Thursday, July 21, 2011

  • British PM Cameron Refuses to Apologize for Murdoch Scandal, But Acknowledges BSkyB Takeover Talks

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    Media mogul Rupert Murdoch has returned to the United States as his media empire faces a growing number of challenges over the phone-hacking scandal that’s led to a number of arrests in Britain and prompted an investigation here in the United States. British Prime Minister David Cameron appeared before an emergency session of Parliament on Wednesday to address the scandal. Cameron refused to apologize for hiring Andy Coulson, a former Murdoch employee who recently served as Cameron’s communications chief at Downing Street, but admitted that he had talked to Murdoch executives about News Corp.’s attempt to take over the satellite company BSkyB. [includes rush transcript]

  • Murdoch Empire "Pummeled" by Phone-Hacking Scandal Exposed by Guardian Journalist Nick Davies

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    To talk more about the phone-hacking scandal and what it reveals about the Rupert Murdoch media empire, we speak with the British journalist who has been most responsible for exposing the widening story. Nick Davies has been covering the phone-hacking case at The Guardian newspaper with 75 stories over the past three years. He has been described as Britain’s one-man Woodward and Bernstein, a comparison to the legendary Washington Post reporters who exposed the Watergate scandal in the 1970s. Just over two weeks ago, Davies revealed the Murdoch-owned News of the World had illegally hacked into the phone of the missing schoolgirl, Milly Dowler, and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance. "The Milly Dowler story was fantastically powerful… But I never foresaw this extraordinary chain reaction of emotion, which just pummeled the entire Murdoch camp," Davies says. "Within three days, it reached a point where nobody could be seen to be Murdoch’s ally anymore. For years, the opposite has been the case, that nobody could been seen to be Murdoch’s enemy." [includes rush transcript]

  • After Thwarting Flotilla, Israeli Navy Seizes Lone Gaza-Bound Ship that Eluded Greek Authorities

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    Earlier this week, three Israeli missile ships and seven commando boats intercepted a French ship attempting to reach the Gaza Strip. The ship, Dignité-Al Karama, was the sole representative of the original 10-strong international aid flotilla hoping to break the blockade on Gaza and express support for Palestinians living under occupation. At least 150 soldiers were sent to sea early Tuesday morning to prevent the 10 civilian activists, the three crew members and the three journalists on the flotilla from reaching Gaza’s port. Fifteen passengers were arrested, prevented from seeing their lawyers, and sent for deportation. We speak with Ha’aretz correspondent Amira Hass, one of the few journalists who was aboard the ship. Hass is also the one of the only Israeli journalists to have spent several years living in and reporting from Gaza and the West Bank. [includes rush transcript]

  • Israel Draws International Criticism for Sweeping Anti-Boycott Law

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    Israel has passed a new law outlawing citizens and organizations from advocating for boycotts against any Israeli person or entity. The law is drawing criticism from around the world as an attack on freedom of speech. Under the new law, any person, including journalists, calling for the boycott or divestment of Israel or the occupied West Bank can be sued by the boycott’s targets, without having to prove that they sustained damage. We’re joined by Gal Beckerman, the opinion editor at the Jewish daily newspaper, The Forward, which recently issued an editorial claiming "a boycott can be a legitimate use of non-violent protest to achieve a worthy goal." The editors of the paper then drew a line through the sentence, along with several others, to illustrate the type of reasonable thoughts that will be punishable under the new law. [includes rush transcript]