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Sen. Rockefeller urges U.S. probe of Murdoch’s media empire

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WASHINGTON — A key US senator called Tuesday for a probe into whether alleged hacking by Rupert Murdoch’s media empire had extended to US citizens and warned of “severe” consequences if that proved the case.

“I encourage the appropriate agencies to investigate to ensure that Americans have not had their privacy violated,” Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller said in a statement.

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“I am concerned that the admitted phone hacking in London by the News Corp. may have extended to 9/11 victims or other Americans. If they did, the consequences will be severe,” said Rockefeller, a Democrat.

His comments came as Murdoch faced an onslaught from British lawmakers as the government backed calls for him to drop his bid for pay TV giant BSkyB and a committee summoned him to answer questions on phone hacking.

Former prime minister Gordon Brown also piled pressure on Murdoch’s media empire, accusing it of hiring “criminals” to obtain his private documents and suggesting it used illegal methods to break the news of his son’s illness.

Scotland Yard added to the 80-year-old tycoon’s woes, accusing his newspapers of blocking their investigations into hacking at the News of the World, the beleaguered tabloid that Murdoch axed on Sunday.

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“The reported hacking by News Corporation newspapers against a range of individuals — including children — is offensive and a serious breach of journalistic ethics. This raises serious questions about whether the company has broken US law,” said Rockefeller.

The lawmaker, who chaired the US Senate’s intelligence committee for years, was the first major voice in the US Congress to call for an investigation into the scandal, which has captivated Britain.

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Murdoch flew to Britain Sunday to take control of the crisis and met Tuesday with News International chief executive Rebekah Brooks, who was News of the World editor at the time of some of the hacking, and other key figures.

Lawmakers took advantage of his presence to call on him, his son, News Corp. executive James Murdoch, and Brooks to appear to face questions about hacking and allegations that Murdoch papers paid police for information.

News International said it would “cooperate” with the request from the House of Commons culture, media and sport select committee to appear next week, but did not immediately confirm their attendance.

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Murdoch was not the only one facing pressure from lawmakers.

Senior police officers were grilled by a committee on Tuesday about how an original probe into the News of the World in 2006, which resulted in the jailing of two people, failed to unearth a trove of further allegations.

The fresh claims, including that the tabloid hacked the voicemails of a murdered teenager and the relatives of dead soldiers, finally emerged last week and unleashed the public outrage that led to the demise of the paper.

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Scotland Yard Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who decided not to reopen the investigation in 2009, apologized to the victims but blamed News International for failing to hand over key evidence.

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… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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Florida teacher removed after bizarre rant about students not standing for the pledge

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Students were faced with a white-board rant in a classroom attacking anyone not standing up for the Pledge of Allegiance.

The moment went viral locally on Thursday after students posted Daniel Goodman‘s “inappropriate” message to students at First Coast High School in Duval County, Florida, The Atlanta Black Star reported.

“THINK: We had about a half million Americans die in our Civil War, which was largely to get rid of slavery. There are no longer separate water fountains and bathrooms in Jacksonville for ‘white’ and ‘colored,’ as Mr. Goodman remembers from the 1960?s. We had an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote. We have had a Black president. The superintendent of Duval Schools is a Black woman. Mr. Fluent, our principal, replaced a Black man. Mr. Simmons, who now is a DC PS admninistrator.”

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Missouri official choose Dr. Seuss’ ‘Oh the Places You’ll Go’ for swearing-in ceremony instead of ‘The Bible’

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A Missouri county official is being both celebrated and attacked after a decision to forgo The Bible for her swearing-in ceremony and opted for a copy of Oh, The Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss.

The Friendly Atheist at Patheos captured the story, posting a photo of St. Louis City Councilmember Kelli Dunaway's children holding a copy of the book while she took her oath of office.

This was the scene last week at the STLCO government center. Democrats took back control of the council and @DunawayKelli was sworn in on a copy of “Oh the Places you’ll go” with her children❤️ so proud to be part of #TeamKelli pic.twitter.com/iJ1dxfZ1Zg

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Trump predicts New York Times will go out of business when he’s out of office

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In a permission tweet, President Donald Trump announced that his presidency is the only thing keeping the New York Times in business. Yet, somehow, they're also attacking him and lying about him.

"The New York Times will be out of business soon after I leave office, hopefully in 6 years. They have Zero credibility and are losing a fortune, even now, especially after their massive unfunded liability. I'm fairly certain they'll endorse me just to keep it all going!" he tweeted.

https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1163238629730373632

Since taking office, subscriptions for The Times have increased dramatically. According to an August report, The Times boasted a 4.7 million increase in subscribers for the second quarter. Their revenue growth was 5.2 percent. It certainly is a modest increase, but it's also an increase in an era when newspapers are struggling to survive.

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