News International And The Police

There is a very revealing article in the Independent concerning Rupert Murdoch and News International.

It seems that, for once, the Police will investigate them with some vigour and potentially prosecute them as a corporation. This very notion has sent shivers down News International spines and they have reduced co-operation with the police accordingly.

But do read the article in full, as there is a lot more to this:

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“Lawyers for the media behemoth have pleaded with the Met and the Crown Prosecution Service not to prosecute the company as it would not be in the “public interest” to put thousands of jobs at risk. Gerson Zweifach, the group general counsel of News Corp, flew in to London for emergency talks with the Met last year. According to Scotland Yard, he told police: “Crappy governance is not a crime. The downstream effects of a prosecution would be apocalyptic. The US authorities’ reaction would put the whole business at risk, as licences would be at risk.”

The Independent can reveal that Scotland Yard warned News Corp that its UK subsidiary, which publishes The Sun and used to publish the now-defunct News of the World, was under formal investigation on 18 May last year.

A month later, Rupert Murdoch announced he was splitting the global empire he spent six decades building up into one of the most powerful companies in the world. The 82-year-old hived off the highly profitable television and film assets, including 21st Century Fox and Fox News, into a separate entity from the troubled newspaper group in what was widely perceived as an attempt to isolate any contagion from the phone-hacking scandal.” [My emphasis]

An Occasional Murdoch, NHS and Misogyny Roundup

Rupert Murdoch ate a mountain of humble pie at the Levinson inquiry and looked distinctly uncomfortable with his newfound humility.

That’s a thing of the past. Murdoch reveals his true feelings on Twitter:

“Told UK’s Cameron receiving scumbag celebrities pushing for even more privacy laws. Trust the toffs! Transparency under attack. Bad.”

Charlotte Church was a bit annoyed.

Over at the NHS they are not happy, according to one of its honchos:

“The head of the NHS has laid bare his fears that the government’s controversial reforms of the health service could end in “misery and failure”.

Women in the media, why the disparity?

An ex-Wikileaks supporter explains why:

“For a long time now I was a strong supporter of Julian. I used to donate regularly to him. I defended and supported his actions because I believed in the cause that he was fighting for. Since the days of the original attack I ran the primary South African Wikileaks mirror (www.wikileaks.za.org). Back in those days thousands of us rallied to support Wikileaks when it was under constant DDOS attack.

Now I see the absolute disdain the Assange`s treat this cause with I can no longer put my support behind the idea. To the Assange’s it has become the Assange Road Show. Wikileaks is all about them and their own personal agenda. “

Malatesta covers the activity of the British Far Right with humour, look out for Mike Mosley, yet another neo-Nazi that likes guns.

This is a piece of understated reporting if ever there was one.

French antisemitism comes to the fore on Twitter.

An indicator, if one was needed, of Tory failures, food banks serving more.

In Australia, the definition of misogyny is being updated.

When Universal Credit is introduced in Britain, the disabled will lose out.

Radovan Karadžić’s lying know no bounds.

When you think about buying an iPhone remember that Foxcon are still using youngsters to make their bits.

Worried by Americanisms? Linguistic traffic is not one way, as the Beeb shows.

Good news, neo-Nazi’s plans for social media thwarted by Twitter.

Tens of thousands have disappeared in Syria.

Paramilitary abuse and raped in Colombia, one woman’s tale.

Thanks to the UK Human Rights Blog and Irène Solomon there is an unofficial English translation of the Rachel Corrie judgment.

The Beeb and its mistakes over the Jimmy Savile investigation.

The New Yorker on Romney:

“Romney’s conviction is that the broad swath of citizens who do not pay federal income tax—a category that includes pensioners, soldiers, low-income workers, and those who have lost their jobs—are parasites, too far gone in sloth and dependency to be worth the breath one might spend asking for their votes. His descent to this cynical view—further evidenced by his selection of a running mate, Paul Ryan, who is the epitome of the contemporary radical Republican—has been dishearteningly smooth. He in essence renounced his greatest achievement in public life—the Massachusetts health-care law—because its national manifestation, Obamacare, is anathema to the Tea Party and to the G.O.P. in general. He has tacked to the hard right on abortion, immigration, gun laws, climate change, stem-cell research, gay rights, the Bush tax cuts, and a host of foreign-policy issues. He has signed the Grover Norquist no-tax-hike pledge and endorsed Ryan’s winner-take-all economics. “

Finally, the CST’s Online radicalisation. ‘Lone wolves’ of all stripes.

Tony Blair at Leveson Inquiry

The Guardian’s coverage of the Leveson Inquiry is good and they have allocated a slot for Tony Blair’s contribution.

Update 1: Surprisingly. the Leveson Inquiry doesn’t seem to have an official channel on YouTube, but there are others.

The Leveson Inquiry by ITN News Channel.

YouTube – Leveson Inquiry auto-generated by YouTube.

Update 2: CNN has a good summary:

“The Leveson Inquiry was established after British public anger at Murdoch’s News of the World about the hacking of voice messages of a missing teenage girl who turned out to have been murdered.

The case of Milly Dowler came on top of apologies from the tabloid for the hacking of the phones of celebrities and politicians, and proved to be the last straw for the paper, which was shut down in July.

Cameron set up the Leveson Inquiry to explore press ethics in Britain more widely, alongside a police investigation into phone hacking, e-mail hacking and police bribery by people working for Murdoch’s British newspapers.

More than 50 people have been arrested. Prosecutors this month announced charges against six people, including Rebekah Brooks, a former News of the World and Sun editor who later became chief executive of News International, the British newspaper publishing arm of Murdoch’s News Corp.

She, her husband and four others are charged with interfering with the police investigation.

Blair’s former director of communications said this month that the relationship between the press and the political elite in Britain was too cozy.

“I’ve been arguing for some years (that the relationship) got itself into a very, very bad place, and I hope it can lead to change,” Alastair Campbell told CNNI’s Christiane Amanpour.

“It’s not just about Rupert Murdoch,” he said. “We have a lot of newspapers in a geographically fairly small country. … And I think any political leader has to take account of the role they play in the political debate.”

Campbell, a former newspaper editor who became Blair’s spokesman when the Labour party was in opposition in the 1990s, said he hoped “some form of proper regulation” would arise from the hacking and bribery scandal. “

Update 3: My mistake, the Inquiry’s web site does provide video even if it is not obvious, on their hearings page. Still, a pity you can’t download them without a degree of mucking about, etc etc

Sudan, Syria, London and Election Bits.

So much happening across the world and so little (infinite) blogging space to put it into.

The Sudanese government seems to be itching for a war in the region and it is the people that really suffer, the Indy reports from Yida:

“On the outskirts of Yida where this month’s 5,000 new arrivals are camping there are hundreds of severely malnourished children. Medical staff at the camp reported twice the normal monthly total of malnutrition cases in the first three weeks of April suggesting a sharply increasing hunger crisis across the border in Khartoum-controlled Southern Kordofan. Refugee leaders at Yida have refused to be relocated further south to the capital of Unity State, Bentiu, complaining the land allocated to them is a “malarial swamp” with no trees. The UN said talks are “ongoing” with the hope of persuading some refugees to relocate to camps further inside South Sudan.

The divorce of the two Sudans last year, which followed a long civil war, left several divisions of what was the southern guerrilla army, the SPLA, inside the interim borders of the new Sudan. The government in Khartoum has accused the south of conspiring with these civil war allies in areas like the Nuba Mountains and launched a brutal offensive against them, which has been marked by the bombing of civilian areas.”

The world looks on as the Syrian government continues to kill people, the BBC on events around Aleppo:

“Live ammunition was reportedly used to disperse an anti-government protest outside dormitories adjacent to Aleppo University’s campus late on Wednesday.

As many as 200 students are thought to have been arrested during the raid.

Aleppo has so far not experienced the violence and large-scale protests seen in other cities during the uprising.

But there have been almost daily demonstrations by its students.”

Apparently, there are elections on for the London Mayor and London assembly, HOPE Not Hate has some sensible advice.

James Bloodworth at Huff Post reminds us of what British fascism could look like. Personally, I feel he’s understates it, but it is worth a read.

I am glad that President Obama has done the right thing.

Continue reading

Murdoch, Rev. Sizer And Anti-Fascism

Time away from the media, blogosphere and PCs often results in a shock when you have to digest what has happened and what is happening around the world.

I am catching up and in the process looking at Rupert Murdoch’s ugly mug plastered across most news bulletins.

His recent second day at the Leveson Inquiry was amusing for his bumbling, blame shifting and barely convincing mea culpa.

The Guardian has good coverage and comment.

Reading material for Rupert Murdoch.

Ex-News International employees are not too happy with Murdoch’s attempt to shift of blame.

According to one of his fans, Rev. Stephen Sizer will not be doing porridge, although I think a bowl of humility and sensitivity might be more appropriate, but that’s not going to happen.

Racism in Northern Ireland.

Anti-Fascists Online has details of another racist crank who wants to attack Muslims.

According to Hope NOT Hate the EDL leader, Stephen Lennon, is joining up with another bunch of neo-fascists in the British Freedom Party. The BFP is made up of ex-BNP misfits and assorted racist flakes.

Across the pond, 200 threatening and racist phone calls.

In oil news, Turkey is searching for it.

Martin Bright in JC probes an area not often covered, British PoWs in Auschwitz.

The BNP Organiser & The War Criminal.

Racism in Hockey, North America still has many problems.

Finally, in Syria, the ceasefire is not working.