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February 22 - 28 2012
μWorld News PAGES 14-17
μComment PAGES 18-21
μObituaries PAGES 22-23
μExpat Life PAGES 31-32
A star eclipsed Whitney Houston found dead in bath on eve of Grammys
WORLD NEWS P14
Yates of Yard in Bahrain Former Met man tells how he is reforming the kingdom’s police
Picasso and us Early 20th-century British art comes off badly in gripping show
Europe gets tough on Greece Country scrambles to meet strict conditions to avoid bankruptcy
28 9 30 33 40 44 2 19 22 30 33 41
Bonus Ball 16
Bonus Ball 24
There were two winners of Saturday’s £4.2m jackpot and two winners of Wednesday’s £2.3m prize
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By Donna Bowater RUPERT MURDOCH invited journalists from The Sun who have been arrested to come back to work as he announced last Friday that a new Sunday newspaper was imminent.
The News Corporation chairman pledged his commitment to the newspaper after flying to London to lift the suspensions on employees arrested over allegations of corrupt payments.
He told staff in an email: “Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise.”
He also confirmed widely anticipated plans for a Sunday version of the tabloid, promising to launch The Sun on Sunday “very soon” to replace the News of the World, which was closed last July at the height of the phone hacking scandal.
Mr Murdoch’s rallying appearance at The Sun’s newsroom in Wapping came days after he faced a revolt, with staff accusing the company of throwing them to the wolves. Five senior journalists had been arrested the previous Saturday.
Mr Murdoch, 80, flew by private jet from the US to Luton airport last Thursday night before addressing staff at The Sun the following day and offering his sympathy to them over arrested colleagues.
It is understood he spent two hours in the newsroom with his elder son, Lachlan, talking to journalists about plans for the Sunday newspaper, with the atmosphere said to be
Rupert Murdoch reads The Sun on his way to reassure staff at the newspaper’s offices relaxed. The tycoon’s younger son, James, was said to be out of the country.
In his email, Mr Murdoch said The Sun was “part of me”. He wrote: “We are doing everything we can to assist those who were arrested — all suspensions are hereby lifted until or whether charged and they are welcome to return to work. News Corporation will cover their legal expenses. Everyone is innocent unless proven otherwise.”
It is understood that the arrested journalists are not subject to bail conditions and can return to the newsroom without restrictions.
The email added: “We will build on The Sun’s proud heritage by launching The Sun on Sunday very soon. Our duty is to expand one of the world’s most widely read newspapers and reach even more people than ever before. Having a winning paper is the best answer to our critics.”
Mr Murdoch also gave his backing to the company’s management and standards committee, which has been blamed for a “witch-hunt” following the arrests. He said illegal practices “simply cannot and will not be tolerated” and that the committee would “turn over every piece of evidence we find”.
He gave no indication of when The Sun on Sunday might be launched, but his announcement was met with criticism.
Chris Bryant, a Labour MP, said: “I think it is massively premature because one would have thought the Murdoch empire would want to wait until Leveson completed his inquiry and the police and prosecuting authorities completed their investigations.
“He is meant still to be ‘draining the swamp’ and yet the swamp is meant to produce another newspaper.”
Wapping revolt: pages 6-7
By Sean Rayment MINISTRY OF DEFENCE civil servants have been awarded £40 million in bonuses despite fierce criticism of the department. One senior civil servant on a six-figure salary was awarded an £85,831 bonus, the equivalent of what an Army colonel earns in a year. Members of the Armed Forces have suffered a two-year pay freeze and 20,000 are to be made redundant.
The bonuses, awarded since April last year, have seen more than 55,000 officials, out of a payroll of 83,000, given extra payments.
The ministry expects to pay more in bonuses in the current financial year than in the last, even though it is trying to reduce the number of civil servants. The MoD has been heavily criticised for its financial performance, particularly in defence procurement where large projects have been late and over-budget. It has only just balanced its books by making deep cuts to military forces, with the Army shrinking to its smallest size since the Boer War. Critics say the measures could have been less severe if finances had not been so mismanaged.
Bonuses are a controversial area of pay within the MoD. They are linked to a complicated series of goals that can range from cost savings to hitting diversity targets. Ministers have spoken of the need to rein in the bonus culture in Whitehall and make the payments genuine rewards for exceptional performances, rather than routine parts of civil servants’ remuneration.
The Telegraph has learnt that the level of bonuses at the MoD is not expected to be reduced, given that staff have faced a two-year pay freeze. In the past year, 56 senior officials — in the highest Civil Service grades — shared £505,000, averaging £9,000 each. Junior staff were handed a total of £37.9 million, typically taking home £697. A total of 54,375 employees received bonuses.
The highest level of bonuses was at the Department for Work and Pensions, whose employees got £51million — £11million more than the MoD. The Department for Transport paid out £9.2 million, the Foreign Office £6.4 million, and the Department for Environment £2.3 million.
The Department for Education spent £1.9 million on bonuses, the Department of Health £1.7million, the Cabinet Office £1.3 million and the Department for Innovation and Skills £1.1million.
But it will be the magnitude of individual bonuses within the MoD that raises the most questions.
By Robert Winnett and Benedict Brogan IRAN’S pursuit of nuclear weapons is threatening to trigger a “new Cold War” that poses an even greater risk of atomic destruction than the stand-off between the USSR and the West, William Hague, the Foreign Secretary, warned last week.
The Iranian weapons programme is a “crisis coming down the tracks” that could lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, he warned in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “[The Iranians] are clearly continuing their nuclear weapons programme. If they obtain nuclear weapons capability, then I think other nations across the Middle East will want to develop nuclear weapons.
“So the most serious round of nuclear proliferation since nuclear weapons were invented would have begun, with all the destabilising effects in the Middle East. And the threat of a new Cold War in the Middle East without necessarily all the safety mechanisms. That would be a disaster in world affairs.”
Mr Hague stressed that “all options must remain on the table” when confronting the Iranian regime.
Iran threat: page 15