US senators raise heat on Murdoch

Two Democratic senators have turned up the political pressure on News Corp, reviving questions about whether a scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s UK newspapers could jump across the Atlantic.

A day after a damning parliamentary report into Mr Murdoch’s handling of the affair, News Corp’s directors gave him their unanimous backing, quelling speculation that he might split his chairman and chief executive roles.

But their statement was followed by news that Senator Jay Rockefeller of West Virginia had written to Lord Justice Leveson, who is leading an inquiry into the conduct of the British press, asking for any evidence that “troubling and sometimes criminal conduct” had occurred in the US or involved US citizens.

Mr Rockefeller, who first raised concerns about phone hacking last summer, chairs the Senate commerce committee, which has the power to hold hearings, and has oversight of the Federal Communications Committee.

The Federal Bureau of Investigations opened a probe into News Corp after Mr Rockefeller’s intervention.

He widened his concerns to include allegations of payments to police officers and other public officials, saying US-traded companies such as News Corp had “a duty to exercise adequate financial controls over their subsidiaries”.

Frank Lautenberg, the New Jersey senator who called last summer for investigations into possible breaches of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, said allegations in Tuesday’s report by a House of Commons committee on media made it “critical” that US authorities ensured that US laws had not been broken.

News Corp had no comment.

Read more at The Financial Times.

Comments

Polititainment

'Rival Survival' premiering Wednesday

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are getting ready to show America their bipartisan fire-starting skills on "Rival Survival," a reality show starring tho lawmakers that premiers Wednesday night on the Discovery Channel.

Lovitz has a field day with Hillary

Before Hillary Clinton's jobs comment is swept aside as a minor whoopsie, a few words from Jon Lovitz.

John Oliver has some ideas for the FDA

Some people want more nutrition information on food labels--but who really understands those labels anyway?

SNL mocks Obama on Ebola

Saturday's SNL episode opened with a segment poking fun at both Obama and his chosen Ebola Czar Ron Klain, who has been the subject of criticism because he has no experience in the medical field.

Madeleine Albright T(witter)KOs Conan

Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright bested Conan O'Brien by Twitter knockout Thursday night, ribbing the comedian with a comeback worthy of a seasoned pro.

White House

Russian hackers broke into the White House network

Hackers with suspected ties to the Russian government recently broke into the White House’s unclassified computer network, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Congress

Top lawmaker's Ebola claim

A leading House Republican says he is aware of information that points to the United States eventually receiving non-U.S. Ebola patients for treatment.

Rand Paul: ‘The war on terror is not over’

Rand Paul attempted to lay out his recently evolving foreign policy vision at his speech Thursday night at the Center for the National Interest.

McCarthy speaks out against 'Truthy' study
Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy is joining the growing dissent against the federally-funded “Truthy” study designed to monitor political speech on social media. In a blog post Thursday, titled “#KillingFreeSpeech,” McCarthy promises that the House Committee on Science will be conducting oversight “in the coming months on this and other questionable government-funded research projects.” “Why does the government […]
CIA agents impersonated Senate staffers to snoop
Despite a number of growing foreign and domestic threats over the summer, the CIA admitted that they had been using their resources to spy on elected officials in the Senate. Now, insiders are alleging that it’s not just what they did that is the problem, but how they went about it. A new piece by the […]
Republicans say they will reform the IRS

Republicans are talking about reforming the IRS if they gain the majority in the Senate next month, but seem to be treading with caution on making any specific promises.