The Washington Post

Gordon Brown and 9/11 victims possibly hacked by News International papers

A stack of last edition of News of the World is placed at a newspaper stand in central London on Sunday. (Sang Tan/AP)

• For years, it’s been known the News of the World played dirty, with private investigators employed by the tabloid breaking into the voice mail of royals, sports figures and celebrities. Hugh Grant, in a sting of his own, revealed many of the secret tricks employed by journalists to get scoops on Britian’s famous folk.

• Two weeks ago, the Guardian revealed a much more sinister attack: The phone of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old murdered girl, reportedly had been broken into and messages had been deleted, giving her family false hope and possibly interfering with the police investigation.

• New allegations quickly followed: The investigators may have also hacked into the phones of families of the victims of the July 2005 subway bombings and Prince Charles and Camilla.

• Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. shut down News of the World on Sunday. Its final edition sold out of 4.5 million copies. The crossword puzzle included hidden messages to former editor Rebekah Brooks.

• Despite the attempt to keep the scandal contained, News Corp. is suffering from the revelations. Its stock has dropped in the U.S. and its bid to purchase a majority sharehold in BSkyB is now being called into question by culture secretary Jeremy Hunt.

• Two new allegations will make matters only worse: Gordon Brown reportedly will announce that journalists from other News International papers — including the Sunday Times and the Sun — hacked into his phone and attempted to get private medical information about his family.

• Also, there is a report from the Daily Mirror that News of the World attempted to buy phone numbers and details from the victims of 9/11

• News Corp. announced it will withdraw its offer to spin off Sky News. The company had promised to do so to help get the BSkyB deal passed and its withdrawal is now seen as a way of keeping the bid alive, but creating a delay on the merger, the Guardian reports. The decision on the BSkyB merger could take until next year.

• One rumor surfacing is that News Corp. will sell News International to get out of the scandal, Michael Wolff reports.

• The scandal may have repercussions in Scotland Yard and in the government, as sources told the Guardian that News of the World paid the police for details in the phone hacking case. The House of Commons is having a heated debate about what prime minister David Cameron knew of the hacking scandal. Watch the BBC live stream of the House of Commons debate.

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