Thursday, November 10, 2011

Morning Brief: Rioters target media over firing of football coach; Papdemos becomes the new Greek prime minister; James Murdoch testifies before Parliament

Groups of students rioted in downtown State College, Pennsylvania last night after word was spread that the football coach of Penn State was fired by the board of directors. The firing occurred following the arrest of Jerry Sandusky, the former defensive coordinator, on charges of sexual abuse of minors.

One of the targets of the unrest was the media which some see as enflaming the scandal. A news van was toppled and newspaper boxes overturned as rioters threw rocks and fireworks at police.

There is certainly irony that some PSU students would riot over the firing of a millionaire football coach but not skyrocketing tuition fees and the increasing debt students must accrue in order to get a college education.

The last home game of the season occurs on Saturday and it promises to be a media circus.

Greece finally has its new prime minister. This afternoon Athens time, a new government was announced with Lucas Papademos as the new prime minister. Papademos is a former vice president of the European Central Bank and was widely expected to be named the new prime minister before talks between the major parties broke down yesterday. (Photo of Papademos courtesy of Athens News.)

The delay in the formation of the new government was a huge embarrassment for the parties involved in negotiations and led to more uncertainty at a time when the Italian debt crisis was also growing.

Markets are up in Europe following the news from Greece.

The campaign of Rick Perry continued to implode following a debate performance where the Texas governor could not remember the name of the agency he wanted to cut. Apparently that third agency is the Energy Department, the other two being the Commerce and Education Departments.

James Murdoch is testifying again this afternoon (London time) before a Parliament panel about the phone hacking and spying scandal that has engulfed News Corp. and led to the closing down of the News of the World.

Murdoch is getting tough questioning about the activities of Murdoch owned newspapers. Murdoch has been asked if, for instance, he will close The Sun if it is found that the same activities that occurred at the News of the World also occurred at The Sun.

Unlike at the previous testimony, James Murdoch sits in front of the panel alone, without the presence of his father, Rupert Murdoch.

The Fairfax family has sold its stake in Fairfax Media, according to the WSJ. The family's stake in the Sydney-based newspaper company came to 190.1 million Australian dollars.

"We believe this decision is prudent as transitioning to a more balanced and diversified investment portfolio is in the best long-term interests of our family," Marinya Media Chairman John B. Fairfax said in a statement. "That said, given Marinya's longstanding relationship with Fairfax and Rural Press this decision was not easy."

And finally this morning I see that it's snowing outside. Yuck.