Saturday News Review

Tragic loss of life in Norway

At least 91 people were killed in yesterday’s terror attacks in Norway, police have said. Eighty four died when a gunman dressed in a police uniform opened fire at a summer camp for the youth wing of the ruling Labour party, hours after a bomb in the capital Oslo killed seven people. David Cameron said the attacks were a “stark reminder of the threat we all face from terrorism”. No British nationals are believed to have been affected by the attacks. A 32 year-old Norwegian man has been charged in connection with both the bomb attack and the shooting. – PoliticsHome

A Norwegian who dressed as a police officer to gun down summer campers killed at least 84 people at an island retreat, horrified police said this morning. It took investigators several hours to begin to realize the full scope of yesterday’s massacre, which followed an explosion in nearby Oslo that killed seven and that police say was set off by the same suspect. The mass shootings are among the worst in history. With the blast outside the prime minister’s office, they formed the deadliest day of terror in Western Europe since the 2004 Madrid train bombings killed 191. Police official Roger Andresen told reporters that the total death toll was now 91 and that a suspect was in custody being questioned for both assaults and is cooperating with the investigators. Though police did not release his name, Norwegian national broadcaster NRK identified him as 32-year-old Anders Behring Breivik and said police searched his Oslo apartment overnight. NRK and other Norwegian media posted pictures of the blond, blue-eyed Norwegian. – the Independent

Coulson under investigation for perjury

Andy Coulson, the prime minister’s former director of communications, is being investigated by police for allegedly committing perjury while working for David Cameron in Downing Street. The development renews pressure on the prime minister over his judgment in hiring the former News of the World editor and represents the third criminal investigation Coulson faces, adding to allegations that he knew of phone hacking while in charge of the tabloid and authorised bribes to police officers. Strathclyde detectives confirmed that they had opened a perjury inquiry centred on evidence Coulson gave in court last year that led to a man being jailed. Coulson was a major witness in a trial involving Tommy Sheridan, the former MSP who was accused of lying in court when winning a libel action against the News of the World. Coulson had been the editor of the Sunday tabloid when it ran a story accusing Sheridan of being an adulterer who visited swingers’ clubs. Sources say police will examine Coulson’s denial of any knowledge of phone hacking and payments to police officers at the Sheridan trial against the evidence held by the Scotland Yard investigation. – the Guardian

Osborne jetted off to NY for dinner with Rupert Murdoch

The Chancellor, George Osborne, flew to New York and had dinner with Rupert Murdoch two weeks before the media regulator was due to decide on whether to approve his takeover of BSkyB. The timing of the meeting will raise further questions about the close ties between senior members of the Coalition and Mr Murdoch’s media empire. The disclosure comes as the Cabinet Office prepares to publish for the first time details of all meetings between government ministers and media executives and proprietors for the first three months of this year. The Daily Telegraph can disclose that Mr Osborne flew to New York on a five-day visit on Dec 16 last year, to meet Mike Bloomberg, the mayor of New York, and a group of bankers. The day after arriving, the Chancellor met Mr Murdoch, the chairman of News Corp, for a “social” dinner with a small gathering of people. The Treasury refused to discuss who attended, but insisted that BSkyB was not discussed. – the Telegraph

Max Mosely questions Rupert Murdoch’s evidence

Max Mosley has called into doubt Rupert Murdoch‘s claim that he was unaware of the identity of the News of the World‘s chief reporter. During questioning at the Commons media select committee on Tuesday, Murdoch was asked by Labour MP Tom Watson: “In 2008, why did you not dismiss News of the World chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck following the Mosley case?” Murdoch replied: “I’d never heard of him.” That reply surprised Mosley, the former motor sport chief who was the subject of a controversial NotW exposure of his private life. He recalled writing to Murdoch in March this year specifically about Thurlbeck’s role in the story and the evidence he gave when Mosley sued the paper for an intrusion into his privacy. Mosley won the case and was awarded damages of £60,000. The judge was critical of Thurlbeck and that was the burden of Mosley’s complaint to Murdoch in his letter. It was sent by post to Murdoch at the New York headquarters of his company, News Corporation, and also emailed to him on 10 March. In the letter, there are several mentions of Thurlbeck’s name. – the Guardian

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