Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Morning Brief: Reports say Facebook iPad to be unveiled at iPhone 5 event; Labour MP makes phone hacking accusation against another UK newspaper at debate

Strange, isn't it, that only one day after a blog report about the developer of Facebook's iPad app quitting the company should come word that Facebook will actually launch the app at the next Apple event.
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Yesterday came reports about a blog post by Jeff Verkoeyen who said he worked on the Facebook iPad app but quit after the company kept delaying its launch. But Verkoeyen's website is now missing in action, along with his blog post.

Then came word that the missing Facebook app would make its debut at Apple's event on October 4 where the company is expected to unveil its next generation iPhone. Whether Facebook will be a majro part of the presentation or just have their app mentioned is unknown because the reports at this time are all rather vague – which, of course, means that could be completely untrue.



A Labour MP, Tom Watson, is alleging that the Sun newspaper was involved in phone hacking. The Guardian this morning is reporting on the allegations made at an emergency motion debate where the fiery MP has called on James Murdoch to step down as chairman of the British satellite TV provider BSkyB.

The Guardian, of course, has led the inquiry into the phone hacking activities carried on by News International's tabloid News of the World, and while there have been accusations that other British newspapers may have also employed less than honorable methods to gather their stories no proof has so far emerged that any papers other than the Murdoch owned papers have hacked into the voicemail systems of British citizens.

"Do you really think that hacking only happened on the News of the World?" Tom Watson is quoted by The Guardian as asking. "Ask Dominic Mohan, the current editor of the Sun. He used to joke about lax security at Vodafone when he attended celebrity parties. Ask the editor of the Sun if he thinks Rupert Murdoch's contagion has spread to other newspapers. If he gives you an honest answer, he'll tell you it's only a matter of time before we find the Sun in the evidence file of the convicted private investigator that hacked Milly Dowler's phone."



Stock markets are surging this morning after word came out that was a possible deal concerning Greek debt, and that the US government would not be facing a shutdown.

FEMA informed Congress that it had enough money currently on hand, $114 million, to make it through the week and that it could then draw off of its next fiscal year's money to fund disaster relief.

The news headed off yet another showdown between Democrats and Tea Party Republicans who wanted any additional funding for FEMA offset by cuts in spending elsewhere. Unsaid in the whole episode, though, is the question of why additional funding was proposed in the first place if FEMA had the money on hand. It also was another defeat for Democrats who could not get their spending proposals through Congress, while the Republicans, who want nothing passed anyway, can walk away saying they prevented additional spending.

“In my view, this entire fire drill was completely unnecessary,” the Republican leader Senator Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, is quoted as stating by the NYT.

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