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Biodun-Iginla@the Economistcom
Monday, 1 August 2011
Le Monde diplomatique--August 2011
Topic: Le Monde diplomatique, bbc news
31 July 2011

August 2011

... Financial crisis, lessons from Iceland; Middle East, protests persist in Syria; Nafta, US jobs drain to Mexico; US and Vietnam make up; nuclear energy loses its glow; Uganda, sharing the wealth; Henry Ford's forgotten jungle city; Toni Negri's revolutionary heart; luxury hotels redraft the social contract... and more...
  • Blackmail in Washington - Serge Halimi

    The squabbles between President Obama and the Republican majority in Congress over US debt obscure the main point: under covert pressure from his opponents, Obama has agreed without further ado that $3,000bn, more than three-quarters of the budget reduction he wants for the next ten years, will be covered by cuts in social services. Not content with this victory, the US right wants more - even if its unrelenting demands are likely to be unpopular with voters.
    Bowing to the Republicans in (...)
    Translated by Barbara Wilson
  • Can't pay back, won't pay back

    Iceland's loud No - Silla Sigurgeirsdóttir and Robert H Wade

    The people of Iceland have now twice voted not to repay international debts incurred by banks, and bankers, for which the whole island is being held responsible. With the present turmoil in European capitals, could this be the way forward for other economies?
    Original text in English
  • 'The bullets killed our fear'

    Syria waits for Ramadan - Alain Gresh

    In August it is Ramadan and every day is like Friday - demonstration day for the population of Syria's cities, not least those of Hama who have already endured one major army attack since the year's protests began, and are expecting more
    Translated by Charles Goulden
  • Disenchantment with nuclear energy sets in

    Global reaction against reactors* - Denis Delbecq

    There are nuclear power stations still being built - some very, very slowly - but few are in the developed world, where several countries recently decided to abandon the idea of a nuclear future
    Translated by Stephanie Irvine
  • Japan's silent anger - Rónán MacDubhghaill

    Just because the Japanese are not out demonstrating about what happened at the Fukushima Daiichi plant doesn't mean they aren't frightened and resentful, only that protest isn't the Japanese way
    LMD English edition exclusive
  • Slow death of the Superphoenix* - Christine Bergé

    France's Superphoenix was only in operation for 11 years but its decommissioning, which began in 1997, will take another 20 years. Was the nuclear experiment worth it?
    Translated by Stephanie Irvine
  • Uganda's potential to be another Niger delta

    Who owns Buganda?* - Alain Vicky

    The land of a traditional kingdom within Uganda has been used as a political threat and reward for over a century. It grows grain, it may have oil and gas, and it is home to the quickly expanding capital
    Translated by Stephanie Irvine
  • United States and Vietnam, 36 years after the war

    Former enemies make friends* - Xavier Monthéard

    The once secret report that revealed Washington's lies about the Vietnam war is now freely read. Hanoi, too, has moved on - there have even been joint military exercises near to where the first GIs landed
    Translated by George Miller
  • Vietnam and India: shared interests* - Saurav Jha

    Vietnam and India are united in their fear of China, to New Delhi's profit
    Original text in English
  • Goodbye to Fostoria, Ohio...

    A small town in the middle of everywhere - John R MacArthur

    The jobs went south - to Mexicali, Mexico - after the Nafta liberalisations of the 1990s. New owners have come and gone, the last US employees are awaiting redundancy, and only a very few money men have profited, handsomely
    Original text in English
  • The tale of a spark plug

  • 'To cultivate rubber, and the rubber gatherers as well'

    Henry Ford's Amazonian dream* - Greg Grandin

    At Fordlandia in Brazil, Ford built an entire town in the jungle which recreated a vision of Americana that was slipping out of his grasp at home. But Fordism contained the seeds of its own unravelling
    Original text in English
  • The social contract in luxury american hotels

    Your room is ready, sir* - Rachel Sherman

    The world of the grand hotel is as unequal as you can get in the land of equality. Hotel guests get attention, status and human labour, which other people (workers) provide
    Original text in English
  • UK 'big society' won't restore lost values

    An immigrant's tale - David Napier

    The Cameron government's intention to cut immigration has found an echo among ordinary Britons. It is not so much that they are getting more racist, but that they resent the loss of old-fashioned civility. But most of all, as the financial crisis bites, they are worried about benefits, jobs and also less tangible core values
    LMD English edition exclusive
  • 'They will be buried by laughter'

    Mass outrage - Ed Emery

    Toni Negri was professor at the University of Padua, until he was jailed, charged with being leader of Italy's Red Brigades. He hasn't lost his sense of humour
    LMD English edition exclusiv

Posted by biginla at 2:55 PM BST
Italian coastguards find 25 bodies on boat at Lampedusa
Topic: italy, migrants, bbc news
In association with

by Biodun Iginla and Natalie de Vallieres, BBC News

The boat Volunteers and doctors work on the boat on which the bodies were found

Related Stories

Italian coastguards have found the bodies of 25 men on a boat crowded with refugees fleeing Libya.

The 15-metre boat landed on the southern Italian island of Lampedusa carrying 271 survivors, Agence France Presse (AFP) reported.

The bodies of 25 men were found in the boat's engine room. They appear to have died from asphyxiation, officials said.

Thousands of refugees from North Africa have arrived on the island in recent weeks.

The coastguard boarded the boat at around 01:20 on Monday (11:20 GMT on Sunday) and discovered the bodies.

Italian media reported that the people in the engine room had apparently tried to escape but had been trapped by the numbers on board and probably been choked by engine fumes.

The engine room was only accessible through a 50-centimetre (20-inch) wide trap door from the deck, an official said.

International waters

Italian investigators say some of the corpses had already begun decomposing when they were recovered by firemen and they believe the refugees died in international waters.

"Given the state in which the corpses were found, they could have been dead for at least 48 hours," doctor Pietro Bartolo told reporters. Survivors said they had been at sea for three days.

The corpses have been taken to the morgue for post-mortem examinations and police are questioning survivors.

Reuters news agency reported some survivors as saying another man's body had been dropped overboard after he died on the journey.

Lampedusa is now the biggest gateway to the European Union for refugees from North Africa. Some 250 refugees drowned when their boat capsized off the island in April.

BBC correspondent David Willey says the European Union's plan to deal with the large numbers of migrants has disappointed Italians, who feel they have been left to deal with the crisis on their own.

More on This Story

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Posted by biginla at 2:46 PM BST
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
Phone hacking: 'Humbled' Murdoch rejects blame
Topic: phone hacking scandal, bbc news

by Biodun Iginla and Emily Straton, BBC News

Rupert Murdoch: "James and I would like to say how sorry we are"

Rupert Murdoch has said he cannot be held responsible for the scandal at the News of the World, saying he was let down by "people I trusted".

The News Corp boss said he was not aware of the extent of phone hacking there and had "clearly" been misled by some of his staff.

His son, James, apologised to victims, saying hacking was "inexcusable".

Two hours into the hearing, a man tried to throw a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch and proceedings were briefly suspended.

The protester appeared to lunge towards the News Corp chairman and chief executive but was fought off by a group of people, including Mr Murdoch's wife, Wendi.

A man has reportedly been detained by police.

Rupert Murdoch's appearance before the Commons media committee is the first time he has faced direct scrutiny by MPs during his 40-year UK media career.

He said he was "humbled" to have to explain his firm's conduct to MPs.

Start Quote

I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case two weeks ago”

End Quote Rupert Murdoch

Faced with a series of questions from Labour MP Tom Watson, Mr Murdoch paused extensively and his son James made several attempts to intervene.

However, Mr Watson made clear that he wanted to hear answers from the father and not the son.

He added: "Your father is responsible for corporate governance, and serious wrongdoing has been brought about in the company.


"It is revealing in itself what he does not know and what executives chose not to tell him."

Rupert Murdoch said his questioning by MPs - who are investigating alleged criminal behaviour at the News of the World and the extent of what senior executives knew - was the "most humble day of my life".

The News Corp boss said he was not aware of the extent of phone hacking at the company until earlier this year when it handed over new information to the police - triggering a new inquiry.

"I was absolutely shocked, appalled and ashamed when I heard about the Milly Dowler case two weeks ago," he told MPs.

Arguing that he ran a global business of 53,000 people and the paper was "just 1%" of this, he said he was not ultimately responsible for what went on at the News of the World.

Asked who was responsible, he said: "The people I trusted to run it and maybe the people they trusted".

Murdoch's 'shock' at News International paying some of Glenn Mulcaire's legal fees

Mr Murdoch said he was focused on his US newspaper interests and that he had "perhaps lost sight" of what was going on at the paper, saying he spoke to the editor "very seldom".

James Murdoch, chairman of News International, said the firm failed to live up to "the standards they aspired to" and was "determined to put things right and make sure they do not happen again".

He added: "I would like to say just how sorry I am and how sorry we are to particularly the victims of illegal voicemail interceptions and to their families."

Legal fees

Rupert Murdoch said he had not been made aware by News International management of out-of-court settlements made to a handful of victims of hacking.

James Murdoch said he was "surprised and shocked" to learn that News International had still been paying the legal fees of Glenn Mulcaire - the private investigator jailed for phone hacking in 2006 - while his father said he would like to end this arrangement.

In other developments:

  • Rebekah Brooks tells MPs that she never sanctioned payments to police, and News International had acted "quickly and decisively" when new evidence of hacking emerged
  • The Conservative Party says former NoW journalist Neil Wallis may have provided "informal advice" to Andy Coulson, David Cameron's ex-press chief, before the last election
  • A post-mortem examination is being carried out on the body of former NoW reporter Sean Hoare who was found dead on Monday
  • The Met Police's public affairs director Dick Fedorcio tells MPs 10 out of 45 members of his department had once worked for the News of the World
  • Police are examining a laptop and paperwork found in a bin near the London home of Mrs Brooks, items believed to belong to her husband
  • David Cameron is returning to the UK - cutting short a trip to Africa - to prepare for a Commons debate on the hacking scandal on Wednesday

Asked by MPs about the closure of the News of the World, Rupert Murdoch said this was necessary since it had "lost the trust" of the people after recent allegations and was not done for commercial reasons.

One of the reasons he had been forced to withdraw his bid to take full control of BSkyB, he added, was that its competitors had "caught us with dirty hands and created hysteria".

On his relationships with senior British politicians, he said he had been asked to No 10 "for a cup of tea" by David Cameron shortly after he entered Downing Street as a recognition of his support for the Conservatives before the election.

Rupert Murdoch 'often entered Downing St by back door'

He said he had been asked to enter Downing Street by the back door - both by Mr Cameron and former prime minister Gordon Brown - because it would attract less attention.

Tory MP Louise Mensch asked whether - as "captain of the ship" - Rupert Murdoch would resign.

"No, because I feel that the people I trusted, I don't know at what level, let me down and I think they behaved disgracefully, betrayed the company and me and it's for them to pay," he replied.

"I think that frankly I'm the best person to clear this up."

In a closing statement, Rupert Murdoch said he had made his "share of mistakes" but at no time had he felt as "sickened" as when he found out what the Dowler family had been through.

He said he would work tirelessly to win the forgiveness of phone-hacking victims and had great respect for the people of Britain.

It was his understanding, he said, that when two men went to prison in 2007, he thought the situation had been resolved.

'Shocked and angered'

The Murdochs initially declined to appear before the committee but changed their minds after they were issued with a summons to attend.

Rupert Murdoch struggling with MP's questions: "That is the first I've heard of that"

Opening the hearing, culture, media and sport committee chairman John Whittingdale said abuses had been uncovered "which had shocked and angered the country" and it was clear Parliament had been misled by News International staff.

Earlier on Tuesday, Met Commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson denied any impropriety in the hiring of Mr Wallis to provide media support to the police force but said he now regretted the appointment.

Mr Wallis was recently arrested as part of the phone-hacking inquiry.

Sir Paul, who quit on Sunday amid criticism of his force's handling of the phone-hacking saga, told the Home Affairs Select committee he had not "taken a swipe" in his resignation letter at David Cameron's decision to employ Andy Coulson - Mr Wallis' ex-boss - as an aide.

More on This Story

Phone-hacking scandal

Demise of News of the World

Posted by biginla at 7:30 PM BST
Highlights of the past week's postings on our business-travel blog
Topic: bp, biodun iginla, bbc news, suz
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  Tuesday, July 19th 2011
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Posted by biginla at 7:20 PM BST
Dominique Strauss-Kahn's daughter questioned in France
Topic: Dominique Strauss-Kahn, bbc news
In association with

by Natalie de Vallieres and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

Camille Strauss-Kahn (file photo) Camille Strauss-Kahn is a friend of her father's alleged victim Tristane Banon

French investigators have questioned one of Dominique Strauss-Kahn's daughters about an allegation that he attempted to rape a French writer.

Camille Strauss-Kahn is a friend of the alleged victim, Tristane Banon.

Ms Banon says the former IMF chief assaulted her in a Paris flat in 2003 as she attempted to conduct an interview with him.

Separately, Mr Strauss-Kahn denies charges of sexually assaulting a New York hotel maid on 14 May.

Mr Strauss-Kahn was freed from house arrest in the US city earlier this month after the credibility of his accuser's evidence came into question.


Police questioned Camille Strauss-Kahn on Monday, a judicial official speaking on condition of anonymity told the Associated Press.

Her mother, Mr Strauss-Kahn's ex-wife, Brigitte Guillemette, was questioned on Friday, legal sources said. She is Ms Banon's godmother.

Strauss-Kahn allegations

  • 2006: Publication of Sexus Politicus, book by Christophe Deloire and Christophe Dubois, with chapter on Mr Strauss-Kahn and his tendency of "seduction to the point of obsession"
  • 2008: Mr Strauss-Kahn admits an affair with IMF colleague; he admits an "error of judgement"
  • 2011: Mr Strauss-Kahn arrested on 14 May in New York, accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid
  • 16 May: Writer Tristane Banon comes forward to say Mr Strauss-Kahn tried to assault her in an interview nearly a decade before
  • 1 July: Mr Strauss-Kahn freed without bail from New York house arrest

It was shortly after Mr Strauss-Kahn was arrested in New York that Ms Banon - now 32 - came forward to say that he had tried to assault her eight years ago.

She said she had not pursued the case at the time because "everyone told me it would never succeed", but that following the allegations in New York there was "perhaps a chance to finally be listened to".

Mr Strauss-Kahn denies any wrongdoing, and has launched a counter-claim, suing Ms Banon for making false statements.

Under French law, the charge of attempted rape carries a maximum sentence of 15 years in jail. However, the prosecutors' inquiry may not lead to formal charges.

Ms Banon and her mother, Anne Mansouret, herself a politician from Mr Strauss-Kahn's centre-left Socialist Party, were interviewed by police last week.

More on This Story

Strauss-Kahn case

Features and analysis

Posted by biginla at 5:23 PM BST
IMF says eurozone must act firmly on crisis
Topic: eurozone crisis, bbc news
In association with

by Natalie de Vallieres and Biodun Iginla, BBC News

IMF logo The IMF predicts the stronger eurozone economies will give the area an average growth rate of 2% this year

The eurozone must take decisive action to stop the debt crisis spreading outside Europe, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said.

The IMF said Greece, the Irish Republic and Portugal needed to stick to their austerity plans.

The Washington-based organisation also said the whole euro area should make a more consistent effort to restore confidence.

It recommended a "significant strengthening" of economic governance.

The IMF says most eurozone countries are enjoying a solid economic recovery - working through pre-crisis imbalances, such as high debt and financial market tensions - but it warns these are pulling away from the weak ones.

It says these tensions pose a key risk to the outlook "with possible large regional and global implications".

One area of concern it points to is the weaker countries replacement of private investment with official financing - something that it says is unsustainable.

Greece, and the Irish Republic and Portugal have all received needed bail-outs, part-funded by the IMF.

The IMF estimates that the 17 member eurozone will see economic growth of 2% this year - higher than a previous estimate in May - but that will fall to 1.7% in 2012, lower than the May forecast of 1.9%.

More on This Story

Global Economy

Eurozone essentials

Promo for eurozone in crisis in graphicsCharting Europe

Use our interactive graphs to trace European countries' economic performances

Posted by biginla at 5:21 PM BST
Phone hacking: Murdoch attacked at MPs' hearing
Topic: phone hacking scandal, bbc news

by Biodun Iginla, BBC News, London

Rupert Murdoch: "This is the most humble day of my life"

MPs have suspended their questioning of Rupert Murdoch after a man apparently threw a shaving foam pie at him

The session had been going for two hours when a man appeared to lunge towards Mr Murdoch.

He was fought off by a group of people including Mr Murdoch's wife Wendi. A man has reportedly been detained by the police.

The BBC's Nick Robinson said James Murdoch said he was angry that police had failed to protect his father.

More on This Story

Phone-hacking scandal


Posted by biginla at 5:18 PM BST
Breaking News: US senators warn Beijing on S China Sea
Topic: china, bbc news
by Biodun Iginla, BBC News and The Financial Times

Two senior US senators have warned China that recent naval clashes with its neighbours in the South China Sea could jeopardise US “national interests” in the region, in comments likely to rankle Beijing.

“We are concerned that a series of naval incidents in recent months has raised tensions in the region,” said John Kerry, the Democratic chairman of the Senate foreign relations committee, and John McCain, the former Republican presidential candidate.

Posted by biginla at 5:09 PM BST
Murdochs grilled by MPs
Topic: bbc news, biodun iginla, israel,

Accessibility links

Key points

  • Rupert and James Murdoch face questions from the Commons culture committee on News International's role in the phone-hacking scandal, starting at 1430 BST.
  • Ex-News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks to be questioned from 1530 BST.
  • Former Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson denies "taking a swipe" at the PM in his resignation statement.
  • John Yates, the former assistant chief constable at the Met, will also speak to MPs, following his resignation on Monday.
  • Ex-News of the World journalist Sean Hoare, who made allegations of phone hacking by the newspaper, is found dead at his home.
  • David Cameron is cutting short a trip to Africa to address MPs on the phone-hacking scandal on Wednesday, as Parliament is reconvened.

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    Electrifying exchanges between Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch. Rupert Murdoch says he was not aware that a reporter had been found guilty of blackmail.


    Asked why NoW chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck was not dismissed following the Max Mosley case, Rupert Murdoch replies: "I'd never heard of him."


    Tom Watson asks what News International did after the arrest of Glen Mulcaire and Clive Goodman. Rupert Murdoch says it employed a leading firm of lawyers to investigate it further.

    1451: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: Rupert M accepts someone lied to him, 'Clearly'


    Rupert Murdoch says the News of the World was less than 1% of his company. Tapping his desk to make his point, he says he employs people on trust to run his divisions.


    Rupert Murdoch says "Yes" when asked by Labour's Tom Watson whether the company had a "zero tolerance" attitude to wrongdoing. He agrees that it was misled.


    James Murdoch says he has no knowledge that Rebekah Brooks or Les hinton knew about phone hacking. Their resignations were accepted on that basis, he adds.


    News International's provision of information that led in part to the re-opening of police investigations into hacking show the company's approach, James Murdoch tells the committee.


    It is a matter of "deep frustration" and "real regret" that the facts did not emerge earlier, James Murdoch says.


    It was not clear in 2008 and 2009 that there were any extra matters to be dealt with, James Murdoch says. He says the "critical new facts" arose in the civil trials at the end of 2010.


    James Murdoch says that this followed the successful prosecutions of 2007 and the resignation of Andy Coulson as NoW editor. The company relied on legal opinion from outside that there was no additional illegality, he adds.


    Mr Whittingdale says that, when his committee took evidence in 2009, all the News International executives said there had been a thorough investigation and no more evidence found. Was this a lie, he asks.

    James and Rupert Murdoch

    The Murdochs address MPs on the culture committee, while Rupert's wife Wendi watches from the public gallery.

    1442: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    James Murdoch opens with an apology - he was denied an opening statement by the chairman but he is clearly delivering it anyway. His father adds a truncated version of his own -'the most humble day in my life.' Of course worth remembering he needed to be summonsed by MPs, and did not volunteer to give evidence on this day.


    News International alerted the police and re-started the investigation now under way. It has admitted liability in some cases and apologised unreservedly, James Murdoch says.


    James Murdoch continues, saying that he came to realise that potentially more people had been involved in hacking, following hearings in 2009.


    Rupert Murdoch interrupts his son to say: "This is the most humble day of my life."


    Mr Whittingdale asks James Murdoch why he admitted previously that Parliament had been misled by News International statements. Mr Murdoch apologises, saying it is a matter of sadness to the company and to him and his father.

    1438: Daily Mirror associate editor Kevin Maguire

    tweets: Rupert Murdoch looked relaxed going into the Commons hearing. His son James, however, was bricking it


    Some protesters, holding up signs, are removed from the Boothroyd Room, at the request of committee chairman John Whittingdale.


    The Murdochs, both wearing dark suits, pour some water. James Murdoch asks to make an opening statement. Committee chairman John Whittingdale refuses, saying they can do so after the hearing.


    The moment has arrived. Rupert and James Murdoch are in place for their session with the culture committee.

    1433: Political Editor of Sky News Adam Boulton

    tweets: Many Qs unasked but Home Affairs Chm Keith Vaz must want to wrap this before 2.30when Chm John Whittingdale opens CMSSC Murdoch hearing.


    Newspapers will, on a weekly basis run interesting articles - but police won't launch investigations on the back of all of them, Mr Yates tells the MPs.


    Labour's Alun Michael says everyone expected him to look broadly at the old police investigation into hacking. Mr Yates disagrees, saying it was just a case of "looking at what's new" and deciding whether it merited a fresh investigation.


    A moment of levity as Mr Vaz assures Mr Yates he will be out of there before the next witness arrives - at 5.30pm. "I'm enjoying myself so much," jokes Mr Yates


    Has there been a fair allocation of blame between the Met and CPS? Mr Yates says not - the Met had taken legal advice. "It is utterly, absolutely clear what advice we got - anybody who says a police investigation isn't framed by legal advice doesn't live in the real world."


    "This wasn't a body being found, this was an article in a newspaper," he adds, referring to The Guardian article that reignited interest in phone hacking.


    "You can criticise me with hindsight but it was a reasonably sophisticated process to go through around an article in a newspaper," says Mr Yates.


    Mr Yates says, of his hacking review, it wasn't a case of "finger in the air, I don't fancy it" - it was reasonably sophisticated in terms of the points covered, he says. "I had been assured that the material had been reviewed by counsel," he adds.

    1425: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates says the PM's head of staff Ed Llewellyn turned down the offer of a briefing on the "scoping" of an investigation following New York Times stories on phone hacking (that appears to be September 2010) - John Yates said he didn't speak to Andy Coulson about this - but did speak to him when he was at No10 on the unrelated topic of police reform.


    Commons Speaker John Bercow has refused to allow a new vote to enable Labour MP Cathy Jamieson to sit on the culture committee, which will question Rupert and James Murdoch. Her appointment to the committee was blocked by a Tory MP last night. A point of order was raised by the shadow leader of the House Hilary Benn, seeking a change to the timetable to allow a vote before the committee starts, but Mr Bercow said he was unable to do this.


    Assistant Commissioner John Yates again stresses he did not carry out a full "review" of the original police investigation into hacking - he just tried to establish certain facts around the case.


    Mr Yates says he met Andy Coulson but did not discuss phone hacking with him - or Neil Wallis.


    Mr Yates goes through his phone call with Neil Wallis about a potential contract with the Met - he says he received "categorical assurances" that there was nothing still being investigated by the Guardian that could embarrass the Met.

    1420: NOTW Hacking News

    tweets: Biographer Michael Wolff is suggesting Rupert Murdoch could resign before the culture committee.

    1419: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates repeats allegation of last week: "News International completely covered-up" phone hacking - no doubt this will be put to the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks when they come before the culture and media committee shortly.


    He predicts a "very small number of police officers" will be jailed for corruption over the phone hacking saga.


    Mr Yates's words are again quoted back at him that he made a "crap decision" not to reopen the phone hacking investigation - but he stresses that he meant that in the context of what he knows now.


    Mr Yates stresses that Mr Wallis is still an "innocent man".

    1413: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Rather like an edition of the recently revived game show "Mr and Mrs", Keith Vaz points out that John Yates wasn't able to listen to Mr Fedorcio's evidence earlier. Like that show, sometimes answers don't match up.

    1412: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    John Yates says it was down to PR chief Mr Fedorcio to carry out "due diligence" on Neil Wallis - not him. Mr Fedorcio, for his part, said it was John Yates who assured him Mr Wallis's contract wouldn't embarrass the Met.


    Keith Vaz asks which officials were trying to "protect the prime minister" from certain information - for example the employment of Mr Wallis. Mr Yates says in 2010 there was an offer to brief Mr Cameron's chief of staff on the nuances of what a "scoping exercise" was - following a New York Times article. There was some confusion about language. The offer was rejected, he says.


    More from David Cameron's press conference in Nigeria. Addressing the resignations of Met commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and assistant commissioner John Yates, the PM says: "Paul Stephenson and John Yates have made their decisions. They have made honourable decisions. I thank them for the service they have given."


    Lib Dem Julian Huppert asks whether an assistant commissioner sending an email to the Met's HR department was usual - Mr Yates says the director of HR would have "aborted the process" if there was anything wrong with it.


    Asked whether he was close friends with Mr Wallis - Mr Yates says he met him two or three times per year over six years or so: "I don't go round to his house on a regular basis," he says - adding he may have done so once to pick him up for a football match. he accepts he is a friend but says they are not "bosom buddies living in each others' houses".

    1407: Political Animal

    tweets: Yates: "I was a postbox." And I'm a little teapot.


    He repeats the phrase again: "I was simply a post box". It happens all the time, he adds - pointing out that MPs employ relatives. He denies having secured a job for her - saying he sent one email on her behalf and he gave only an "equivocal interest" in whether she was employed or not.


    Interesting choice of words from Mr Yates on his alleged nepotism: "I simply acted as a post box for an application". He is accused of securing a job at the job at the Met for Neil Wallis's daughter.


    Mr Yates says it is "slightly over-egging the pudding" to suggest he had carried out "due diligence" - he had simply sought categorical assurances from Mr Wallis that he had done nothing to do with phone hacking that could embarrass the force. He says it was not "due diligence".

    1403: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    It is interesting to see how what appeared to be normal behaviour now looks very different once viewed through the post-hacking prism. Mr Fedorcio says he knew nothing of the first hacking investigation until arrests were made and didn't advise senior officers on their decisions to dine with News International. Keith Vaz summed up the MPs' quizzing of the PR chief thus: "We are not any clearer than we were when we started."


    Keith Vaz starts by referring to the employment of Neil Wallis - Mr Yates had done "due diligence" and advised Mr Fedorcio Mr Wallis was fine to take on.

    1401: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    All fingers so far are pointing to John Yates - Dick Fedorcio said he never personally asked Neil Wallis any questions about phone hacking - he took an assurance from John Yates that Mr Wallis's contract wouldn't embarrass the Met.


    Keith Vaz starts by asking why Mr Yates resigned. He says it's because phone hacking had become a huge distraction from his main role - as head of counter terrorism.


    John Yates is back in front of the home affairs committee - just a week after his last appearance.


    Mr Fedorcio says the first time he became aware of phone hacking was when he returned from leave in August 2006. The only dinner he attended with Andy Hayman and News International was in April 2006, while the hacking investigation was happening. He says he had no knowledge at the time of the investigation and says it would have been inappropriate for him to know at the time.


    Mr Fedorcio says he did not give preference to News International when "placing stories" in the media. He also says he only found out Mr Wallis's daughter was working at the Met yesterday.


    Mr Fedorcio says he discovered Mr Wallis was working independently in "mid-August" - asked if it was Rebekah Brooks that recommended him, Mr Fedorcio says "certainly not". He says he does not believe he was recommended by someone at News International.


    Mr Fedorcio says he talked to John Yates about hiring Mr Wallis specifically because of his involvement in the phone-hacking investigation. He adds he has "no reason to doubt" Mr Yates's integrity.


    In the committee room Tory MP Nicola Blackwood suggests it was not appropriate for Mr Yates to do "due diligence" on his friend - Mr Fedorcio says he had no reason to doubt Mr Yates's integrity


    After his appearance, Sir Paul Stephenson has issued the following statement: "Today's almost certainly my final professional public engagement after almost 36 years of policing."


    Mr Fedorcio says he knew Mr Yates was a personal friend of Mr Wallis - Keith Vaz questions why he allowed Mr Yates to carry out due diligence on the former NoW deputy in that case.


    Mr Wallis was employed to help with "corporate policy matters" - not "operational activity" says Mr Fedorcio. He says he "never" discussed the phone-hacking scandal with Mr Wallis.


    Did the Met go out to tender for the contract to hire Mr Wallis? Mr Fedorcio says he got three quotes and of those, Mr Wallis, was "by far the cheapest".


    David Cameron, who is in Nigeria, describes the death of the former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare as "a tragedy".


    Lib Dem Julian Huppert asks why the directorate of public affairs has not declared any hospitality since 2009 - Mr Fedorcio says until recently only the commissioner and deputy commissioner's hospitality was published.

    1341: Conservative Declan Lyons

    tweets: 45 people doing comms for Met Police seems mad, but 10 of them being former NotW employees seems even madder. #hackgate


    Mark Reckless asks why there are 50 people working on PR for the Met - shouldn't they be catching criminals? Mr Fedorcio says there is enormous media interest in the police and the press office takes pressure off officers.


    Mr Fedorcio says he cannot remember exactly what Mr Yates said, but as far as Mr Yates was concerned - there was nothing that could embarrass the force in employing Mr Wallis.


    Mr Winnick asks why a man of his experience did not ask Mr Wallis himself about phone hacking. Mr Fedorcio says Mr Yates put the question - and that was "more than enough times".


    Mr Fedorcio says having considered him as a consultant - he spoke to John Yates who conducted "a form of due diligence" on Mr Wallis, who gave him assurances there was nothing in his past that could embarrass the force.


    Labour MP David Winnick suggests Mr Fedorcio should have asked Mr Wallis, as a former NoW deputy editor, what he knew about phone hacking


    In September 2009 - Mr Wallis was given the job, eight months after John Yates completed his review of the original phone hacking investigation.

    1338: Mouth Word

    tweets: I want to know who recommended Wallis to Fedorcio. #notw #hactee #hacking #murdoch #ffe #etc

    1338: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: Will Lewis + Simon Greenberg from News int both leaving jobs to work full time on cleaning things up at the company


    Mr Fedorcio says he saw Mr Wallis - who he had known since 1997 as a "business colleague" - Mr Vaz suggests a better phrase should be a "professional colleague". Mr Fedorcio agrees - but he says he was not a personal friend.


    Mr Fedorcio tells the committee he needed someone with the right experience and knowledge - and decided he needed a "retainer contract" - with access to an adviser "if or when I needed to get advice". Mr Wallis's name was put forward - but he can't remember who suggested it.

    1334: Jack W from Surrey

    e-mails: Now that the instances of hacking have been widely verified, surely the question that needs to be asked is; Why did the initial investigations miss so much? Was it a lack of thoroughness, or was information buried by people within the Met?


    Mr Vaz presses his question - why Mr Wallis? Mr Fedorcio says he had need for external advice and support because his deputy was recovering from a serious illness. There was great pressure and he needed help - the commissioner advised him to get some help.


    Mr Fedorcio says he wants to be "open and helpful" but he has been referred to the independent police complaints commission and has not had time to take legal advice. Mr Vaz says all the committee's witnesses have been referred to the IPCC - and it had not held back Sir Paul Stephenson.


    Next up before the committee is Dick Fedorcio, the Met's Director of Public Affairs - which among other things runs the force's media operation. Why did he employ Mr Wallis, Keith Vaz asks.

    1330: BBC's Dominic Casciani

    tweets: Stephenson's final thought: I'm not leaving because I was pushed or because I have anything to fear. I'm leaving because I'm a leader.

    1330: Edward Parry from Chester

    e-mails: It would seem that Sir Paul is a man with "no knowledge". It is a bit worrying that someone in his position has little knowledge (or "no knowledge") of some of the people he employed and the goings on in the met. A cynic might wonder whether Sir Paul could be accused of failing to maintain control and responsibility or his organisation.

    1330: Philip Shaw from Kidderminster

    e-mails: Clearly the commissioner must keep in touch with the media - it is a very important part of his job - but why does this have to be in the form of lavish lunches, dinners and other forms of paid for hospitality. Those offering such hospitality do not pay for it without expecting something in return and, in the unlikely event that they don't, that is the perception of most reasonable people.


    Sir Paul says he is going because he is a leader - and is putting the force first. "That's leadership, and that is why I'm going," he says.

    1329: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Sir Paul has tee'd up the next session with John Yates - his own session has overrun so it would be surprising if John Yates isn't grilled for even longer. When the Assistant Commissioner last came before this committee the chairman Keith Vaz said he found Mr Yates's evidence 'unconvincing.' At that time Mr Yates was adamant he wouldn't resign. A week is a long time in policing and politics.


    Chairman Keith Vaz begins to wrap up - where does Sir Paul's resignation leave the Met? Sir Paul says he sincerely regrets that Mr Yates has quit - but he says the London force will recover, and the vast majority of officers are decent, hard working individuals.

    1328: Nick Vaughan from Hereford

    e-mails: Why did the London Met, with 45 press officers on the payroll, then employ Neil Wallis, formerly at the News of the World as a 'consultant' on £1000 per day? And the opposition say we cannot avoid cutting numbers of front-line police! Paul Stephenson has also just said he plays 'no role in procurement'.


    Ten members of the Met's Department for Public Affairs - where 45 press officers work - have worked previously for News International in some capacity, Sir Paul reveals.

    1326: Blogger Harry Cole

    tweets: Would quite like a tshirt with "You'll have to ask Mr Yates about that" on it.


    MP Nicola Blackwood asks if Sir Paul made any "informal remarks" to Mr Yates about his expectations when he asked him to take another look at the previous hacking inquiry - Sir Paul says he doesn't think so.

    1324: Labour MP for Exeter Ben Bradshaw

    tweets: #wato disagree with usually excellent Norman Smith's analysis. No10 warning Stephenson off mentioning Wallis moves story on big time

    1323: Jo from Birmingham

    e-mails: Looking into phone hacking wasn't as important as fighting terrorism, but lunches with newspaper editors was?


    Sir Paul says with a big story, the Met would generally try to put a response out as quickly as possible.


    Tory MP Mark Reckless asks if John Yates might have felt under pressure to provide a quick response about reopening the phone hacking case - because Sir Paul himself had said he anticipated a statement perhaps later that day - Sir Paul says he doesn't think so.


    Lib Dem Julian Huppert asks about News of the World journalist Neville Thurlbeck, who the Evening Standard claims "has admitted working as an official police source under the codename "George'" and, the paper alleges, was given to access to the police national computer. Would Sir Paul have been aware of this? Sir Paul says he was not.

    1318: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Interesting that Sir Paul stresses that the former anti-terror chief Peter Clarke "was a man of great integrity" but declines to offer the same description of his then colleague Andy Hayman.

    1317: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: This is running v late - possible now that Yates will still be at Home Affairs when the Murdochs' evidence begins


    tweets: Starting to feel a bit like a warm up act now. Bring on Rupert. I imagine twitter is going to explode - #hackgate


    Boris Johnson's famous "codswallop" reference to the phone hacking allegations is raised - Sir Paul says he doubts that's what John Yates would have told the mayor of London

    1311: Political Editor of Sky News Adam Boulton

    tweets: 2 More witnesses: John Yates and Dick Fedorcio to fit in before Murdochs at 2.30pm. No apology yet on anything from Stephenson.


    Ahead of the Murdochs appearing before another committee later - there's a queue outside Portcullis House, 15 journalists have been allowed in but the rest have been turned away. 30 members of the public have also been allowed in.


    Sir Paul is being asked why the investigation was not re-opened in 2009 - he says questions on this topic will have to be put to Mr Yates but says he had no reason to suspect the first investigation had not been successful


    tweets: Wallis never came to Sir Paul's office. But he gave him occasional advice on speeches. Confusing - #hackgate


    The session had been due to end at 1315 - looks like it's going to overrun.


    And the committee moves on to the first phone hacking police investigation - does he accept it was "not as thorough" as it should have been? Sir Paul says the investigation was run by a man of great integrity - Peter Clarke. Is he suggesting Andy Hayman is not a man of great integrity - Sir Paul denies this.

    1305: Journalist Andrew Watt

    tweets: Stephenson close to getting annoyed #hackgate #notw #hacking


    It's going round in circles a bit as Sir Paul again says he had no reason to doubt Mr Wallis

    1304: Brad Bennett from Pershore

    e-mails: Sir Paul Stephenson is clearly an honourable man - a credit to himself and his uniform. What a great shame that some dirty press methods have resulted in him having to leave a job for which he has worked so hard. Those scum of the press responsible should be both ashamed for the methods used in getting information and for the way they have even distorted the clear words in Sir Paul's resignation. I think he should get reinstated (if he can be bothered to carry on after all this mess) once this matter is closed.


    Labour MP Steve McCabe asks what Mr Wallis was appointed to do in Sir Paul's office - Sir Paul says he did not work in his office but gave him "occasional advice on speeches" and did not work directly for him.

    1302: Liz A from London

    e-mails: Why, according to Sir Paul Stephenson, is phone hacking not a priority compared to terrorism yet the phone hacking was so serious as to Milly Dowler's phone being hacked and her voicemail interfered with, causing many, many issues to the murder case as well as much hardship and suffering for her family?


    Were police judgements clouded because of friendships with journalists? Sir Paul says he has no reason to believe that.


    Sir Paul says he does not read former Met Assistant Commissioner Andy Hayman's columns in the Times


    David Winnick is not convinced - Sir Paul says the original phone hacking investigation, which resulted in two convictions, had appeared successful at the time

    David Pavett from London

    e-mails: Sir Paul Stephenson defends his lunch dates with the News of the World on the basis of his percentage of "contacts" with that paper and with the rest of the press. But what is a "contact"? An email is a contact. Is an e-mail on a par with a lunch date?


    The committee continues its questions about the employment of former NoW deputy editor Neil Wallis - Labour MP David Winnick asks if it doesn't seem "amazing" that after one police probe into phone hacking, the person involved at the paper involved was hired by the Met.


    Tory MP Lorraine Fullbrook asks if Mr Wallis was consulted about Sir Paul's contact with the Guardian - Sir Paul says absolutely not and adds he had never had a conversation with Mr Wallis about phone hacking.


    Sir Paul says he does not believe the Met was "involved in a conspiracy".


    Sir Paul denies putting pressure on the Guardian to "lay off" the phone hacking story


    Was Neil Wallis on £1,000 a day? Sir Paul says he was told he was "the cheapest person available".


    Lib Dem Julian Huppert says he cannot find any declaration that Sir Paul had stayed at Champneys - Sir Paul says he made sure it was in the hospitality register, which would be published "at the end of the next quarter".


    Sir Paul says he was not involved in the "procurement" process by which Mr Wallis got the job. He says he only found out at the weekend that Mr Wallis's daughter got a job with the Metropolitan Police


    Sir Paul says there are 45 media consultants or press officers working for the Met - Keith Vaz asks why he needed another one. Sir Paul says he regrets the "embarrassing" contract with Mr Wallis but he says the Met public affairs team needed extra support.


    Sir Paul says he doesn't think he ever met Mr Coulson before David Cameron became prime minister. Keith Vaz suggests it is inconceivable that Mr Coulson would not know that Neil Wallis had a job with the Met - Sir Paul says if they were friends, they would have talked. He stresses that Mr Wallis was "not working directly for me".


    Sir Paul said he wanted an exchange with the Guardian and to know why they were not accepting police assurances - and told them to liaise with Mr Yates.


    Wasn't it odd that the former NoW editor ended up with a job with the leader of the opposition - now PM David Cameron - and his deputy ended up with a job with the Met? Chairman Keith Vaz asks.

    1247: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    This line of questioning is interesting - why did Sir Paul say he was too busy to make phone hacking a priority, yet he also told The Guardian that their stories on hacking were overblown? Sir Paul places responsibility for this firmly on John Yates's shoulders - Mr Yates has to answer questions in the next hour.


    Tory MP James Clappison asks why Sir Paul had tried to persuade the Guardian their phone hacking coverage was exaggerated - he says he relied on assurances from Assistant Commissioner John Yates.


    Sir Paul says it was not his decision to make News International so dominant in the marketplace - as he defends the amount of contact he had with the newspaper group

    1244: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Just like the former anti-terrorist assistant commissioner Andy Hayman before him, Sir Paul is taking the line that, faced with a terrorist threat, phone hacking just wasn't a priority


    Sir Paul says between 2005 and 2010, the News of the World represented 17% of his press contacts, while the paper represented 16% of press readership.


    Asked by Conservative James Clappison why he had 18 lunches or dinners with the News of the World over a five-year period, and seven or eight with Neil Wallis, Sir Paul says the Met commissioner has to meet the media. But he adds that "we need to change the way we do it".

    1242: Paul Collings from Brighton

    Thirty minutes into this meeting and the chairman, Keith Vaz, is still insisting the committee restrict their questions to the resignation when the discussion veers off topic. Why is this?


    The stay at Champneys was declared in the hospitality register, despite there being no need to do so, Sir Paul says.


    Labour MP David Winnick asks if it was "inappropriate" to receive free hospitality from Champneys - owned by a family friend of Sir Paul. The ex-police chief disagrees, saying it was "damnably unlucky" that Neil Wallis was connected to the company.


    Sir Paul says he is "very, very confident" that ex-assistant commissioner John Yates would not have known of Neil Wallis's connection with Champneys, despite describing him as a personal friend.


    Mr Wallis did not declare to anyone at the Met that he was working for Champneys, Sir Paul says.


    Sir Paul says he is "completely baffled" as to why he should have known Neil Wallis was working for Champneys health spa when he accepted a free stay there.


    Phone hacking was not a priority for the Met, admits Sir Paul, unlike the "night stalker" rapist case, the murder of Stephen Lawrence and other "major, major cases".


    Sir Paul says that, when he became commissioner, there was no reason for the phone hacking case to be on his desk.


    Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert asks whether the morale of the Met could be improved - and how. Sir Paul says some colleagues have spoken of their "pride" that he has taken responsibility for problems and resigned.


    Sir Paul is asked why he did not tell the PM earlier about Neil Wallis. He says he does not recall sharing any information on suspects with the PM previously.

    1231: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Labour leapt on Sir Paul's comments about Andy Coulson in his resignation speech and tried to get the focus on to David Cameron's judgment rather than on the police but Sir Paul is giving them very little additional ammunition today.

    Sir Paul Stephenson

    Outgoing Met chief Sir Paul Stephenson is coming under sustained questioning from MPs about why he resigned - and why he appeared to criticise the prime minister in his resignation statement.


    Asked if he should have been alerted sooner about the "conflict" involving Neil Wallis, Sir Paul says this would not have been possible. Only Mr Wallis could have done so, he adds.


    The first time Sir Paul read an article mentioning Neil Wallis in connection with phone hacking was in January this year, he says.


    Committee chairman quizzes Sir Paul about why he did not tell the home secretary about the plan to arrest Mrs Brooks


    Sir Paul says he knew Rebekah Brooks was going to be arrested "a day or two before" it happened on Sunday.

    1221: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    No10 will be pleased that, rather than ratcheting up the pressure on David Cameron, now Sir Paul says he didn't intend to imply, in his resignation speech, the prime minister wasn't trustworthy.


    Ex-News of the World journalist Neil Wallis's PR contract with the Met was "very minor and part-time", Sir Paul says.


    Sir Paul says he never asked a question about phone hacking, as he had no reason to believe the original investigation had been unsuccessful.


    "I made no personal attack on the prime minister", Sir Paul says.


    Sir Paul says he had no reason to doubt Neil Wallis's integrity or associate it with hacking when he hired him to do PR work.


    Sir Paul says he agrees with the prime minister that the employment of Neil Wallis by the Met was "entirely different" to Mr Cameron's hiring of Andy Coulson as his chief of communications. He denies he was "taking a swipe" at the PM in his resignation speech by comparing the two issues.

    1215: Iain Watson Political correspondent, BBC News

    Keith Vaz has fessed up to his own connections with Champney's but raised the issue that would take the current controversy close to David Cameron's door very early on in proceedings


    Many colleagues - and his wife - urged Sir Paul not to resign, he tells the home affairs committee.


    Keith Vaz asks whether London Mayor Boris Johnson and Home Secretary Theresa May gave him enough backing. Sir Paul says he had their full support.


    Sir Paul adds that his decision to quit was "very sad" but continuing speculation meant he had to go quickly rather than take his time, particularly ahead of organising the policing for the 2012 Olympics.


    Asked why he resigned, Sir Paul says he was "very, very clear" that he did not want media coverage to be about "me, the leader" rather than the work of his staff.


    Home affairs committee chairman Keith Vaz thanks Sir Paul for attending during "difficult times".


    Sir Paul Stephenson is in place before the committee.


    Outgoing Metropolitan Police commisioner Sir Paul Stephenson has arrived for his home affairs select committee session.


    Almost time for the home affairs committee. Former Home Secretary Jack Straw says he does not agree with ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock's suggestion that the print media should be regulated in a manner similar to broadcasters.

    1156: Anna from London

    e-mails: Despite what others may think, this whole thing is not about making the media transparent and accountable. Journalists need to be able to protect their sources. It is the lack of ethics by the NI media (and others you must assume) that is worrying, but probably just a symptom of the world we live in.


    David Cameron has been telling students at the Lagos Business School, in Nigeria, that keeping an independent media is important. Regulation must also be independent of government, he argued.

    1149: BBC News website reader

    texts: Can't be the only person who finds the obsession with the hacking scandal a convenient distraction from the potentially cataclysmic Euro debt crisis.

    1148: Tory Press HQ

    It would not take much for some Tory backbenchers to stop viewing David Cameron as an asset and begin to see him as a liability, writes the BBC's Iain Watson.


    Paul Connew, former deputy editor of the News of the World, says David Cameron has not "caught up with the public mood", having been in Afghanistan when the Milly Dowler phone-hacking story broke.


    Less than half an hour to go until Sir Paul Stephenson's hearing. The Guardian's Jonathan Freedland tells the BBC that Britain's political class has suddenly lost its "fear" of Rupert Murdoch. He adds that he cannot see anything in his connection with Andy Coulson that causes anything more than "discomfort" for David Cameron.


    A columnist in the Baghdad daily, al-Mada, writes: ''Why can't Iraqi officials behave like London police chief Sir Paul Stephenson? The simple answer is that, unlike the London police chief, these officials have hardly any integrity or morals.''

    1142: Tweetminster

    tweets: Met Police has referred Dick Fedorcio, Director of Public Affairs, to the IPCC - full statement


    People queuing for the culture commitee meeting are sitting down to picnic lunches outside Westminster's Portcullis House, where the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks are to be questioned.


    The prime minister's official spokesman rejects claims that David Cameron broke the ministerial code when he met James Murdoch days after News Corp's bid for the remaining shares in BSkyB had been passed to Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt.

    1134: Sunday Telegraph Business Editor Kamal Ahmed

    tweets: Friend In Washington DC tells me Murdochs and #hackgate top of the news on all channels #notw


    Barrister Geoffrey Robertson says the culture committee will have to ask the Murdochs about the impact of breaches of privacy on the public.

    1128: Robert Gilmour from Ayr

    e-mails: This is about bringing the media into line and making them transparent and fully accountable, first and foremost, not about gunning for the prime minister - Miliband as usual has lowered the tone of the whole debate here. Also I was mortified that at the press conference in South Africa yesterday, greedy UK journalists could not resist/refrain from asking the PM questions about the hacking scandal in front of the SA press and president. How disgusting and embarrassing, they really score so many own goals for the UK don't they, they are just saturated and obsessed with self interest and have zero national pride I'm afraid.

    1126: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: College Green is like a during an election ! Haven't seen it this busy for ages - I count sixteen camera crews, lots of foreign media

    1124: Chris Coltrane

    tweets: News of the World closure caused a 30% jump in sales for Mail on Sunday - but 60% jump for Mirror.


    Conservative Party deputy chairman Michael Fallon says the government has been "in front of events" regarding phone hacking.


    A spokesman for Charlie Brooks, the husband of Rebekah Brooks, says the seizure of a laptop and documents belonging to him has been "blown out of all proportion". David Wilson said a friend of Mr Brooks was returning a bag belonging to Mr Brooks when he erroneously left it in a garage area at Chelsea Harbour on Monday.


    Some commentators aren't convinced there will be revelations in MPs' questioning. Labour MP Austin Mitchell says in the Times "we are in for the great anti-climax". David Allen Green predicts Rebekah Brooks will want to avoid incriminating herself from future prosecution. More on what to expect in the BBC's Daily View.


    One MP on the culture committee has said the questioning of the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks could be "forensic" and a "little bit plodding", BBC political correspondent Laura Kuenssberg says.


    The Global Times continues: "This has fostered professional conceit and a moral sense of superiority among media people from the UK, US as well as the Western powers. Any unsupervised power will be abused easily... The UK tabloids should not be the only ones reflecting on the News of the World scandal. The Western media should also draw lessons from this.''


    Several Chinese papers have been commenting on the hacking scandal, including Beijing's Global Times, which says: ''The Anglo-American media are at an absolute advantage in global opinion. They have the freedom to disclose, the authority to criticise, yet they themselves have not been monitored for a long time."


    About 50 people are queuing to see the home affairs select committee's hearing, while about 40 photographers are waiting outside the Palace of Westminster.

    1104: Dave Turner in London

    emails: This isn't about Tories or Labour - it's about the power of press organisations and unelected individuals that have more power than the politicians. The very fact that this is threatening to bring a government down is proof that this is beyond party politics.

    1103: Guy Kennaway in Somerset

    emails: When people dismiss phone hacking as frivolous they need to reflect on how divisive and destructive secret surveillance, for any motive, always is. I have acquaintances who appeared in the Murdoch gossip columns and I always felt that all of their friends were under suspicion of having leaked stories. It definitely spoiled friendships and sewed doubts about people's integrity - mine included. Now we know that no-one was selling stories - they were being secretly and illegally stolen by journalists. Many friendships have been probably irreparably damaged.

    1101: BBC News website reader

    asks: I would really liKe to ask Murdoch what the real level of influence and power that News International has had in politics and how this fits in a democracy.

    1100: PoliticSmarkets

    tweets: Punters make Cameron 3/1 to losing his job before Clegg or Miliband


    The Independent Police Complaints Commission has been asked to investigate Metropolitan Police communications chief Dick Federcio over connections with News International and his relationship with Neil Wallis, the BBC's Danny Shaw reports. Mr Federcio is appearing before the home affairs committee this afternoon.

    Portcullis House queue

    And here, courtesy of BBC field producer Paul Lambert, is a picture of that queue, outside Portcullis House, across the road from the Houses of Parliament, where the culture committee hearing is taking place.

    1054: Editor of Paul Waugh

    tweets: Former Sunday Times Editor Harry Evans has just tried to amble his way to front of Q for Murdoch hearing. Q-hacking?


    Nick Bryant, the BBC's Sydney correspondent, says Australian politicians have also worked hard to court Rupert Murdoch, particularly ahead of elections. He expands on the theme here.

    1050: Journalist Danny Rogers

    tweets: Top Met Police comms guy will be part of this afternoon's Parliamentary grilling...


    News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare, who was found dead on Monday, was an "incredibly talented reporter and warm-hearted person", former colleague Neil Ashton tells Sky News.


    Ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock's call for more controls on press balance would "shackle the media", former News of the World journalist David Wooding says.

    1045: Editor for The Daily Beast, Lloyd Grove,

    comments on Piers Morgan: Former News of the World editor Piers Morgan - who until now has kept eerily silent concerning the phone-hacking and police bribery scandal that has rocked the British body politic (gave) a full-throated defense of Fleet Street and his embattled former boss, Rupert Murdoch, on Monday's installment of Piers Morgan Tonight.


    Mark Lewis, the solicitor for Milly Dowler's family, says his clients want to know the truth about what happened with the police and the News of the World. They need an "underlying explanation as to what happened", he tells the BBC News Channel.


    David Wooding, former News of the World political editor, says Rebecca Brooks is a very calm person. The questions MPs will ask are "pretty obvious", he adds.


    London Mayor Boris Johnson, at 4/1, is favourite to replace him as permanent leader of the Conservative Party


    Bookmakers William Hill are offering odds of 16/1 about "under pressure" PM David Cameron being out of office by the weekend.


    BBC home affairs correspondent Sophie Hutchinson says James Murdoch looked "pretty relaxed" when he arrived at News International's HQ at Wapping, east London, earlier this morning.

    1034: Philip, Southwick,

    texts: Why not ask your many Labour Party interviewees why they did nothing about "the rogue press" during their 13 years in government?

    1033: Matt collyer, Staffordshire,

    texts: It's about time that MPs looked more deeply at their relationship with news international, yes the Met have made mistakes by employing people they shouldn't, but they have admitted it and fell on their swords. Now it's time to see which politician is going to be big enough to admit their part and resign, that includes senior Labour politicians.

    1028: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: If you had your chance, what would you ask the Murdochs and Brooks?BBCNews wants to know - tweet me or text 61124


    BBC deputy political editor James Landale, who is in Nigeria with David Cameron, says the prime minister's media team is calling for some "perspective" on the hacking scandal, which comes at a time of great concern over the global economy and a growing humanitarian disaster in the Horn of Africa.

    1024: Political Editor of Sky News Adam Boulton

    tweets: Tory MP Nick de Bois blocked the appointment of Labour's Cathy Jamieson. So committee make up is Con 5 Lab 4 L/D 1


    Mr Winnick adds that the committee found evidence given by John Yates last week "pretty unconvincing".


    Labour MP and home affairs committee member David Winnick says he and his colleagues will "go over" the reasons for Sir Paul Stephenson's resignation.

    1021: The Spectator

    tweets: Coffee House: Only police reform can keep politics out of policing


    The government has now moved to have the Commons reconsider Mrs Jamieson's nomination but it will not happen before the culture committee sits this afternoon. A spokesman for Mrs jamieson told the BBC they did not know why Mr de Bois had objected. He does not sit on the committee and the Labour MP has never met him and there is no history between the two, writes Robin Brant. Mr de Bois could not be contacted.


    More on Nick De Bois' intervention, which has upset some Labour MPs: The Tory MP objected to the election of Labour's Cathy Jamieson to the culture committee, to replace the late David Cairns, who died in May. Mr De Bois took everyone by surprise when he shouted "no" when a motion came before the Commons just after midnight . Mrs Jamieson's nomination was agreed by an all-party group and was not expected to be controversial, writes the BBC's Robin Brant.

    1011: Labour MP for Bristol East Kerry McCarthy

    So why was Labour's @cathyjamieson, with her knowledge of Sheridan trial, blocked by Tory @nickdebois from joining DCMS committee today?


    Bob Crow, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, says police have told him it could be three months before his complaint that his phone was hacked is fully investigated. This is due to the backlog caused by the "sheer weight of evidence" which needs to be examined, a spokesman says.

    1005: David Jones MP

    tweets: All politicians suffer sometimes at hands of press. Goes with territory. I'm sure Kinnock's call isn't prompted by bitterness.

    1002: Telegraph Politics

    tweets: Blog: Cressida Dick's appointment: more proof that the Met is an utterly shameless police force


    Iran has urged the UK government to look into what it called the "suspicious" death of News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare, BBC Monitoring reports.


    Former Labour MP and Commons home affairs committee chairman Chris Mullin tells Sky News says Rupert Murdoch's appearance later will be a "seminal moment". He has previously "operated in the shadows", he adds.

    0953: LabourList

    tweets: For the first time in his brief tenure as PM, Cameron is on the ropes...

    0952: Labour MP for Glasgow South Tom Harris

    tweets: I understand why some Labour people will want to agree with Kinnock's press regulation comments. But don't, okay? Just don't.


    Lord Prescott says Tony Blair and Gordon Brown always believed Rupert Murdoch could influence elections. Ed Miliband is "leading" efforts to change the relationship between party leaders and News International, he adds.

    0943: Westminster Feed

    tweets: Demise of John Yates -- Paul Flynn (Lab)


    Rupert Murdoch has arrived at News International's headquarters in Wapping, east London. Son James is already there. Plenty for them to discuss.


    Former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott says John Yates has got some serious questions to answer, including those relating to why he ignored "10 bags of evidence" relating to phone hacking.

    0934: joeyjones

    tweets: Alf and I will watch the action in the edit suite today - about to do a preview of the home affairs committee


    Labour leader Ed Miliband says MPs must quiz police, the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks in a "calm and level-headed" way.


    Rupert Murdoch will give a "good" performance, Lord Fowler says, adding that it would be a "great mistake" to underestimate him.


    Former Conservative Party chairman Lord Fowler, the last Parliamentarian to grill Rupert Murdoch, when his Lords committee travelled to New York in 2007, says the Commons committee hearings are just a "step" towards resolving the current issues. The judge-led inquiry set up by the government will be far more important, he tells the BBC News Channel.


    A post-mortem examination has been taking place this morning as police continue to investigate the death of News of the World whistleblower Sean Hoare. A Hertfordshire Police spokeswoman says: "The man's next of kin have been informed and the family are being supported by police at this sad time."

    0927: politicshomeuk

    tweets: Chris Bryant: 'We have to get to the bottom of this very murky pool'.

    0926: Iain Dale

    tweets: BBC Parliament is about to show the original 2003 Wade/ Coulson hearing. About to show on BBC Parliament 0930 - 1025 (then onto iPlayer).


    Labour MP Chris Bryant, who alleges his phone was hacked, says Rupert Murdoch should have appeared before MPs at an earlier stage.

    0920: Member of Parliament for Clwyd West David Jones

    tweets: Kinnock's calls for press regulation highlight dangers of ill-considered response to NI issue. We don't want a censored press.


    The select committee meetings are "the start of a process of change", Mr Clegg says.


    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says he hopes the committee hearings will mark the beginning of a "culture of accountability" among the press and police.


    BBC home affairs correspondent Matt Prodger says Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates, who have both resigned from the Metroplitan Police, are at New Scotland Yard preparing for their appearance before MPs. Mr Yates arrived at 0600 BST.

    0911: Political Animal

    tweets: Five and a half hours before kick-off, there's already a dedicated queue outside Portcullis House for CMS Cttee. It's like Wimbledon.

    0908: Culture committee member Tom Watson MP

    tweets: 1st dirty trick of the day. Tory MP Nick Debois shouted "object" to Cathy Jamieson being appointed to our committee. So we're one down.

    0906: Business reporter at the Guardian Graeme Wearden

    tweets: Good news for Rupert Murdoch: "News Corp shares rally...". Bad news for Rupert Murdoch: "...on rumours of a new CEO."


    Events of the past few days have been "very good news for Parliament", Sir George Young says. Just three years ago many people had "written off" the institution.

    0859: Journalist Danny Rogers

    tweets: So much news about that Sean Hoare's death has almost been overlooked but very sad...


    Witnesses should give open answers to parliamentary select committees' questions, Sir George Young says. It is important for committee members to discuss their tactics before hearings so they can "hunt as a pack" rather than adopt party-political stances, he adds.


    Commons leader Sir George Young says it is "really good that Parliamant is at the centre of debate" over phone hacking and the future of the media.


    Lorraine Kelly teases Mr Miliband about the unkind names he has been called ("Robotic" and "Mr Bean"). He says the issues of greatest concern to the public are whether people can get a job and the state of public services, rather than the phone-hacking saga, and the interview comes to an end.


    Ed Miliband puts David Cameron on notice. He is not calling for the prime minister's resignation "at the moment", he tells Lorraine Kelly, because "I do not want to go over the top".

    0847: Laura Kuenssberg

    tweets: So plan your day! Stephenson up at 12, then Met head of press, then Yates at 1.15. Then 2.30 Rupert + James Murdoch, then Rebekah Brooks


    People were "frightened" and "worried" by Rupert Murdoch's power before the scandal broke, says Ed Miliband. Politicians want good coverage in newspapers but that does not "justify turning a blind eye" to malpractice, he adds.


    Mr Miliband tells Lorraine Kelly he has been "very disturbed" by the phone-hacking revelations.


    Labour leader Ed Miliband is also facing a grilling today - from ITV's Lorraine Kelly. He is on the Daybreak sofa now.


    Rupert Murdoch is a quietly spoken man and the committee should ensure he turns up the volume on his microphone during his appearance, Alastair Campbell tells the BBC.


    Ex-Downing Street head of communications Alastair Campbell says the Murdochs need to employ a strategy which shows they "get" the situation. James Murdoch has the most difficult questions to answer, as he authorised out-of-court payments to hacking victims, he adds.


    BBC political correspondent Ben Wright says the Commons culture committee will have to "focus" when they quiz the Murdochs, as they only have up to an hour to gather evidence.

    0836: ITV News Political Correspondent Lucy Manning

    tweets: Feels odd being in Nigeria when so much going on at Westmin. Wonder if the PM feels the same way?


    Lawyer David Corker, who advised the sons of the late Daily Mirror owner Robert Maxwell's when they appeared before a parliamentary committee in 1992, after being issued with a summons, tells the BBC that the Murdochs will be told by their legal team to say very little.

    0832: BBC Radio 4 Today

    tweets: "I don't expect we will learn a huge amount" from the Murdochs at the committee, says @BBCNickRobinson, but it will be a "cathartic moment"


    Sir Hugh Orde, president of the Association of Chief Police Officers, praises the "honourable" resignations by Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates from the Metropolitan Police. He tells BBC Radio 4's Today: "I think they made personal judgements based on the overall good of the service that I know they both love and have given their professional lives to."

    0829: Giles Coren

    tweets: Heard "Sun website" hacked, but must be the whole newsint system, coz i ca't anccess my email. Drat. Have to take day off. #silverlining


    Ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock tells Today there is a need for a "real assessment" of press ownership in the UK.

    0827: Telegraph Politics

    tweets: How the phone #hacking scandal has unfolded


    Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's former spokesman, says Rupert Murdoch's usual strategy is not to answer questions. News International should have dealt with its problems more openly several years ago, he tells Sky News.


    Former Labour Party leader Lord Kinnock - who was famously savaged by Murdoch newspaper The Sun ahead of the 1992 general election - tells BBC Radio 4's Today there is "less feeling of politicians being daunted" by Rupert Murdoch following the revelations of recent weeks.

    0824: Tom White

    tweets: Genuinely excited about the select committee today - three weeks ago this would have been absolutely unimaginable #hacking #murdoch


    Peter Kirkham, a former Metropiltan Police detective chief inspector, says John Yates and Sir Paul Stephenson should not face a "firestorm and feeding frenzy" from the home affairs committee. He adds: "Unlike politicians who will brazen it out, policing is far too important. It is not a game."


    House of Commons leader Sir George Young tells BBC Breakfast that David Cameron will deal with all the relevant questions over his hiring of ex-News of the World editor as his communications chief when he addresses MPs on Wednesday. The PM is flying back early from a trade visit to Africa to deal with the crisis.


    Leading QC Geoffrey Robertson tells BBC Breakfast that the appearance of the "Wapping three" before MPs amounts to "bear baiting". He adds that "none of the [Commons culture] committee members are good examiners".


    Outside Westminster, former News of the World journalist Sean Hoare, who told BBC's Panorama phone hacking was "endemic" and encouraged by then editor Andy Coulson (something firmly denied by Mr Coulson), was found dead at his home in Watford on Monday. Police say his death is as yet unexplained but not thought to be suspicious.


    Before News International's current and former leaders face the MPs, two of Britain's former top police officers - also brought down by the phone-hacking scandal - will appear before MPs on the Commons home affairs committee. Sir Paul Stephenson, who resigned as Metropolitan Police commissioner on Sunday over his hiring of former News of the World deputy editor Neil Wallis as a PR man, will answer questions about this and the force's handling of hacking investigations. John Yates, the ex-assistant commissioner who also quit on Monday over his links to Mr Wallis, will be also appear.


    After the Murdochs, it will be the turn of Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive of News International, and editor of the News of the World at the time Milly Dowler's phone was allegedly hacked by a private detective in the paper's employment. She was arrested on Sunday, having quit the company on Friday. As she is part of an ongoing police investigation, this is likely to restrict the nature of the evidence she can give the culture committee, and perhaps the questions to be asked.


    Hello and welcome to our live coverage of what promises to be an extraordinary day. Rupert Murdoch, the most powerful figure in world media, is to be questioned by a committee of backbench MPs about his company News International's role in the ever-growing phone-hacking scandal. Appearing before the Commons culture committee, alongside son James, he is expected to be asked about allegations including payments to police and the hacking of the telephone of murdered teenager Milly Dowler - the story which brought the whole affair to such huge public prominence. Mr Murdoch Snr has never faced a Commons committee in more than 40 years of owning newspapers in the UK.



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Posted by biginla at 2:55 PM BST
A selection of new stories from The Economist
Topic: bbc news, biodun iginla, israel,
July 18th 2011

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From the archive: Rupert Murdoch and British public life

Daily chart: America's debt ceiling

Buttonwood: Bailing out the banks

Language: Gay accents

Online debate: Do the benefits of the internet to the news ecosystem outweigh the drawbacks?

Posted by biginla at 2:50 PM BST

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