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 "We are sorry",  which appears in British national newspapers.
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

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month 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.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid