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Satan Holds Press Conference: Rupert Murdoch Will Not Be Allowed Entrance into Hell.

3:35 am - 07/11/2011
On Their Defense, They Just Wanted to Listen to 9/11 Victims' Harrowing Heroics to Spice their Obituaries.

Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB Bid: Government Lawyers Reportedly Moving To Block Buyout


British government lawyers are drawing up plans to block Rupert Murdoch's bid to buy out the broadcaster BSkyB, the Independent newspaper said on Monday, a move that could spare Prime Minister David Cameron a potentially damaging parliamentary vote.


Opposition Labour party leader Ed Miliband said on Sunday that he would force parliament to vote this week if Cameron did not take steps to halt the $14-billion bid by Murdoch's News Corp for the 61 percent of the profitable pay-TV operator BSkyB that it does not already own.

A vote in parliament could split the coalition between Cameron's Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats who, traditionally less favoured by Murdoch's media, have signalled they could vote with Labour on the issue.

It would also give Labour a chance to cast itself, at Cameron's expense, as the champion of a public outraged by allegations that News of the World reporters and editors were complicit in illegally hacking the voicemails of a murdered girl, London bombing victims and Britain's war dead in search of stories.

"We are working on a plan to suspend the deal while the police investigation is taking place," the Independent quoted a senior government source as saying. A spokesman for the prime minister declined to comment.

Murdoch's own Sunday Times reported that a 2007 internal investigation at the News of the World had found evidence that phone hacking was more widespread than the company had admitted and that staff had illegally paid police for information.

Murdoch, 80, flew into London on Sunday to take charge of attempts to save the BSkyB deal and limit the damage to News Corp, the world's largest news conglomerate.

As he was driven into his London headquarters, he held up the final edition of the News of the World, the 168-year-old newspaper he bought in 1969 then promptly closed last week in a bid to stem the crisis.

LURID HEADLINES

The paper is best known for its lurid headlines exposing misadventures of the rich, royal and famous. Its last headline said simply "Thank You & Goodbye" over a montage of some of its most celebrated splashes of the past 168 years.

On Monday, the Daily Mirror newspaper reported, citing an unidentified source, that News of the World journalists had offered to pay a New York police officer to retrieve the private phone records of victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.


Murdoch dined on Sunday in an upmarket hotel with his British newspaper arm's chief executive Rebekah Brooks, a friend of Cameron's and editor of the News of the World at the time of the alleged phone-hacking, and his son and heir apparent, James.

The affair has thrown a harsh spotlight on the long-standing ties between British politicians and Murdoch. In particular, it has called into question the judgment of Cameron, who hired former News of the World editor Andy Coulson as his head of communications.

Coulson later resigned, and was arrested on Friday and released on bail after being questioned by police about voicemail hacking and payments to police. Coulson denies any knowledge that hacking was carried out.

Cameron has insisted that the government has no legal power to block the BSkyB deal if it is satisfied that enough media plurality -- competition -- will be maintained. It had already indicated it would accept News Corp's assurances on this count.

"FIT AND PROPER"

The Independent said the government had latterly hoped the broadcasting regulator Ofcom would stop the deal going through on grounds that News Corp directors were not "fit and proper" to run BSkyB, but this was unlikely to happen until a possibly lengthy police investigation had been completed.

Instead, it said lawyers in the department of Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt were now looking at using competition criteria to block the deal.

That would still be embarrassing for the prime minister, but arguably less damaging than a split with his coalition partners.

Blocking the BSkyB deal on grounds of media plurality would also be better for Murdoch than if he and his team were found to be not "fit and proper" to run the broadcaster, as that could see him lose his existing 39 percent of the company.


Cameron on Friday joined calls for Brooks to step down as chief executive of News Corp's News International arm at a news conference where he admitted politicians had been in thrall to media for years, and ordered a public inquiry.

Murdoch has stuck by Brooks. Asked in London by Reuters what his first priority was, he gestured at her and said: "This one."

News Corp shares fell more than 5 percent in New York last week and shares in BSkyB are expected to come under pressure this week on doubts that the buyout will be allowed to proceed.


News of the World is accused of hacking phones of 9/11 victims
*Murdoch journalists 'wanted phone records of British victims'
*Rebekah Brooks may be questioned under caution in coming weeks
*Ed Miliband launches bid to postpone BSkyB takeover

News of the World reporters tried to hack the voicemails of dead 9/11 victims, a former New York policeman claimed last night.


He alleged he was contacted by News of the World journalists who said they would pay him to retrieve the private phone records of the dead.

The former cop, who now works as a private investigator, said that reporters wanted British victim’s mobile numbers and details of calls in the days surrounding the tragedy.

The voicemails are likely to have included harrowing messages from distraught relatives desperately trying to contact their loved ones in the wake of the terrorist attacks in New York in 2001.

A source told the Daily Mirror: 'This investigator is used by a lot of journalists in America and he recently told me that he was asked to hack into the 9/11 victims’ private phone data.

'He said that the journalists asked him to access records showing the calls that had been made to and from the mobile phones belonging to the victims and their ­relatives.

'His presumption was that they wanted the information so they could hack into the ­relevant voicemails, just like it has been shown they have done in the UK. The PI said he had to turn the job down. He knew how insensitive such research would be, and how bad it would look.'

The source said that the ­journalists were interested in getting the phone records belonging to the British victims of the attacks.

The claims came as the disgraced paper's owner Rupert Murdoch flew into London to take personal charge of the phone-hacking scandal.

He first stopped at News International's headquarters in Wapping, East London, where he arrived in a red Range Rover, a copy of the last edition of the News of the World in his hands.

Later yesterday he put on an extraordinary show of support for Rebekah Brooks - apparently unconcerned about her imminent interview under police caution.

Mrs Brooks, who has twice offered to resign over the controversy, was seen entering Mr Murdoch's Mayfair apartment at around 5.30pm yesterday.

Later, when asked what was his top priority, the 80-year-old media mogul gestured to Mrs Brooks. 'She is,' he replied.

The pair spent an hour in the apartment on the day the final edition of the News of the World hit news stands.

Then, in front of hordes of photographers, Mr Murdoch walked Mrs Brooks out of the block of flats with his arm firmly around her.

They had beaming smiles as they crossed the road to the Stafford Hotel, where they were expected to dine together. They were later joined by Mr Murdoch’s son, James, the chairman of News International.

Pictures of the 'Rupert and Rebekah show' will infuriate the victims of phone hacking and those who question her denials.

The phone hacking row erupted last week when fresh allegations emerged that News or the World journalists paid private investigators to hack into the phone of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler.

They are also alleged to have listened in on voice messages from the family of Soham victims Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman.

Hordes of advertisers finally abandoned the 'toxic' paper, forcing it to close, when it was revealed that they may have hacked into the phones of war dead.

A string of the paper's senior executives, including Mrs Brooks, face being quizzed as potential suspects or witnesses over their roles in the phone-hacking scandal which brought down the 168-year-old title she once edited.

Mrs Brooks is set to be questioned under caution in London in the next two weeks. She will be asked to give a full account of her actions during the period from 2000 to 2003 when she was editor.

It has also been revealed that at least nine former News of the World journalists, and three police officers, face charges over the hacking and corruption scandal.

Meanwhile, a 63-year-old man arrested on Friday has been bailed. Officers would not confirm reports he is a private investigator

The scandal has threatened Murdoch's controversial bid to take full control of BSkyB.

Labour leader Ed Miliband plans to attempt to force through a Commons vote this week that could see the deal postponed until after the police investigation into phone hacking is complete.

M
gildinwen 11th-Jul-2011 03:05 pm (UTC)
.......They tried to get information about his seriously ill *Child*???? Are there any depths they *won't* sink to?!?!?!?
mephisto5 11th-Jul-2011 03:08 pm (UTC)
....nope.
brewsternorth 11th-Jul-2011 03:14 pm (UTC)
One depressing thing is that they gathered that intel in the expectation that, if printed, people would buy the newspaper for it; the other depressing thing is, that expectation would be correct. :/
gildinwen 11th-Jul-2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yeah .....
:(
gildinwen 11th-Jul-2011 03:15 pm (UTC)
So considering that it was the Sun, heavily involved in that do you think this will affect the Sun being a 7-day newspaper??? Because pretending to be a former Chancellor/ Prime Minister to get family medical records probably doesn't reflect well ( to put it mildly) on them?
mephisto5 11th-Jul-2011 03:21 pm (UTC)
I thought it was the Times that was implicated, but all NI papers are up to their eyeballs in it.

Getting family medical records is thoroughly illegal- I expect editorial heads to roll. If this is sufficiently widespread, it may be that News International and News Corps itself become untenable, which would obvs have knock on effects with the Sun.
gildinwen 11th-Jul-2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Hmmm in the article you linked above, it implacates both the Sun and Times pretty heavily, as they both published articles about it.....so they're in the heart of it too
mephisto5 11th-Jul-2011 03:28 pm (UTC)
Ah, I only skimmed it. Somewhat distracted by Miliband trying to claim all the credit for getting an inquiry.

At least Vince looks happy....
paulnolan 11th-Jul-2011 03:29 pm (UTC)
I thought it was the Times that was implicated

From The Sun:



(copied from this link, just in case they pull it)
mephisto5 11th-Jul-2011 03:31 pm (UTC)
Ta, following story mainly on twitter and the BBC news coverage. Moving fast right now. :D
x_butterfly19_x 11th-Jul-2011 03:50 pm (UTC)
This is awful.
mercaque 11th-Jul-2011 03:18 pm (UTC)
Goddamn. The title of this post gets more and more appropriate...
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