Embattled News Corp CEO resigns

Updated: 2011-07-15 20:13


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Embattled News Corp CEO resigns

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch is seen leaving his flat with Rebekah Brooks, chief executive of News International, in central London in this July 10, 2011 file photograph. [Photo/Agencies]

Andy Coulson, then the editor of News of the World who was arrested last week in the hacking investigation, interrupted to say: "We operate within the (press) code and within the law and if there is a clear public interest then we will."

In an example of the cozy ties between the British press and politicians, Coulson was Cameron's communications chief before resigning in January.

Murdoch flew into London last weekend to take charge of the response to the mushrooming phone scandal. Asked by reporters what his priority was, Murdoch gestured to Brooks and said, "This one."

In her statement Friday, Brooks thanked the Murdochs for their support.

"Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship," she said.

James Murdoch praised Brooks as "one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive."

"We support her as she takes this step to clear her name," he said.

On Thursday, police arrested Neil Wallis, former deputy editor and then executive editor of News of the World, in the investigation of phone hacking.

In the United States, meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation into claims that News Corp. journalists may have sought to hack into the phones of September 11 victims in its quest for sensational scoops.

The UK investigation of phone hacking appears still to be at an early stage. Police say they have recovered a list of 3,700 names - regarded as potential victims - but so far had been in touch with fewer than 200 people.

While largely still on the defensive, another one of Murdoch's British papers, The Sun tabloid, scored one point Friday against former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had accused the paper of obtaining confidential medical files on his younger son, who has cystic fibrosis.

The Sun had vigorously rebutted the claim, saying it got its information from another parent, so far unidentified, allegedly motivated by a hope of raising awareness of the disease.

On Friday, The Guardian newspaper apologized for accepting Brown's version of events.

"Articles in the Guardian of Tuesday 12 July incorrectly reported that the Sun newspaper had obtained information on the medical condition of Gordon Brown's son from his medical records," the newspaper said in its corrections column. "In fact, the information came from a different source and the Guardian apologizes for its error."

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