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British press scandal widens (PHOTOS)

The British phone hacking charges have widened and threaten to engulf Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

British press scandal widens (PHOTOS)

Allegations continue over the phone hacking controversy involving the News of the World, a British weekly tabloid published by News International, a branch of media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation. 

British Prime Minister David Cameron warned, “no stone will be left unturned” and announced two separate investigations into the hacking scandal. In a complete transcript published in the Guardian, the prime minister said, “It is clear that there have been some illegal and utterly unacceptable practices taking place at The News of the World and possibly elsewhere.”

Andrew Coulson, Cameron's former spokesman and ex-News of the World editor, was arrested on July 8 and held for questioning by police investigating phone interceptions and corruption.

Also under suspicion is Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of the newspaper during the time of the alleged hacking of a mobile phone that belonged to murdered teenager Milly Dowler. Brooks told News of the World employees: "You may be angry with me, I understand, but I'm angry with the people who did this [hacking] and feel bitterly betrayed,” Sky News reported. Brooks told employees, “this is not exactly the best time of my life,” but according to the New York Times she says she does not expect to be arrested. She also warned that “there was worse to come” in the police investigation. 

The scandal arose just after Rupert Murdoch, proposed to purchase British Sky Broadcasting for $12 billion. The investigations could jeopardize the sale, which requires British government approval to confirm that Murdoch’s News Corporation passes “a fit and proper person” test, according to the Daily Beast

Under rising public scrutiny, James Murdoch, Rupert Murdoch’s son and chief executive of News International, announced on July 7 that he would close News of the World. Sunday, July 10, will be the last day of the 168-year-old newspaper.