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Hacking trial 1) Cameron produces his Coulson apology

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 07.53.16“The Prime Minister delivered a ‘full and frank apology’ for hiring Coulson as his director of communications in 2007, just months after he had resigned as editor of the News of the World over an earlier hacking scandal. Mr Cameron employed Coulson against clear advice from senior figures in politics and the media that the appointment could end in disaster.” – Daily Mail

  • Miliband: Prime Minister has serious questions to answer – The Times (£)

Hacking trial 2) Coulson found guilty on one charge. Jury unable to reach verdict on two others

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 07.54.58 “Andy Coulson, who edited the News of the World between 2003 and 2007, was found guilty of one charge of conspiracy to hack voicemails. The jury was unable to reach verdicts on two outstanding charges alleging that Coulson and Clive Goodman, the tabloid’s former royal editor, bribed a Buckingham Palace police officer to access two royal telephone directories. The jury will return to the Old Bailey on Wednesday to continue its deliberations on those charges.” – Daily Telegraph

Hacking trial 3) Brooks, her P.A, the former head of security at News International and Charlie Brooks, found not guilty

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 07.56.36“Mrs Brooks, 46, the former chief ­executive of News International, ­walked free from the Old Bailey after a jury unanimously absolved her of any ­involvement in phone hacking and ­rejected the notion that she was a key architect of an era of journalistic ­intrusion…Mrs Brooks was also cleared of corrupting public officials through cash payments made to a source for The Sun newspaper, and of perverting the course of justice. Her husband, the racehorse trainer Charlie Brooks, her former personal ­assistant Cheryl Carter and Mark ­Hanna, the former head of security at NI, were cleared of helping her to cover up evidence relating to the scandal.” – The Times (£)

  • Brooks: world class schmoozer who bewitched three Prime Ministers and Rupert Murdoch – Daily Mail

News and analysis:

Editorials:

  • “The acquittal of Rebekah Brooks on charges of phone hacking shows that a rush to implement a draconian regime to curb a free press was a disaster.” – Times Editorial (£)
  • “The Rebekah Brooks verdict is a triumph for British justice and two fingers to the baying mob. The jurors were not swayed by the hysterical clamour on social media, gleefully stoked by the Guardian, which vilified The Sun’s former editor long before a word of evidence had been heard.” – Sun Editorial (£)
  • “As yesterday’s conviction confirms, existing laws against phone-hacking are entirely adequate to deal with rogue journalists. Yet to save his own face, Mr Cameron was prepared to jeopardise our 300 years of Press freedom from State interference.” – Daily Mail Editorial
  • “Serious questions should be asked of the Crown Prosecution Service as to why charges were brought against Mrs Brooks, her husband Charlie and personal assistant Cheryl Carter.” – Daily Telegraph Editorial

Finkelstein: The damage to Cameron will be limited

FINKELSTEIN Danny“Polling by the Tories when the issue first broke suggested that most people blamed all parties for their relationship with the press. The number who were prompted to abandon the Conservatives over it was very small, but it is a reasonable guess that these people will have already moved, rather than waiting for a court verdict. The second thing that will limit the impact is low salience — the importance that people attach to the issue.” – The Times (£)

  • Questions remain for the Prime Minister – Nick Davies, The Guardian
  • Hiring Coulson was the most foolish blunder of Cameron’s career – Stephen Glover, Daily Mail

Meanwhile, Cameron threatens to block Albania

“Brussels today named Albania as a candidate to join after changes were made to the way the country of 3million people is run. But David Cameron has made clear that he will block any attempt to allow Albania to formally join the 28-nation bloc without new limits on freedom of movement. EU leaders meeting on Friday will formally sign off the decision to allow Albania to start the process of preparing its application to join. Albania has failed to win the coveted status three times since 2009.” – Daily Mail

> Yesterday: ToryDiary – Cameron versus S*k*rsk*, R*st*wsk*, Kr*w**c, Gr*s & T*sk

Health Secretary vows to punish NHS bullies

HUNT Doctor Carla Millar“The health secretary pledged to protect NHS staff who speak out after a campaign led by six of the country’s best-known whistleblowers. The review will be chaired by Sir Robert Francis, QC, whose report into the Mid Staffordshire scandal led to soul-searching in hospitals nationwide. Mr Hunt said the review would ensure that “where NHS whistleblowers are mistreated there are appropriate remedies for staff and accountability for those mistreating them”.” – The Times (£)

  • Scotland’s NHS on brink of collapse – Daily Telegraph
  • Leaked document ‘proved’ NHS consultation on West Wales hospital services ‘was a sham’, hears court – Wales Online

May wants return of “Snooper’s Charter”

“The Home Secretary said the conflicts in Syria and Iraq had created a haven for terrorists just a few hours from London by plane. At the same time, the internet has become a ‘paradise’ for terrorists and criminals who can operate out of the reach of the authorities. Mrs May warned that Britain faced threats from Islamist groups around the world, hostile nations, cyber hacking and international organised crime.” – Daily Mail

  • Government promises student visa crackdown – The Independent
  • The shockwaves of terror must not bend the sacred rule of law – Mary Riddell, Daily Telegraph

There is no silver bullet on zero hours contracts, says Hancock

HANCOCK Mathhew“This is part of a package that feeds into the long-term economic plan. In these areas there is no silver bullet just the constant work of making the environment better for small businesses,” Mr Hancock told the Financial Times. The bill will ban exclusivity clauses for zero-hours contracts – which prevent people working for another employer even when no work is guaranteed – in an effort to clampdown on less scrupulous employers.” – Financial Times

  • Cable leads push to ban exclusivity clauses – The Guardian

Failing primary school turned around after Gove axes all its governors and turns it into an academy

“Attempts to block the takeover infuriated Mr Gove who branded opponents ‘ideologues who are happy with failure – the enemies of promise’. ‘It’s the bigoted backward bankrupt ideology of a Left-wing establishment that perpetuates division and denies opportunity. And it’s an ideology that’s been proven wrong time and time again,’ he declared. The latest Ofsted report will be seen as vindication of his insistence the school be taken over.” – Daily Mail

  • Head of free school arrested over fraud allegations – Daily Telegraph
  • 150,000 pupils denied first-choice school – Daily Express
  • Gove’s planned shake-up of A-levels ‘will cost teachers their jobs’ – The Independent

> Today:

Blair tried to dodge appearance before IRA inquiry

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 08.13.56“The former prime minister was asked to appear before a parliamentary inquiry into controversial assurances that he helped to secure for “on the runs” informing them that they would not face prosecution. Mr Blair told the Northern Ireland affairs committee that he would be happy to submit written evidence for their investigation. This suggestion was rejected by MPs, who are demanding that he appears in person. The two sides have so far been unable to agree a date.” – The Times (£)

  • Chuka Umanna abused by UKIP supporters on the internet after he claims that they’re incapable of using it – Daily Mail
  • Labour to take on outsourcing groups – Financial Times
  • Bob Crow left over £100,000 – The Sun (£)

Carney, the “unreliable boyfriend”

“Three weeks ago, Mr Carney said the markets were underestimating how long it would be before the central bank loan rate rose from the historic low of 0.5 per cent. Qualifying his remarks yesterday, the governor said: “There is additional spare capacity in the labour market that can be absorbed before we would look to… raise interest rates. Labour MP Pat McFadden said: “It strikes me the Bank is behaving a bit like an unreliable boyfriend – one day hot, one day cold – and the people on the other side of the message are left not really knowing where they stand.” – Daily Express

Death toll passes 1000 in Iraq carnage

Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 08.19.22“Casualties include those killed by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) and prisoners killed by government troops. The carnage has created a humanitarian crisis, with the UN estimating one million Iraqis have been made homeless. Details emerged as government troops battled ISIS for control of the country’s biggest oil refinery, in Baiji.” – Daily Express

  • Choudary linked to Cardiff radicalisation – The Times (£)
  • Aberdeen imam urges ISIS jihadist to come home – Scotsman

Ceasefire agreed in eastern Ukraine

“Vladimir Putin formally took Russian military intervention in eastern Ukraine off the table as separatist leaders agreed to a ceasefire, proposed by Kiev, in the region. But both the government and the rebels accused each other of continuing to open fire after the ceasefire was agreed Monday evening, and the downing of a Ukrainian helicopter on Tuesday evening, killing nine, raised further questions about the possibility of ending the bloodshed quickly.” – The Guardian

News in Brief

  • Screen shot 2014-06-25 at 08.25.13Restoration scheme for Spanish City approved by North Tyneside councillors – Chronicle Live
  • Mississippi Republican defeats Tea party senate challenger – Financial Times
  • Venomous trap-jaw ants spread along US Gulf Coast ‘without anyone noticing’ – The Independent
  • Smoking is more addictive than it was 50 years ago – Daily Mail
  • Sir William Patey, former Ambassador to Afghanistan, says that heroin, cocaine and cannabis should all be legalised – The Sun (£)
  • Felix Dennis dies – Daily Express
  • Greenpeace head let director fly to work – The Times (£)
  • England fail to beat Costa Rica – Daily Telegraph
  • Uruguayan footballer bites Italian footballer – The Guardian
  • The Queen and Duke of Edinburgh round off their trip to Northern Ireland today at events with the British Legion and Antiques Roadshow – Belfast Telegraph

12 comments for: Newslinks for Wednesday 25th June 2014

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