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News Corporation reports large losses

Phone-hacking scandal reported to be responible for the losses in News Corp quarterly results.

News Corporation has reported large losses in its quarterly results. In the three months to the end of June 2011 the company had a net income of £436.2 million, but for the same quarter this year it reported a £1 billion loss in comparison. The majority of the losses came from the publishing arm of the business, whose profits were almost half of last year's - falling from £172 million to £88.8 million.

Rupert Murdoch was determined to appear unfazed by the results, stating that "we are proud of the full year financial growth achieved over the last 12 months”. He argues that the company is in a "strong" position, which will be strengthened further by New Corp’s plans to split its entertainment and publishing businesses, a move which will isolate the group's large stake in BSkyB from News International, whose name has been blackened by the phone-hacking scandal.

Legal charges and other expenses associated with the scandal are largely responsible for the £143 million loss apparent in New Corporation's full year results, most of which has been spent on "the costs of the ongoing investigations initiated upon the closure of the News of the World".

Emma Geen is a freelance writer. She tweets @EmmaCGeen and blogs at

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No, David Cameron’s speech was not “left wing”

Come on, guys.

There is a strange journalistic phenomenon that occurs when a party leader makes a speech. It is a blend of groupthink, relief, utter certainty, and online backslapping. It happened particularly quickly after David Cameron’s speech to Tory party conference today. A few pundits decided that – because he mentioned, like, diversity and social mobility – this was a centre-left speech. A leftwing speech, even. Or at least a clear grab for the liberal centre ground. And so that’s what everyone now believes. The analysis is decided. The commentary is written. Thank God for that.

Really? It’s quite easy, even as one of those nasty, wicked Tories, to mention that you actually don’t much like racism, and point out that you’d quite like poor children to get jobs, without moving onto Labour's "territory". Which normal person is in favour of discriminating against someone on the basis of race, or blocking opportunity on the basis of class? Of course he’s against that. He’s a politician operating in a liberal democracy. And this isn’t Ukip conference.

Looking at the whole package, it was actually quite a rightwing speech. It was a paean to defence – championing drones, protecting Britain from the evils of the world, and getting all excited about “launching the biggest aircraft carriers in our history”.

It was a festival of flagwaving guff about the British “character”, a celebration of shoehorning our history chronologically onto the curriculum, looking towards a “Greater Britain”, asking for more “national pride”. There was even a Bake Off pun.

He also deployed the illiberal device of inculcating a divide-and-rule fear of the “shadow of extremism – hanging over every single one of us”, informing us that children in UK madrassas are having their “heads filled with poison and their hearts filled with hate”, and saying Britain shouldn’t be “overwhelmed” with refugees, before quickly changing the subject to ousting Assad. How unashamedly centrist, of you, Mr Prime Minister.

Benefit cuts and a reduction of tax credits will mean the Prime Minister’s enthusiasm for “equality of opportunity, as opposed to equality of outcome” will be just that – with the outcome pretty bleak for those who end up losing any opportunity that comes with state support. And his excitement about diversity in his cabinet rings a little hollow the day following a tubthumping anti-immigration speech from his Home Secretary.

If this year's Tory conference wins the party votes, it’ll be because of its conservative commitment – not lefty love bombing.

Anoosh Chakelian is deputy web editor at the New Statesman.