The Milly Dowler Story: Rupert Murdoch Tabloid Accused of Hacking into Murdered Girl's Phone
A British tabloid owned by Rupert Murdoch is being accused of hacking into the phone of a missing girl, Milly Dowler, who was found murdered six months after she disappeared in the spring of 2002.
News of the World has previously been found liable for invading the privacy of its story subjects. The company has admitted to hacking into the phones of eight public figures, including Sienna Miller. Earlier this year, the tabolid settled with Miller for £100,000 (about $165,000 USD) in a privacy and harassment claim over allegations that reporters of Murdoch's News Corporation illegally listened to voice messages to scoop stories.
The case of Milly Dowler is much more serious, as it involves a kidnapping and murder case. Further, News of the World is accused of not only listening to messages, but deleting messages in order to make room for new ones, which potentially interfered with the missing person investigation and certainly provided Dowler's family with false hope that the young teenager was still alive.
The Guardian was the first to report on the allegations, and used definitive language in the article's opening statement:
The New of the World illegally targeted the missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler and her family in March 2002, interfering with police inquiries into her disappearance, an investigation by the Guardian has established.
The new accusations of hacking incidents that took place almost a decade ago have shifted attention to Rebekah Brooks, who is now the chief executive of News International and one of Murdoch's closest colleagues. Brooks has long insisted she had no knowledge of any phone hacking incidents at Murdoch properties, and until now this claim has been unchallenged. But Milly Dowler's case took place in 2002, when Brooks was editor of News of the World, and five years before a News of the World reporter and a hired investigator were found guilty of hacking into royal family phones - which was believed to be the first case of illegal interception on the part of the tabloid.
Brooks maintains that she had no knowledge of or participation in News of The World's hacking into Dowler's phone, and so far is not succumbing to pressure that she step down.
The Guardian published excerpts of the email Brooks sent out to employees today:
It is inconceivable that I knew or worse, sanctioned these appalling allegations. I am aware of the speculation about my position. Therefore it is important you all know that as chief executive, I am determined to lead the company to ensure we do the right thing and resolve these serious issues.
Brooks later added: I am sickened that these events are alleged to have happened. Not just because I was editor of the News of the World at the time, but if the accusations are true, the devastating effect on Milly Dowler's family is unforgivable.
As the New York Times pointed out, if the allegations prove to be accurate - and so far, no one is denying the hacking took place - Brooks would then appear to have had no knowledge or control over how her reporters were obtaining the information on the Dowler case, or it would seem she permitted the interceptions. Whatever the case, it is difficult to imagine that her job and credibility will not be in serious jeapordy.
Amanada 'Milly' Dowler was 13 when she went missing on her way home from an afterschool social activity on March 21, 2002. A massive inquiry was launched shortly after her parents reported her missing - at 7 p.m. that same day - but it was six months before her body was found in a remote wooded area about 25 miles from her family's Surrey, England home.
Nine years later, on June 23, 2011, serial killer Levi Bellfield was convicted of abducting and murdering Dowler. Bellfield had previously been employed as a club doorman and lived only 50 yards from where Dowler was last seen alive. He moved out of the apartment the day after Milly disappeared, but the mismanagement of the case by Surrey police delayed his identification as a suspect for several years. In 2003-2004, he killed two other women and attempted to murder at least one other, but may have attacked up to twenty women.
News of the World is among dozens of holdlings of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, which is the world's second largest media conglomerate behind the Walt Disney Company. Murdoch is ranked by Forbes as the 13th most powerful person in the world, and ranks at number 112 on their richest person list, with an estimated net worth of $7.6 billion.
RHJ offers $388 million for Opel stake: document
Belgian financial investor RHJ International has offered 275 million euros ($387.6 million) for a 50.1 percent stake in General Motors' Opel business, according to RHJ's takeover offer for the German carmaker obtained by Reuters.
The offer, which envisions production cutbacks and pay cuts for staff, sees Opel posting a positive cash flow before funding of 1.0 billion euro by 2011.
Apart from RHJ, Canadian auto parts maker Magna is in talks about taking a stake in Opel, as is Chinese carmaker Beijing Automotive (BAIC).
(Reporting by Gernot Heller, Writing by Nicola Leske)
Bombardier to Cut 1,400 Jobs at English Railcar Plant
The world’s largest train manufacturer, Bombardier, said it will eliminate 1,400 jobs at its plant in Derby in the north of England.
Based in Canada, the company’s UK subsidiary will cut 446 permanent jobs and 983 temporary contract workers.
The British unit currently employs a total of 3,000 people in Derby.
The company recently failed to land the £1.4-billion contract to build train carriages for the Thameslink system which will run a route from Bedford to Brighton. The German firm Siemens landed that plum deal from the British government.
The… loss of the Thameslink contract, which would have secured workload at this site [Derby], means that it is inevitable that we must adjust capacity in line with economic reality, said Francis Paonessa, president of the passengers division for Bombardier in the UK.
We regret this outcome but without new orders we cannot maintain the current level of employment and activity at Derby.
Outraged British union leaders and opposition lawmakers have asked the government to reconsider its decision to select Siemens.
The RMT rail union said the Siemens contract was tantamount to an act of “industrial vandalism that would wipe out train building in the nation that gave the railways to the world.”
“The dire consequences of the misguided decision to exclude Bombardier from the contract are now becoming a reality,”
Unite union General Secretary Len McCluskey said in a statement. “The government must now act swiftly and decisively to save Britain’s last train manufacturer.”
The procurement process of handing out contracts has also been questioned.
I don't know of any [EU] procurement that's been in France or Germany that has gone to any other company other than the indigenous rail manufacturers in their countries, said Mark Young, an official with Britain’s Unite union.
So if they're playing by the same rules that we are, or at least we're professing to play by the same rules, then something else has gone wrong and it's no good the government saying they can't do anything about it. Yes they can and yes they must.
Shadow business secretary John Denham and shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle have pleaded with Prime Minister David Cameron to review the decision on granting the contract to Siemens.
On the bright side, Siemens said it will create about 2,000 jobs across Britain as a result of securing the Thameslink contract. However, since Siemens will manufacture the trains in Germany, only about 300 of its new jobs in the UK will be directly related to the Thameslink deal.
Siemens already has about 16,000 employees in the UK.
Technical analysis for July 17, 2009
The estimated test of key resistance range levels has not been confirmed, but assumed rate fall revealed strengthening of rate oversold as a negative sign regarding further rate decline expectations. At this point, considering weakness of bullish activity development, there are some grounds suggesting preservation of priorities favoring sales. Hence, we can assume probability of rate return to close 1,0780/1,0800 resistance range levels, where it is recommended to evaluate the development of the activity of both parties in accordance with the charts of a shorter time interval. As for short-term sales on condition of the formation of topping signals the targets will be 1,0720/40, 1,0680/1,0700 and (or) further break-out variant up to 1,0620/40, 1,0560/80. The alternative for buyers will be above 1,0840 with the targets of 1,0900/20, 1,0960/80, 1,1020/40.
The estimated test of key supports for implementation of pre-planned long positions has not been confirmed, but assumed rate rise and another channel line â€œ2â€ test have had a negative result of strengthening of rate overbought dampening expectations regarding further rate rise. Nevertheless, at this point, considering weakness of bearish activity, there are some grounds in favor of buying planning of trading operations for today. Hence, as earlier, we can assume probability of rate return to close 1,6320/40 support range levels, where it is recommended to evaluate the development of the activity of both parties in accordance with the charts of a shorter time interval. As for short-term buying positions on condition of the formation of topping signals the targets will be 1,6380/1,6400, 1,6460/80, 1,6500/20 and (or) further break-out variant up to 1,6560/80, 1,6620/40, 1,67,00/40. The alternative for sales will be below 1,6240 with the targets of 1,6180/1,6200, 1,6120/40, 1,6040/60.
The pre-planned short-term buying positions from key supports have been implemented with achievement of minimal anticipated target. OsMA trend indicator, having marked close parity of both party activity, does not clarify the choice of planning priorities for today. Therefore, considering probable further rate range movement, we can assume rate return to close 93,00/20 support levels, where it is recommended to evaluate the development of the activity of both parties in accordance with the charts of a shorter time interval. As for short-term buying positions, on condition of the formation of topping signals the targets will be 93,60/80, 94,20/40 and (or) further break-out variant up to 94,60 with the targets of 95,00/20, 95,60/80. The alternative for sales will be below 92,60 with the targets of 92,00/20, 91,40/60, 91,00/20.
The estimated test of key supports for implementation of pre-planned long positions has not been confirmed, but assumed rate rise has not had result at renewal of week`s top by strengthening of rate overbought as a sign regarding low prospects of further rate rise. Hence, at this point, considering current short-term prevailing of bearish activity, we can assume probability of rate correction to close 1,4060/80 supports, where it is recommended to evaluate the development of the activity of both parties in accordance with the charts of a shorter time interval. As for short-term buying positions on condition of the formation of topping signals the targets will be 1,4120/40, 1,4200/20 and (or) further break-out variant up to 1,4260/80, 1,4320/40, 1,4380/1,4400. The alternative for sales will be below 1,4000 with the targets of 1,3940/60, 1,3860/80, 1,3760/1,3800.
Confusion among doctors may harm HPV patients, instead of help
A study, published in the July issue of journal Obstetrics and Gynecology, found that women who test positive for human papillomavirus, or HPV, may be getting unnecessary and unhelpful treatment that comes with a risk of complications and side effects from United States health care providers.
There's a much greater emphasis on avoiding a single cancer versus literally thousands of women being over-screened and over-treated, Philip Castle from the American Society for Clinical Pathology in Chicago, told Reuters.
Researchers, who were led in the study by Mona Saraiya of the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, say HPV is common in women in their 20s and most often doesn't lead to cancer after 25 percent of doctors gave female patients the wrong type of HPV test, and nearly two-thirds gave the test to the wrong patients, in addition to testing their patients too often, according to the study.
Saraiya and colleagues analyzed data from a national survey of doctors and clinics that use Pap smear tests that showed ways in which a total of 376 doctors and 216 outpatient clinics perform HPV testing, if available at their health centers. The U. S. Food and Drug Administration approved two different HPV tests of high- and low-risk patients in 2003, however there remains confusion around the administering of the tests to infected patients.
According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, there are roughly 40 different strains of the sexually transmitted disease with some strains linked to cervical cancer, and others to causing genital warts.
Doctors and clinics ordered an HPV test at least once, with more than half of those saying they used HPV testing regularly along with Pap smears in women less than 30 years old, according to the study. The majority of doctors and clinic reported using HPV tests as a follow-up to a questionable Pap smear when the tests lack important information. The low-risk test really has no business being on the market at all, he told Reuters.
There's a lot of HPV and very little disease in women in their 20s, Castle added. The disease that's found there is generally about 10 to 15 years away from becoming invasive. There's no good justification for using the HPV test routinely.
Forex and Dow Jones recommended levels
July 17, 2009
Today€™s support: - 1.4042, 1.4023, 1.3972 and 1.3943(main), where correction is possible. Break would give 1.3898, where correction also may be. Then follows 1.3860. Break of the latter would result in 1.3823. If a strong impulse, we would see 1.3790. Continuation will give 1.3767.
Today€™s resistance: - 1.4153 and 1.4176(main). Break would give 1.4198, where a correction is possible. Then goes 1.4224. Break of the latter would result in 1.4245. If a strong impulse, we€™d see 1.4273. Continuation will give 1.4308.
Today€™s support: - 93.20 and 93.00(main). Break would bring 92.64, where correction is possible. Then 92.26, where a correction may also happen. Break of the latter will give 91.80. If a strong impulse, we would see 91.62. Continuation would give 91.36.
Today€™s resistance: - 94.31 and 94.50(main), where a correction may happen. Break would bring 95.00, where also a correction may be. Then 95.36. If a strong impulse, we would see 95.78. Continuation will give 96.43.
DOW JONES INDEX
Today€™s support: - 8635.43, 8606.00 and 8550.30(main), where a delay and correction may happen. Break of the latter will give 8514.22, where correction also can be. Then follows 8463.62. Be there a strong impulse, we would see 8427.25. Continuation will bring 8392.54.
Today€™s resistance: - 8780.62(main), where a delay and correction may happen. Break would bring 8814.37, where a correction may happen. Then follows 8840.50, where a delay and correction could also be. Be there a strong impulse, we€™d see 8866.40. Continuation would bring 8884.68 and 8912.77.
The Divergent Paths of Wall Street, Main Street
Wall Street and Main Street don't have the same interests.
That's never been more clear than now, as Wall Street is a road leading to record corporate profits, while Main Street is a road leading to high unemployment and sluggish wage growth.
Corporate America has never been so lean and lush. Many stocks are trading near 52-week highs, fully recovered from hits than landed hard during the Great Recession of 2008. Two years after the official end of the recession was declared, American companies are posting strong, and in many cases record, earnings in the second quarter of this year.
In fact combined earnings of companies in the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index are expected to increase almost 14 percent from the same period one year ago, spelling record results for many corporations. Also, corporations collectively are hoarding more cash than ever before, posting glowing balance sheets. At the end of 2010, companies held an estimated $1.9 trillion of excess cash, and so far in 2011 most have not let go.
Contrast that with what's happening on Main Street. Unemployment remains high, at more than nine percent. That's a daunting figure considering the recession officially ended two years ago. Some economists think the number could trickle higher even in coming months.
But that's not the hardest part of Main Street's story. Wages among the middle class employed are flat, and many people are now doing jobs and daily tasks that three and four people did just several years before. So as corporate profits jump with increases of 20 percent or more to all-time highs, and stocks rise on Wall Street in accord to levels near all-time highs, Main Street America is shuffling along a different path, trying to keep up in the new, new economy.
The reason for the opposing trends is clear. In the recession, companies became obsessed with avoiding the one cost that's hardest to control: payroll costs.They can quickly reduce inventory, they can quickly delay technology investment, but they can't quickly and easily shift from bloated payrolls.
Also, companies are benefiting from the adage that any job in a slow-growth economy is a good job -- meaning those that have work are quick to take on more responsibilities so they can keep their job, and even earn more. Thus, companies have little incentive to start hiring again in large numbers. They are merely driving more productivity out of what they have, or shifting how they've done it before by relying upon more technology to drive revenues forward.
Companies are still hiring, sure. But they are filling positions that are clearly needed, perpetually delaying what's not clearly needed.
Back in the day, in the years before the recession, many large companies routinely shuffled in large numbers of new employees, to keep an ever-flowing stream of talent to train and cultivate. Now, though, lean is the operative mode when it comes to payroll, meaning the interests of Wall Street and Main Street are traveling along divergent paths.
Corporations are finding lower-priced alternatives in many instances by looking globally and outsourcing high-skilled labor jobs, and they have used technology to streamline other operations, reducing personnel needs.
For investors, this is good news. Those with capital to invest during and after the recession have gained wealth. But they have also gained advantage over working class Americans who live paycheck to paycheck.
Sensitivities are growing nationally over the issue, particularly since the U.S. government invested heavily during the recession with taxpayer dollars to keep many companies and industries afloat. The argument made at the time was that companies must be strong so job growth can resume.
That argument did not take into account the shift that most corporations made in light of the difficult new economy, where growth domestically doesn't come easy and growth abroad can easily be fueled by workers who earn in some instances of fraction of what U.S. workers earn. Technology investment also comes at a fraction of what it used to.
Now, both policy makers and Americans trying to make household ends meet on Main Street are facing the reality that the divergent path between Wall Street and Main Street isn't an aberration in the recovery years following recession. It's the new normal everybody talked about, but didn't really know what it meant.
We know today, though, that jobs in the numbers needed to get Main Street back on its feet will not come from corporate hiring as it was. This is no longer a function of the recession, but a shift in business practices.
Simply, less people are needed to do the work today than were needed yesterday. The pattern will only improve for Main Street when both a shift in training and needs converge. In other words, not until there's new demand for workers in the U.S. through another sort of evolutionary workplace shift will Main Street get in accord with Wall Street.
Most observers suggest, and I must agree, that it may take a while. Perhaps a very long while. Until then, Wall Street will continue taking one road, while Main Street will continue on another.
Call it the new, new normal.
Spain Industrial Turnover, New Orders Drop Again In May
RTTNews - Spain's industrial turnover dropped 29% year-on-year in May, slower than a 32.1% fall in the preceding month, the National Statistics Institute said Friday. This is the eighth consecutive month of drop in turnover.
All the industrial groups showed double-digit falls in turnover, with energy showing the biggest fall of 51.3% in May.
In the first five months of the year, industrial turnover dipped 28.9% from the same period last year.
Meanwhile, industrial new orders fell 29.5% annually in May, slower than a 31.4% drop in April. New orders have been declining continuously since August last year. Energy recorded the steepest fall in orders among the industries, by 51.4%.
In the first five months of the year, the new orders fell 30.5% from last year.
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Strauss-Kahn Accuser Files Libel Suit Against New York Post
The hotel chambermaid at the center of the sexual assault case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn has filed a libel suit against the New York Post newspaper and five of its reporters for describing her as a prostitute in a story.
The woman, a 32-year-old immigrant from Guinea in West Africa, alleged the Post of defaming her in articles written between July 2 and July 4, citing their publication as an apparent desperate attempt to bolster its rapidly plunging sales.
She accused the paper of printing details that they knew were false.
In its edition from Saturday, the Post wrote that the chambermaid was doing double duty as a prostitute, collecting cash on the side from male guests. An article from Sunday claimed that she continued to work as a prostitute in a Brooklyn hotel where she was stashed by prosecutors.
The suit states: All of these statements are false, have subjected the plaintiff to humiliation, scorn and ridicule throughout the world by falsely portraying her as a prostitute or as a woman who trades her body for money and they constitute defamation and libel per se.”
Filed in The Bronx state court, the suit seeks damages that would be determined at a trial.
However, questions over the credibility and questionable background of the woman had forced New York prosecutors to drop their rape charges against Strauss-Kahn.
After 16 days of competition, the 2012 London Olympics came to an end on Sunday with the closing ceremony.
The United Stated finished the Games in first with 46 gold medals and 104 medals in all. China was behind the U.S. with 88 total and Russia came in third with 82. The host country, Great Britain, accumulated 29 gold medals.
Some of Britain's greatest artists performed on the final night. Older bands, as well as new ones, performed in front of the thousands in London. The Who and One Direction took the stage. There was also a Spice Girls reunion.
Here are some pictures from the festivities that took place during the opening ceremonies: