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Continued: UK PM Cameron spokesman says resignation of News Intl CEO Rebekah Brooks was right decision

  • Article by: RAPHAEL SATTER and ROBERT BARR , Associated Press
  • Last update: July 15, 2011 - 5:35 AM

Murdoch flew into London last weekend to take charge of the response to the mushrooming phone scandal. Asked by reporters what his priority was, Murdoch gestured to Brooks and said, "This one."

In her statement, Brooks thanked the Murdochs for their support.

"Rupert's wisdom, kindness and incisive advice has guided me throughout my career and James is an inspirational leader who has shown me great loyalty and friendship," she said.

James Murdoch praised Brooks as "one of the outstanding editors of her generation and she can be proud of many accomplishments as an executive."

"We support her as she takes this step to clear her name," she said.

On Thursday, police arrested Neil Wallis, former deputy editor and then executive editor of News of the World, in the investigation of phone hacking. A parallel criminal investigating is probing charges that News of the World had bribed police officers.

In the United States, meanwhile, the Federal Bureau of Investigation opened an investigation of claims that News Corp. journalists may have sought to hack into the phones of Sept. 11 victims in its quest for sensational scoops.

Those developments deepened the crisis for News Corp., which has seen its stock price sink as investors ask whether the scandal could drag down the whole company.

While largely still on the defensive, another one of Murdoch's British papers, The Sun tabloid, scored one point Friday against former Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who had accused the paper of obtaining confidential medical files on his younger son, who has cystic fibrosis.

The Sun had vigorously rebutted the claim, saying it got its information from another parent, so far unidentified, who was said to be motivated by a hope of raising awareness of the disease.

On Friday, The Guardian newspaper apologized for accepting Brown's version of events.

"Articles in the Guardian of Tuesday 12 July incorrectly reported that the Sun newspaper had obtained information on the medical condition of Gordon Brown's son from his medical records," the newspaper said in its corrections column. "In fact, the information came from a different source and the Guardian apologizes for its error."

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