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The News of the World publisher, News International, is facing dozens of lawsuits related to phone hacking, and hundreds more victims could demand millions, and millions of extra pounds in damages.
Coincidentally, the revelation came on the same day British politicians said they had struck a last-minute deal over press regulation. “I think we have got an agreement which protects the freedom of the press … but also protects the rights of people not to have their lives turned upside down,” a senior opposition leader said.
The new regulator would be independent of the media and would have the power to force newspapers to print prominent apologies. Submitting to the regulatory regime would be optional, but media groups staying outside the system could risk substantial fines if they get stories wrong.