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UK tabloid hacking outrage grows

Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 02:33

July 6 - British Prime Minister David Cameron said there should be an official inquiry into a phone hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News International that has prompted national outrage. Matt Cowan reports.

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It has been a day of shocking revelations, startling allegations and vocal recriminations in the tabloid saga gripping Britain. The News of the World - Britain's biggest selling newspaper and key part of Rupert Murdoch's media empire - finds itself in the centre of a scandal that has spurred national outrage over allegations that a private investigator working on its behalf may have hacked into the voicemails of phones belonging to victims of crime, their families and close associates. Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron is now backing calls for an official inquiry. SOUNDBITE: David Cameron, UK Prime Minister saying (English): "Let me be very clear. Yes, we do need to have an inquiry, possibly inquiries into what has happened. Let us be clear we are no longer talking here about politicians and celebrities. We are talking about murder victims, potentially terrorist's victims, having their phones hacked into. It is absolutely disgusting what has taken place and I think everyone in this house and indeed this country will be revolted by what they have heard and what they have seen on their television screens. Cameron's stance is seen as a bold move in Britain, where Murdoch's media empire has long been viewed as something of a kingmaker. His former communications chief Andy Coulson is also a former News of the World editor and resigned both posts due to pressure resulting from the phone hacking scandal, though he's said he was unaware it was going on. Pressure is now mounting on Rebekah Brooks, the chief executive of the UK newspaper operation News International who was the editor of the Sunday tabloid prior to Coulson. Ed Milliband is the head of Britain's opposition Labour Party. SOUNDBITE: Ed Milliband, UK Opposition Leader Saying (English): "The public see a major news organisation in this country where no one appears prepared to take responsibility for what happened." Among the latest revelations are that families of Londoners killed in the July 2005 bombings on the underground say they've been notified by police that their messages may have been intercepted by reporters. Graham Foulkes's 22-year-old son David was killed in that attack and says police have informed him he may have been targeted. SOUNDBITE: Graham Foulkes, father of bombing victim saying (English): "During this investigation they'd come across a file with my name, my home address, my home landline and other phone numbers. And the police were letting me know that they'd found this file in the possession of the private investigator who had made all these alleged phone hackings into other people's calls. So I was a bit stunned to be frank." Rupert Murdoch is backing Brooks, and in a statement called the allegations against News of the World deplorable and unacceptable. Several advertisers have pulled out of the paper over the hacking allegations. It's only midweek and this Sunday tabloid can't seem to stop generating headlines. Matt Cowan, Reuters

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UK tabloid hacking outrage grows

Thursday, July 07, 2011 - 02:33