Rupert Murdoch, chairman and CEO of News Corp.: The Australian-born Murdoch controls News Corp., a vast global media conglomerate comprising newspapers, television and electronic publishing outlets. He initially built his holdings largely by acquiring a series of lucrative tabloids that helped eventually subsidize the takeover of more mainstream outlets.
James Murdoch, director and executive vice president, News Corp.: Rupert Murdoch's son, James, is widely viewed as the heir apparent to the News Corp. empire. He handles many of the day-to-day operations at the company and acts as CEO for its European and Asian divisions.
Les Hinton, former CEO of Dow Jones & Co.: Hinton was appointed CEO of Dow Jones, which publishes the Wall Street Journal, after News Corp. acquired the company in 2007. At the time of the alleged phone hacking, Hinton was head of News International, the Murdoch-owned company that published News of the World. He testified twice before Britain's Parliament, insisting that a single rogue reporter was responsible for the phone hacking. He resigned July 15.
Rebekah Brooks, former CEO of British properties; former editor, News of the World:The British journalist served as editor of News of the World from 2000 to 2003, during the same time the phone hacking by the paper's reporters allegedly took place. She later became CEO of the company's British properties and developed a close working relationship with Murdoch. She resigned on July 15 and was arrested two days later in connection with the scandal. Brooks has since been released on bail.
David Cameron, British prime minister: Cameron — who during his run for prime minister courted Rupert Murdoch — hired Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor, as his press secretary in 2007. Coulson had earlier resigned as editor at the News after one of the newspaper's reporters was convicted of phone hacking.
Andy Coulson, former press secretary to Prime Minister Cameron; former editor, News of the World:Coulson followed Brooks as editor of News in 2003. Four years later, he resigned amid the first revelations in the phone-hacking scandal. He was arrested on July 8 in connection with the scandal. Coulson was subsequently released on bail and has publicly denied any wrongdoing.
Paul Stephenson, former commissioner, London's Metropolitan Police Service: Stephenson resigned from the force — better known as Scotland Yard — on July 17. His judgment was being questioned following renewed inquiries about police bribery and his hiring of Neil Wallis, a deputy editor at News of the World, as an adviser to the department.
John Yates, former assistant commissioner, London Metropolitan Police Service: Yates assumed the post of assistant commissioner at Scotland Yard in 2006 and headed the initial police inquiry into the phone hacking that year. He endured heavy criticism for his handling of the investigation, which some members of Parliament said amounted to a whitewash. He resigned on July 18.
Amanda "Milly" Dowler: The 13-year-old British schoolgirl was abducted and murdered in 2002. Her killer was convicted in June 2011. On July 4, Britain's Guardian newspaper reported that Scotland Yard had uncovered evidence that Dowler's voice mail had been accessed by reporters from News of the World. The Guardian said that messages with potential evidence had been deleted by News reporters.
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The scandal in the U.K. over how some News Corp. newspapers invaded the privacy of perhaps thousands of people, from the royals to murder victims, is front-and-center in Parliament this morning as company chief Rupert Murdoch appears before the Media and Sport Committee to answer questions about what his company allegedly did.
Also today, beginning at 7 a.m. ET, there's the appearance before the Home Affairs Committee of Sir Paul Stephenson, who this week stepped down as head of Scotland Yard after reports that some police officials may have been paid by News Corp. tabloids for information. He's to be joined by John Yates, who Monday resigned from his post as assistant commissioner of the famed police force.
Murdoch, his son James (a top executive of News Corp.) and Rebekah Brooks (a former editor of the tabloid News of the World, where the scandal began, and who this week resigned her post as the top executive at News Corp.'s European unit), are due to appear before the committee starting at 9:30 a.m. ET.
When the second committee starts questioning the Murdochs and Brooks, the session is to be online here.
On Morning Edition, NPR's Philip Reeves said that among the questions the Murdochs will be asked is "how much they knew about phone-hacking at the now-closed News of the World" and why their company insisted for so long that only two people had been involved.
Whether the Murdochs and Brooks will directly answer the queries isn't known. Brooks has already been arrested for her alleged role in the scandal.
We'll add posts as the news develops.
Meanwhile, The Associated Press reports that "News Corp. board member Thomas Perkins said Monday that embattled Chief Executive Rupert Murdoch has the full support of the company's board of directors, and is not considering elevating Chief Operating Officer Chase Carey to replace him amid a phone-hacking scandal in Britain."