Press Regulation Plans 8:51 AM PDT 10/14/2013 by Georg Szalai 0 Getty Images London mayor Boris Johnson “You either have a free press or you dont,” says Boris Johnson and shares how he and his family once imitated Eddie Murphy in “Beverly Hills Cop” to play a trick on a reporter. LONDON London mayor Boris Johnson in a newspaper editorial on Monday spoke out against planned U.K. press regulation following the Leveson Inquiry report late last year. our editor recommends “We are on the verge of eroding the freedom of the press,” Johnson wrote in the Daily Telegraph . “It’s a vigorous, voracious press that keeps our country honest. Regulating the media would undermine its ferocious ability to highlight wrongdoing.” He called a planned royal charter outlining the new regulation a “monstrous folly.” Johnson also suggested that a political expenses scandal led British politicians to call for the Leveson Inquiry, not the phone hacking scandal surrounding Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. “It was the hacking cases that gave them their pretext,” he wrote. Johnson also argued Monday that Britain’s current laws sufficiently protect people from media abuse. “We already have abundant law against obscenity or breach of official secrets. We have laws against libel and defamation, against bugging, hacking, theft, bribery of public officials,” he wrote. “We have a growing tort of breach of privacy. We have no need of some new body backed by statute…and it is wrong in principle.” Concluded the London mayor: “You either have a free press or you dont. You cant sell the pass, and admit the principle of regulation because it is in the nature of regulation that it swells and grows.
Credit: Reuters/Max Rossi LONDON/MILAN | Wed Oct 16, 2013 8:24pm BST LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) – Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena (BMPS.MI) will sound out foreign investors in London over the next few days to raise support for a hefty 2.5 billion euro (2.11 billion pounds) capital increase that the troubled Italian bank must complete next year. UBS (UBSN.VX), which is advising the Tuscan lender on the much-needed cash call, is to lead the round of contacts that will in any case be preliminary, a financial source told Reuters on Wednesday. Monte dei Paschi, Italy’s third-largest bank by assets, was forced to take 4.1 billion euros of state aid to stay afloat after getting hammered by the euro zone crisis and a set of hazardous derivatives deals now at the centre of a criminal investigation in Italy. The European Commission, which rules on state aid in the European Union, has demanded the bank carry out the capital increase, which is more than twice the amount originally envisaged, in exchange for approving the rescue plan. The EU’s executive has also requested a tougher restructuring plan, which Monte dei Paschi unveiled earlier this month. Failure to convince investors to subscribe to the capital increase will result in nationalisation of the bank as the state aid was offered in the form of convertible loans that would be turned into equity. So far French Insurer Axa (AXAF.PA), which has a long-standing partnership with Monte dei Paschi and is also an investor, has said it will join the planned capital hike, taking a stake that it is proportional to its 3.73 percent investment in the Siena lender. Monte dei Paschi Chief Executive Fabrizio Viola said earlier this month a formal road show with investors was likely to start only after the bank’s third-quarter results on November 14. Monte dei Paschi declined to comment. (Reporting by Sophie Sassard in London and Silvia Aloisi in Milan, Writing by Lisa Jucca; editing by David Evans)
pubdate:10/16/2013 15:46 EDT! commentPeriod:14! commentEndDate:10/30/13 3:46 EDT! currentDate:10/16/13 8:0 EDT! allowComments:true! displayComments:true! Protesting firefighters serenade Judi Dench at London premiere of Philomena CAPTION By Associated Press, LONDON Judi Dench has been serenaded by firefighters as she arrived for the London premiere of her latest film. Dench walked the red carpet in Leicester Square Wednesday for the London Film Festival screening of Philomena. Looking for things to do? Select one or more criteria to search Kid-friendly Get ideas The movie tells the true story of Irishwoman Philomena Lees quest to track down the son she was forced to give up for adoption 50 years earlier. Members of the Fire Brigades Union, drinking at a pub after a protest march against pension cuts, spotted the 78-year-old star, chanted We love you Judi and broke into a rendition of Beatles song Hey Jude. The Stephen Frears-directed film also stars Steve Coogan as Martin Sixsmith, a journalist who helped Lee in her search and wrote a book about her story. Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.