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News International Chief Rebekah Brooks Resigns

News International Chief Executive, Rebekah Brooks
Rebekah Brooks, the top British executive working for Rupert Murdoch's embattled News Corporation, has stepped down amid growing controversy over the massive company's journalistic practices.

Brooks, the chief executive of News International, the British arm of News Corporation -- which includes the "Times of London" and "Sun" newspapers as well as the Sky News broadcaster -- announced her resignation on July 15.

The move comes one day after she agreed to answer questions from a British parliamentary committee probing the company's use of voicemail hacking to report on politicians, the British royal family, and victims of crime and terrorist attacks in both Britain and the United States.

Rising anger over the scandal forced the closure last week of the "News of the World," a News International publication that was Britain's best-selling tabloid.

In a statement, Brooks said she felt "a deep sense of responsibility for the people we have hurt."

British Prime Minister David Cameron, a close acquaintance of Brooks,' had urged her resignation during the past several days. A Cameron spokesman said today Brooks had made the right decision.

Tom Mockridge, the chief executive officer of Sky Italia, is set to replace Brooks.

The resignation comes as U.S. prosecutors are conducting a preliminary investigation into the reporting tactics of News Corporation publications in the United States, including the "New York Post" and the "Wall Street Journal."

Speaking in Australia, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said on July 15 that his office is responding to calls from members of Congress for an investigation into whether the phones of victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks were hacked.

"There have been members of Congress in the United States who have asked us to investigate those same allegations and we are progressing in that regard, using the appropriate federal law enforcement agencies in the United States," he said.

News Corporation, the world's second-largest media company, has seen its stock price sink since the scandal began.

compiled from agency reports