Jul. 18th, 2011


Jul. 18th, 2011 07:26 am
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Britain's top counter terrorism officer, Scotland Yard assistant commissioner John Yates, has also resigned in the wake of the phone hacking cover up.

Former News International chair Rebekah Brooks says she will testify before the House of Commons tomorrow as scheduled, despite her arrest on police bribery and phone hacking charges.

Former Scotland Yard commish Stephenson was to have testified today before another HoC cmtee, have to track down whether or not his resignation yesterday scotched it.

PM David Cameron is flying back early from a South African junket to make a statement, as calls for his resignation start surging after Stephenson's resignation.

Stephenson basically said the PM was more crooked than he was in his resignation speech. Having hired a tainted Murdoch exec himself, Stephenson said the prime minister's own tainted Murdoch exec was even stinkier than Stephenson's own, so stinky that Stephenson felt as top cop he couldn't share info freely with the PM. Excellent. Excellent.

Cameron, on the road in South Africa, responds to Stephenson's veiled accusations, quite clearly and effectively:

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The officer in charge during the Menezes shooting will take the place of assistant commissioner Yates, who has resigned in the phone hacking scandal.

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Not seen as a suspicious death.

In a subsequent interview with the BBC [former NotW reporter Sean Hoare] alleged that he was personally asked by his then-editor, Coulson, to tap into phones. In an interview with the PM programme he said Coulson's insistence that he didn't know about the practice was "a lie, it is simply a lie".

At the time a Downing Street spokeswoman said Coulson totally and utterly denied the allegations and said he had "never condoned the use of phone hacking and nor do I have any recollection of incidences where phone hacking took place".

Sean Hoare, a one-time close friend of Coulson's, told the New York Times the two men first worked together at the Sun, where, Hoare said, he played tape recordings of hacked messages for Coulson. At the News of the World, Hoare said he continued to inform Coulson of his activities. Coulson "actively encouraged me to do it", Hoare said.


Reading the magisterial 2010 Times piece yesterday, I said to myself, there's a suicide among these sources.

If I'm wrong, we're into the big time now. Murder not out of the question, as the alleged murderer Rees, who was acquitted of charges he sunk an ax into his business partner's head, was a PI hired by the NotW exec Coulson, who went on to become prime minister Cameron's communications director. Acquitted ax murderer Rees was on Coulson's NotW payroll for years, before and after two criminal trials.

Rees, who had worked for the paper for seven years, was jailed for planting cocaine on a woman in order to discredit her during divorce proceedings. After his release from prison Rees, who had been bugged for six months by Scotland Yard because of his links with corrupt police officers, was rehired by the News of the World, which was being edited by Andy Coulson.
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At a time when the reputation of News of the World journalists is at rock bottom, it needs to be said that the paper's former showbusiness correspondent Sean Hoare, who died on Monday, was a lovely man.

In the saga of the phone-hacking scandal, he distinguished himself by being the first former NoW journalist to come out on the record, telling the New York Times last year that his former friend and editor, Andy Coulson, had actively encouraged him to hack into voicemail.

That took courage. But he had a particularly powerful motive for speaking. He knew how destructive the News of the World could be, not just for the targets of its exposés, but also for the ordinary journalists who worked there, who got caught up in its remorseless drive for headlines.

Explaining why he had spoken out, he told me: "I want to right a wrong, lift the lid on it, the whole culture. I know, we all know, that the hacking and other stuff is endemic. Because there is so much intimidation. In the newsroom, you have people being fired, breaking down in tears, hitting the bottle."

He knew this very well, because he was himself a victim of the News of the World. As a showbusiness reporter, he had lived what he was happy to call a privileged life. But the reality had ruined his physical health: "I was paid to go out and take drugs with rock stars – get drunk with them, take pills with them, take cocaine with them. It was so competitive. You are going to go beyond the call of duty. You are going to do things that no sane man would do. You're in a machine."



Jul. 18th, 2011 02:23 pm
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As Rupe prepares for his cross-examination before a House of Commons committee tomorrow, News Corp are said to be worrying about whether the defensive, maudlin 80-year-old's testimony will sink the ship and require his ouster as CEO from the corporation.

Here are his coaches.
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Mr. and Mrs. Trix

The flame-haired editrix has a husband, her second.

(The first is an actor famous mainly for being punched out by the flame-haired editrix, when he is not acting a "hard man" in the long-running lowbrow Britsoap, East Enders).

Said husband #2, who sounds like a bookie, tried to claim a bag containing a computer, a telephone, and other papers which had been found in a garbage can in a parking lot near the Trixes' London house.

The security guard wouldn't turn it over and called the police.

Mr. Trix says the computer is his, and that by no stretch of the imagination did he bin the bag, he left the bag with a friend, who just dropped the bag off in the parking lot for Mr. Trix to pick up. Nuthin to do with nuthin, says Mr. Trix' own PR person.

This just gets better and better.


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