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Joy for Murdoch and Morgan as hacking cases are halted

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Issue 2484
Returned to sender, a copy of The Sun newspaper
Returned to sender, a copy of The Sun newspaper (Pic: Lamerie/Flickr)

Evidence at the trials of Sun journalists showed that Rupert Murdoch’s newspaper group prompted the police investigation into payments by its own papers. It did so because it wanted to escape a corporate prosecution for corruption. It has got its way.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) ended the investigation into media phone hacking after four years and ten months.

As The Times noted with a level of self-awareness, “The practices exposed by Operation Weeting were lazy, callous and corrupt.”

As Kelvin Mackenzie, former editor now columnist on the Sun, pointed out, “If it hadn’t been for the deep pockets of News Corp, for the brilliance of the defence QCs and the sheer will of Rupert Murdoch, there could have been a very different outcome.”

As the hacking file was closed, former Daily Mirror editor Piers Morgan was celebrating. He said he would “get spectacularly drunk”.

David Cameron said that the second part of the Leveson inquiry has not been cancelled.

That was the bit that was actually going to look at phone hacking.

Cameron’s spokesperson is the only one who doesn’t think it will be quietly forgotten.

People who sold information to hacks were convicted. Journalists less so.

One of of those who was is previous Cameron spin doctor Andy Coulson.

He took to the pages of the Daily Telegraph last week to warn that some Muslim inmates operate “protection rackets” inside British jails—forcing vulnerable young men to grow beards.

So it is business as usual. And a classic establishment fix has saved the establishment blushes.

Bright ideas

A US town has rejected a proposal for a solar farm.

During the Woodland Town Council meeting, in North Caroilina, one said solar farms would suck up all the energy from the sun.

A retired science teacher said she was concerned the panels would prevent plants in the area from photosynthesizing, stopping them from growing.

The ‘war on terror’ gets festive lights

The war against terror opened a new front last week in Limerick, York County, in the US.

Christmas lights featuring a Santa Claus urinating on lights spelling out the name of terror group Isis were displayed.

But neighbours called the local sheriff’s department about it—because they thought that the resident might be an Isis surporter.

Sheriff William King told the Portland Press Herald, “Sheriff’s deputies visited the home and the word ‘Isis’ is lit up bright and clear. What is not so clear is that Santa Claus is ‘relieving’ himself on the word.”

Closer to home in Southampton Ukip member Timothy Miller covered up the side of his home with a festive bit of racism.

It reads, “Dear Father Christmas, an EU exit is the only present for me if not, it had better be a Koran and lessons in Arabic”.

A White Christmas in the red?

Nearly nine out of ten people feel under pressure to spend too much this year.

But 45 percent say they plan to spend less on Christmas 2015 than they did last year. One in seven say they’ll need to borrow to afford Christmas.

Hardest hit are the 34 to 44 age group, nearly a quarter saying they will get into debt.

That’s 438 years more for bad behaviour

Almost 160,000 days—or 438 years—of additional imprisonment were imposed on prisoners found to have broken prison rules last year.

This is according to a report by the Howard League for Penal Reform.

Disciplinary hearings called adjudications mainly concern disobedience, disrespect or property offences. They increase as prisons lose control under pressure of overcrowding and staff cuts.

A prisoner found guilty at an adjudication can face punishments ranging from loss of canteen rights to solitary confinement and extra days of imprisonment.

The number of adjudications where extra days could be imposed has increased by 47 percent since 2010.

The number of extra days imposed on children has almost doubled in two years, even though the number of children in prison has almost halved.

Mail comes out against private schools…again

the Daily Mail came out against privatisation in schools again this week.

It raged against the “Muslim takeover” of a school where most children are white.

The Tauheedul Education Trust (TET) is set to run Highfield Humanities College in Blackpool. The TET runs ten Islamic schools.

This follows a Mail story in October bemoaning “fears” that a “Muslim academy trust” was going to run three secondary schools.

Troublemaker senses a theme developing.

Blair—the private citizen for Gaddafi

TONY Blair has denied he was trying to save Colonel Gaddafi when he urged him to flee Libya days before rebels killed him. Blair rang Gaddafi in October 2011.

He told MPs on the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, “My concern was not for his safety.

“My concern was to get him out of the situation so a peaceful transition could take place.”

Records of the call show Blair telling Gaddafi, “If you have a safe place to go then you should go there, because this will not end peacefully unless that happens.”

Blair said he made the call as a “concerned private citizen”.

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