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Elton John World News: Scandal in The Wind

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The Last Days of a Popular Tabloid

Friday 8 July 2011 @ 15:45 - GMT

A British tabloid which has covered personalities like Elton and Lindsay Lohan is shutting down.

Sunday is the last day the embattled News of the World is being published.

The dramatic announcement follows accusations that the paper illegally eavesdropped on the phone messages of murder and terror victims, politicians and celebrities. The scandal could have far-reaching consequences and may be politically damaging to Prime Minister David Cameron.

Police in London have arrested Andy Coulson, Cameron's former director of communications.

This follows allegations of widespread phone-hacking in the pursuit of stories. Coulson, who was News of the World editor from 2003 to 2007, has said he knew nothing of illegal activities during his tenure and that wrongdoing was confined to one rogue reporter.

At a press conference in his 10 Downing Street office in central London today, Cameron was forced to defend his 2007 decision to hire Coulson after he had resigned from the paper following the jailing of the writer. The prime minister faced questions about his ties to Rupert Murdoch and his son James, the deputy chief operating officer of News Corp., and News International Chief Executive Officer Rebekah Brooks, Coulsons predecessor as editor of the newspaper.

Its a Cameron issue. This is now about him, declared Steven Fielding,  director of the Centre for British Politics at Nottingham University. The danger is that this comes to define him in the public mind. Then it becomes the characteristic through which everything he does is viewed.

Clive Goodman, the News of the Worlds former royal editor, has also been taken into custody.