and entertainment outlets in the U.S., including the country's top business newspaper, The Wall Street Journal, and a major television news outlet, Fox News Channel.

Some information for this report was provided by Reuters.

You May Like

Kurdish President: More Needed to Defeat Islamic State

In interview with VOA's Persian Service, Massoud Barzani says peshmerga forces have not received weapons, logistical support needed to successfully fight IS in northern Iraq More

Sierra Leone's Stray Dog Population Doubles During Ebola Crisis

Many dog owners fear their pets could infect them with the virus and have abandoned them, leading to the increase and sparking fears of rabies More

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

New methods for mapping pain in the brain not only validate sufferers of chronic pain but might someday also lead to better treatment 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.
New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Paini
X
Shelley Schlender
April 20, 2015 7:03 PM
Pain has a purpose - it can stop you from touching a flame or from walking on a broken leg. As an injury heals, the pain goes away. Usually. But worldwide, one out of every five people suffers from pain that lasts for months and years, leading to lost jobs, depression, and rising despair when medical interventions fail or health experts hint that a pain sufferer is making it up. From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.
Video

Video Hope, Prayer Enter Fight Against S. Africa Xenophobia

South Africa has been swept by disturbing attacks on foreign nationals. Some blame the attacks on a legacy of colonialism, while others say the economy is to blame. Whatever the cause, ordinary South Africans - and South African residents from around the world - say they're praying for the siege of violence to end. Anita Powell reports from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Italy Rescues Migrants After Separate Deadly Capsize Incident

Italy continued its massive search and rescue operation in the Mediterranean Monday for the capsized boat off the coast of Libya that was carrying hundreds of migrants, while at the same time rescuing Syrian migrants from another vessel off the coast of Sicily. Thirteen children were among the 98 Syrian migrants whose boat originated from Turkey on the perilous journey to Europe.
Video

Video New Test Set to Be Game Changer in Eradicating Malaria

The World Health Organization estimates 3.4 billion people are at risk of malaria, with children under the age of five and pregnant women being the most vulnerable. As World Malaria Day approaches (April 25), mortality rates are falling, and a new test -- well into the last stage of trials -- is having positive results in Kenya. Lenny Ruvaga reports for VOA from Nairobi.
Video

Video Are Energy Needs Putting Thailand's Natural Beauty at Risk?

Thailand's appetite for more electricity has led to the construction of new dams along the Mekong River to the north and new coal plants near the country's famous beaches in the south. A proposed coal plant in a so-called "green zone" has touched off a debate. VOA's Steve Sandford reports.
Video

Video Overwhelmed by Migrants, Italy Mulls Military Action to Stabilize Libya

Thousands more migrants have arrived on the southern shores of Italy from North Africa in the past two days. Authorities say they expect the total number of arrivals this year to far exceed previous levels, and the government has said military action in Libya might be necessary to stem the flow. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Putin Accuses Kyiv of ‘Cutting Off’ Eastern Ukraine

Russian President Vladimir Putin, in his annual televised call-in program, again denied there were any Russian troops fighting in Ukraine. He also said the West was trying to ‘contain’ Russia with sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports on reactions to the president’s four-hour TV appearance.
Video

Video Eye Contact Secures Dog's Place in Human Heart

Dogs serve in the military, work with police and assist the disabled, and have been by our side for thousands of years serving as companions and loyal friends. We love them. They love us in return. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports on a new study that looks at the bio-chemical bond that cements that human-canine connection.
Video

Video Ukrainian Volunteers Search for Bodies of Missing Soldiers

As the cease-fire becomes more fragile in eastern Ukraine, a team of volunteer body collectors travels to the small village of Savur Mohyla in the what pro-Russian separatists call the Donetsk Peoples Republic - to retrieve bodies of fallen Ukrainian servicemen from rebel-held territories. Adam Bailes traveled with the team and has this report.
Video

Video Xenophobic Violence Sweeps South Africa

South Africa, long a haven for African immigrants, has been experiencing the worst xenophobic violence in years, with at least five people killed and hundreds displaced in recent weeks. From Johannesburg, VOA’s Anita Powell brings us this report.
Video

Video Apollo 13, NASA's 'Successful Failure,' Remembered

The Apollo 13 mission in 1970 was supposed to be NASA's third manned trip to the moon, but it became much more. On the flight's 45th anniversary, astronauts and flight directors gathered at Chicago's Adler Planetarium to talk about how the aborted mission changed manned spaceflight and continues to influence space exploration today. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Badly Burned Ukrainian Boy Bravely Fights Back

A 9-year-old Ukrainian boy has returned to his native country after intensive treatment in the United States for life-threatening burns. Volodia Bubela, burned in a house fire almost a year ago, battled back at a Boston hospital, impressing doctors with his bravery. Faith Lapidus narrates this report from VOA's Tetiana Kharchenko.
Video

Video US Maternity Leave Benefits Much Less Than Many Countries

It was almost 20 years ago that representatives of 189 countries met at a UN conference in Beijing and adopted a plan of action to achieve gender equality around the world. Now, two decades later, the University of California Los Angeles World Policy Analysis Center has issued a report examining what the Beijing Platform for Action has achieved. From Los Angeles, Elizabeth Lee has more.
Video

Video Endangered Hawaiian Birds Get Second Chance

Of the world's nearly 9,900 bird species, 13 percent are threatened with extinction, according to BirdLife International. Among them are two Hawaiian honeycreepers - tiny birds that live in the forest canopy, and, as the name implies, survive on nectar from tropical flowers. Scientists at the San Diego Zoo report they have managed to hatch half a dozen of their chicks in captivity, raising hopes that the birds will flutter back from the brink of extinction. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Exhibit Brings Renaissance Master Out of the Shadows

The National Gallery of Art in Washington has raised the curtain on one of the most intriguing painters of the High Renaissance. Mostly ignored after his death in the early 1500s, Italian master Piero di Cosimo is now claiming his place alongside the best-known artists of the period. VOA’s Ardita Dunellari reports.

VOA Blogs