The London Riots were distracting, but British and International attention has refocused on the News of the World scandal that has implicated billionaire Rupert Murdoch and his son James Murdoch in an unsavory phone-hacking case.
Two letters from former employees of the weekly newspaper imply that the Murdochs lied to, or at least gave false information to British MPs during a July 19 committee meeting. The documents were filed and then made public by lawmakers on Tuesday.
The former lawyer for News International, the parent company that owned the now-shuttered News of the World tabloid, said that testimony given by the two executives contained "serious inaccuracies." Jonathan Chapman said in his letter to the House of Commons that high-ranking members of the media company knew about, and even condoned the phone hacking practices.
"Nobody kept Mr. James Murdoch or any other News International/News Corporation executives from being in full possession of the facts," he said.
In a separate letter, ex-Royal Family reporter Clive Goodman said that he tapped cell phones with the "full knowledge and support" of News International executives, and that other reporters were doing the "same illegal procedures."
Goodman wrote the letter in 2007 after he was fired over a phone hacking investigation under the editorship of Andy Coulson, who was questioned by police last month. The letter was finally released Tuesday as well. Goodman said that hacking was "widely discussed in the daily editorial conference, until explicit reference to it was banned by the editor."
"If Goodman's letter is accurate ... the whole foundation of the company's defense for the last three years collapses," opposition lawmaker Tom Watson told Sky. "Day by day, week by week, we're slowly getting the facts."
In July, a number of former News of the World reporters spoke to Reuters, saying that under editor Rebekah Brooks, the tabloid had a number of border-line illegal practices and that Brooks endorsed a cutthroat culture and sleazy atmosphere.
"It was the kind of place you get out of and you never want to go back again," one former reporter said.
"We used to talk to career criminals all the time. They were our sources," says another former journalist, who also worked for Murdoch's daily tabloid, the Sun.
"It's simply not conceivable that somebody who was editor wouldn't have known," said a third journalist who spent seven years at the paper.
The hacking scandal has saddened and outraged many in England and around the world. The investigation started when the Royal Family suspected someone was hacking into employees' voice mails. More shocking, however, are allegations that the News of the World was listening to and deleting the messages of the families of victims from the July 2007 terrorist attack on the London Underground, as well as the families of 9/11 victims.