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BAE warns U.S. defense spending cuts to hit earnings this year

By Brenda Goh LONDON (Reuters) - Europe's biggest defense contractor BAE Systems <BAES.L> warned on Thursday it expected earnings this year to drop by up to 10 percent as a result of U.S. spending cuts, with conditions still difficult despite a recent budget deal in Congress. The British group, which had announced on Wednesday that it had at last agreed a price increase on its sale of Eurofighter Typhoon jets to Saudi Arabia, saw its shares suffer their biggest one-day percentage fall since October 2008.

BAE Systems announces profit slump on US hit

BAE Systems net profit slumped 82 percent last year owing to a huge one-off charge linked to a reduction in US government spending, the British defence giant announced on Thursday. Profit after tax tumbled to £168 million ($280 million, 203 million euros) in 2013 compared with £948 million a year earlier, BAE said in a statement, adding that it expected a further drop in earnings during 2014.

BAE Systems announces profit slump on US hit

BAE Systems net profit slumped 82 percent last year owing to a huge one-off charge linked to a reduction in US government spending, the British defence giant announced on Thursday. Profit after tax tumbled to £168 million ($280 million, 203 million euros) in 2013 compared with £948 million a year earlier, BAE said in a statement, adding that it expected a further drop in earnings during 2014. bcp/yad

Former UK PM Blair offered to help Murdoch over phone-hacking

By Michael Holden and Kate Holton LONDON (Reuters) - Former British prime minister Tony Blair offered to act as a secret adviser to Rupert Murdoch during his media empire's phone-hacking scandal, suggesting the firm follow steps he took to calm public anger over the Iraq war, a London court heard on Wednesday.

Blair 'advised Murdoch executives over hacking crisis'

Former British prime minister Tony Blair advised a key executive in Rupert Murdoch's newspaper empire days before she was arrested over phone hacking at the News of the World, a court heard on Wednesday. Blair also offered to be an "unofficial" advisor to Murdoch and his son James at the height of the scandal which led to the closure of the tabloid in July 2011.

British court dismisses challenge to Snowden-linked detention

British High Court judges on Wednesday dismissed a claim by David Miranda, the partner of ex-Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, that his detention at London's Heathrow airport under anti-terror laws last year was unlawful. Greenwald was at the time working with the Guardian newspaper and other publications on exposing widespread US and British spying, based on highly-classified data leaked by former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.

Rebekah Brooks prepares to testify in UK hacking trial

Rebekah Brooks, the former head of Rupert Murdoch's British newspaper unit, arrived in court on Wednesday as she prepared to take the stand in the phone-hacking trial. After nearly four months of hearings, lawyers for Brooks, a former editor of the now-defunct News of the World tabloid, were due to begin presenting the case for the defence. Brooks denies conspiring to hack phones while she edited the paper between 2000 and 2003, specifically conspiring to illegally access the voicemails of missing schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered.

UK court sends BSkyB's pay-TV terms back for review

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Court of Appeal on Monday ruled that a lower court should look again at how pay-TV group BSkyB sells its sports channels to rivals, in the latest twist in a near four-year battle. Market regulator Ofcom ruled in March 2010 that Rupert Murdoch's BSkyB should make its two main sports channels available to rivals such as Virgin Media and BT at a lower price.

Murdoch's ex-British paper boss Brooks to start phone-hacking defense

By Michael Holden LONDON (Reuters) - Rebekah Brooks, the former boss of Rupert Murdoch's British newspapers, is due to begin her defense on Wednesday against allegations she was complicit in widespread phone-hacking at the now defunct News of the World weekly. Brooks, who was so close to the media mogul she was dubbed his fifth daughter, will testify for the first time in the long-running trial after the prosecution formally wraps up its case against her, her husband and five other former Murdoch employees.

Book Talk: Isabel Allende makes fun of mystery genre in 'Ripper'

By Billy Cheung NEW YORK (Reuters) - Famous for using magic realism in novels like "The House of the Spirits", Chilean-American author Isabel Allende experiments with writing a mystery in her latest work "Ripper". The book, named after a real online game, puts readers in contemporary San Francisco where a series of murders occur that loosely follow an astrological prediction. A group of Ripper players begin to latch onto the clues to unmask the killer's identity.
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