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Rupert and James Murdoch Grilled in Parliament; Japan's World Cup Champs Get Heroes' Welcome Back Home; Motocross Racer Flies Off Bike But Still Finishes Race; Contador Makes Move in Tour's 16th Stage; Blackburn Rovers Postpone Trip to India; Cargo With a Kick; Green Pioneer Sheep Farmers in Argentina

Aired July 19, 2011 - 16:00:00   ET


BECKY ANDERSON, HOST: I'm Becky Anderson outside London's houses of parliament, where behind those walls, the world has been gripped by a day of drama and denials.


RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: This is the most humble day of my life.


ANDERSON: Appearing before Britain's politicians, Rupert Murdoch is contrite, but refuses to accept blame for the phone hacking scandal.

Well, in the end, it was his wife who leapt to his defense, as the media mogul was attacked by a protester.

Tonight, as the public's anger grows, are we any closer to knowing who knew what and when?

These stories and more tonight as we connect the world.

Well, pointed questions, profuse apologies, but also plenty of bobbing and weaving. It all happened at td's historic and bizarre hearings on Britain's phone hacking scandal. Two weeks after the scandal blew up, members of Britain's parliament got their chance to interrogate the world's biggest media baron, his son and the former editor of the now shut down "News of the World" tabloid newspaper.

Well, during his three hours in the hot seat, News Corp CEO Rupert Murdoch denied responsibility for any wrongdoing and stated that he's still the best man to lead his empire. Murdoch's son James fielded most of the questions and also told lawmakers he had no knowledge of particular transgressions and who authorized them.

Well, similar claims from the woman who ran "News of the World" during the height of the alleged wrongdoing. Rebekah Brooks told lawmakers she has never paid a police officer or sanctioned any payment to the police.

Well, throughout our coverage of the phone hacking hearings, I'll be joined by Andrew Porter. He's the political editor of "The Daily Telegraph" newspaper. And we'll add insight into News Corp's crisis and just how tarnished he believes its reputation has become.

But first this evening, some background on the key players that were grilled today here at the Houses of Commons.

Rupert Murdoch was born into the newspaper business in Australia and is now a chairman and CEO of News Corp. The 80 -year-old has American citizenship and media enterprises in multiple countries.

Thirty-eight -year-old James Murdoch is seen as the heir to his father's entire media empire. He's current deputy chief operating officer, chairman and CEO of News International. That is the British newspaper branch of News Corp, which owned and they then -- then closed the "News of the World" tabloid.

Rebekah Brooks held the top job at that tabloid from 2000 until 2003. She resigned as chief executive of the paper's parent company, News International, on Friday. Brooks was arrested on Sunday on phone hacking allegations and for allegedly bribing police officers.

Well, let's get back to those hearings today, the meat of the Murdochs' testimony, in what was really a remarkable security breach.

Dan Rivers shows us just how the day played out.



RUPERT MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN AND CEO, NEWS CORPORATION: I would just like to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life.

DAN RIVERS, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): This was how Rupert Murdoch started. But despite his apparent contrition, he surely had no idea what was about to literally hit him.

In what should have been a secure hearing room, a personal attack on one of the world's most powerful media tycoons. His wife, Wendi, parrying a protester with a shaving cream pie who was off camera.

As the police ran in, it was clear Mr. Murdoch was unhurt and proceedings were suspended.

Before that, Rupert Murdoch sought to distance himself from the "News of the World," previously thought to be one of his favorite titles.

RUPERT MURDOCH: This is not as an excuse. Maybe it's an explanation of my laxity. The "News of the World" is less than 1 percent of our company. I employ 53,000 people around the world, who are proud and great and ethical and distinguished people.

RIVERS: One of them was sitting right beside him, his son, James, whose apparent lack of knowledge of the detail of the phone hacking scandal at times seemed almost comical. Here questioned about key documents that weren't initially handed over from News International's lawyers to the police.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Was Colin Mayer (ph) aware of this evidence lying with the -- with the Hamilton Boos (ph)?

JAMES MURDOCH, CHAIRMAN, NEWS INTERNATIONAL: I -- I cannot speak to other individuals' knowledge in the past. I just -- I simply don't...


JAMES MURDOCH: I simply...


JAMES MURDOCH: -- I simply, Mr. Farrelly (ph), can't -- I just don't -- I can't speak for them.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: And Stewart -- Stewart, that's a journal (INAUDIBLE) pronunciation. Sorry.

Stewart Cutner (ph)?

JAMES MURDOCH: The same goes, Mr. Farrelly. I simply can't speak for them.

RIVERS: Critics would call this stonewalling. But James Murdoch was clear on one point.

JAMES MURDOCH: First of all, I would like to say, as well, just how sorry I am and how sorry we are to particularly the victims of illegal voice-mail interceptions and to their families.

RIVERS: At times, Rupert Murdoch appeared overwhelmed or perhaps unsure how to answer -- awkward silences following specific questions.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. Murdoch, at what point did you find out that criminality was endemic at "News of the World?"

RIVERS: The overwhelming impression the Murdochs gave was of two men who were, at best, out of touch with what was happening in their company, at worst, willfully ignorant, a phrase that was lost on James Murdoch.

ADRIAN SANDERS, BRITISH PARLIAMENTARIAN: Are you familiar with the term willful blindness?

JAMES MURDOCH: Mr. Sanders, would you care to elaborate?

SANDERS: It is a term that came up in the Enron scandal. Willful blindness is a legal term. It states that if there is knowledge that you could have had and should have had, but chose not to have, you are still responsible.

JAMES MURDOCH: Mr. Sanders, do you care to elaborate?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: It is a term that came up in the Enron scandal. And willful blindness is a legal term. It states that if there is knowledge that you could have had and should have had but chose not to have, you are still responsible.

JAMES MURDOCH: Mr. Sanders, do you have a question?





JAMES MURDOCH: I don't know what you'd like me to say.


ADRIAN SANDERS: The question was whether you aware...


JAMES MURDOCH: I'm not aware of that.


JAMES MURDOCH: I'm not aware of that particular phrase.

RIVERS: It was then the turn of Rebekah Brooks. She had previously told the committee this.

REBEKAH BROOKS, FORMER EDITOR, "NEWS OF THE WORLD": We have paid the police for information in the past.

RIVERS: The same question again, but a different answer.

BROOKS: I can say that I have never paid a policeman myself. I've never sanctioned or knowingly sanctioned a payment to a police officer. I was referring, if you saw, at the time of the Home -- the first select committee recently and that you'd have various crime editors from Fleet Street discussing that, in the past, payments have been made to police officers.

I was -- I was ne -- I was referring to -- to that wide-held belief, not widespread practice. And, in fact, in my experience of dealing with the police, the information they give to newspapers comes -- it comes free of charge.

RIVERS: But the scandal has come with an incredible cost to News International. A year ago, the name Murdoch put fear into the hearts of many British politicians. Today, it was clear the politicians have no fear.

Dan Rivers, CNN, Westminster.


ANDERSON: What a day here at Westminster.

Well, after the shaving cream incident, Louise Mensch, a member of parliament, praised Rupert Murdoch for having, quote, "the guts" to stick around for more questioning.

CNN producer Jonathan Wald witnessed the splattering, the flanning (ph), as we historically call it here in the U.K., and -- and it's aftermath -- well, then talk us what you saw -- or what you saw.

JONATHAN WALD, CNN PRODUCER: Well, a -- a male appeared. He was clearly sitting in the back of the room. And he suddenly appeared in front of me. And I was sat directly behind Rupert Murdoch and just a little bit to the left.

He was carrying a plastic bag. The next thing I -- no one really was sure what he was going to do, but he didn't seem threatening.

The next thing we knew, he takes out a polystyrene plate and plunges it into the face of Rupert Murdoch.

It went everywhere. I -- i soon discovered, because enough of it landed on me that it was shaving cream. It went as far as about five meters into the corner of the room. I saw another corres -- another journalist wiping it from his brow. And -- and, yes, it was -- it was extremely dramatic.

When the Murdoch -- Rupert Murdoch's wife let -- just was -- had the greatest reaction of anyone in the room. And she even struck a blow and managed to hit him with her right hand before the policemen in the room removed and arrested him.

ANDERSON: Who was this guy?

WALD: I went around to all the police officers in the House of Commons, trying to get some information as to who he was and what his background was. And they were -- they -- they had a -- a tone of urgency in all -- the only thing they would tell me was that this was a -- a live inquire -- a live incident. They were urgently investigating it.

ANDERSON: What did he say?

WALD: He -- he stood there, as -- after he had thrown this shaving cream into Rupert Murdoch's face and -- with a strange intonation, as if he were scolding him, and said, "You're a greedy billionaire," and then was abruptly removed.

So it was -- it was a very unusual and dramatic scene.

ANDERSON: We believe his name is Johnnie Marbles, although we haven't had that confirmed to us by the police. And if he is, he's part of a group which protests against tax avoidance, I believe, here in the UK. There, as he was led away.

John Thune, thank you very much, indeed, for joining us.

Well, that was an interesting one there.

And from the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks, we heard contrite tones during the testimony and many polite answers.

But were lawmakers tough enough in their questioning and cross- examination?

Well, we are examining -- have assembled a panel of experts to weigh in on the outcome of today's hearings.

This is what they said.


GEOFFREY ROBERTSON, MEDIA LAW EXPERT: They were nervous at the beginning and there was some uncertainty. And the son was attempting to cover-up for the father.

ALLYSON STEWART-ALLEN, DIRECTOR, INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PARTNERS: One of the things that's really interesting about what we've heard today from both Rupert and James Murdoch is two executives who appear to be profoundly hands-off in the running of a global enterprise. You know, any advice I would give a client who is an international company about appearing before parliamentary committee would be to be on top of the facts.

MICHAEL COCKERELL, POLITICAL DOCUMENTARY MAKER: And the interesting thing was here was Rupert Murdoch in front of a British parliamentary committee. Rupert doesn't do interviews. He's never given evidence to -- to a parliamentary committee before. Normally, he -- he would be like the pope. He would give an audience to -- to a journalist who was at his knees.

ROBERTSON: Probably the lasting image of today will be Rupert Murdoch being snuck in at the back of Number Ten by various prime ministers, not his choice. And I think he was utterly believable on that -- the decision of prime ministers to hide the influence that he wields as after the election, they call on him to thank him for his support.

STEWART-ALLEN: You know, on a couple of occasions, I saw Rupert Murdoch sort of reach out and grab his son's arm, which implied to me that, no, son, I'm in control and in charge. Be quiet.

COCKERELL: I don't think that the public will be satisfied by not -- not so much with the questions asked, but the -- the answers, because there was an extraordinary disconnect between what really goes on in newspapers and the way that the -- the two senior executives of News International were talking about, that News Corp were -- were talking about, the grubby business of -- of getting news.


ANDERSON: All right. Reaction there to today's testimony from our panel of guests, assembled, listening throughout what was five hours worth of questioning of the Murdochs first, and then, of course, of Rebekah Brooks, as she is now known.

Joining me now is the former political editor from "News of the World".

That's David Wooding. And conservative MP, Dr. Therese Coffey, who was among the panelists asking the tough questions at today's hearing.

I'll start with you, Dr. Coffey.

Were you satisfied with what you heard today?

THERESE COFFEY, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Well, I was pleased that they didn't try to hide behind the criminal investigation ongoing. And there were a few instances when they declined to answer further.

But I thought, overall, we covered quite a lot of ground. And although people may have been screaming at the TV, ask this, ask the other, actually, I thought we actually uncovered, by some of our questionings, what Rupert Murdoch didn't know and that we were surprised he didn't know.

So I think on -- on all sorts of fronts, I thought we did all right, but clearly, we want to follow up with some written questions to some of the things they didn't answer today.

But I think it lays the ground quite well for the judicial inquiry and our debate tomorrow.


DAVID WOODING, FORMER POLITICAL EDITOR, "NEWS OF THE WORLD": Well, I thought -- I thought we learned that -- the lines of defense, that they didn't know very much and they're innocent. They've got nothing to do with hacking, they say, and -- and their -- their defense is clearly that they were ignorant of it, that there were other people lower down the food chain who knew all about it.

I think the -- I think Therese is right. I think the -- the MPs did get some good stuff out of them. I also thought the -- the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks did well, too. They answered the questions. They came over as genuinely apologetic for what happened and quite horrified. And -- and seemed to be open and willing to talk.

ANDERSON: David, you are there political editor of the now defunct "News of the World." And there was much apology to the employees of that paper from the Murdochs, although they said they closed that paper because they were ashamed of it.

Your reaction?

WOODING: Yes. We -- we -- I'm glad to hear that. What they did say, which -- which pleased me -- it was the first, probably the first time I've heard it said, is that -- that -- that the people who lost their jobs, the 260, 270 people working on the "News of the World," were completely innocent and had nothing to do with the phone hacking, which, of course, happened five to 10 years ago.

But they said the brand had been so badly damaged that the only answer was to close it down. There's obviously commercial reasons for that and they've made those decisions and -- and we're victims as much as the hackers' victims were victims.

ANDERSON: Well, because, see I -- I have to refer back to the incident which was quite something...


ANDERSON: -- about 20, 25 minutes before the end of the cross- examination of the two Murdochs.

Just described what you saw and -- and how you reacted.

COFFEY: Well, quite literally, we just saw somebody appear at Rupert Murdoch's side and shove something in his face. And then he uttered something, too, which I couldn't quite work out, but clearly was an insult of some kind.

Clearly, Mrs. Murdoch sprung into action. And the police came over.

But I think members of the committee were shocked at how that was able to happen, but also relieved that it wasn't more dangerous. It could have been anything, I suppose, and relieved that it wasn't a more serious incident.

ANDERSON: And -- and it was right to have apologized for the Murdochs and moved on?

COFFEY: I think absolutely. And to Rupert Murdoch's credit, he agreed to carry on giving evidence when he could have walked away. But I - - I -- I think it's something that obviously a speaker's inquiry has already started. And it's a very serious incident within parliament.

ANDERSON: A picture of Wendi Deng or Wendi Murdoch, who was there for Mr. Murdoch today.

WOODING: She's got a good right hook, as the chairman said afterwards, one of the sound bites of the whole event.

Yes, it was quite a shock. And when you looked at the picture slowly, from where we saw the -- the feed outside, you -- you could see James Murdoch, a real look of horror. We -- we at that time, thought there may have been something slightly more dangerous than a custard pie. But I mean this story keeps throwing up new lines every day. And today, we had a big story in itself, with the two Murdochs, the two most powerful men in newspapers in the world and -- and their chief executive, all before the MPs being interrogated.

How can you top that?

And it was topped by somebody sticking a custard pie in the big man's face.

ANDERSON: Yes, a shaving foam pie, as we now know it to have been.

All right, both of you, we thank you very much, indeed, for taking time out.

COFFEY: Thank you.

ANDERSON: We're going to move on.

COFFEY: Thank you.


When we come back, we'll have more of the grilling from Britain's lawmakers on this phone hacking story. But this time, it was the police in the firing line.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: Here it is, 20 minutes past 9:00 in London.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

I'm Becky Anderson tonight, joining you from outside London's houses of parliament, where inside, those in the spotlight of the U.K. phone hacking scandal have been testifying as to exactly what they knew and when they knew it.

Well, you've heard from Rupert Murdoch, his son James and one of his former senior executives, Rebekah Brooks.

Now, down the hall, two of Britain's top police officials who have both resigned in the space of just 24 hours, also defending their roles in the police or the phone hacking scandal before a Home Affairs Select Committee.

Let's take a look now at who these two policemen are and why they've had to give evidence.

First up is John Yates, Scotland Yard's former head of counter- terrorism. He came under fire for his handling of the scandal and his decision in 2009 not to reopen inquiries into allegations against Rupert Murdoch's "News of the World" newspaper. He resigned on Monday, just a day after his boss.

Well, that man is Paul Stephenson, the London Metropolitan Police chief, who resigned on Sunday. He says he behaved ethically, but decided to step down because of increased scrutiny of his conduct and his police force's actions.

Well, both men face a tough day before British lawmakers on the relationship between British police and Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

CNN's Atika Shubert that's a look at their testimony.


ATIKA SHUBERT, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, lawmakers grilled Britain's senior police officers today in parliament. But there were no smoking guns. Instead, just embarrassing revelations about the very cozy relationship between British police and News International.

The first person to testify was Paul Stephenson, the outgoing commissioner for the London Metropolitan Police. He said he resigned from his post. He has put in his resignation, not because he did anything wrong, but because he was assuming responsibility in his role as Britain's top cop.


PAUL STEPHENSON, OUTGOING METROPOLITAN POLICE COMMISSIONER : I'm going because I'm a leader. Leadership is not about popularity. It's not about good press and it's not about spinning. It's about making decisions that put your organization, your mission and the people you lead first.


SHUBERT: Now, the next person in the hot seat was Dick Fedorcio. He was the man in charge of the police's public relations and communications department. Interestingly, one of the facts to come out of these hearings was the fact that nearly a quarter of the staff at the public relations department were former News International employees. Once again, underscoring that very tight and cozy relationship between News International and British police.

Finally, lawmakers grilled John Yates. Of course, he was the man who was responsible for reviewing the original phone hacking investigation. And he was supposed to have looked at the evidence and decided whether or not there was more to the scandal.

He decided at the time that there was not and he decided not to pursue that investigation. Of course, we know now that, in fact, there were thousands more phone mail messages that apparently may have been hacked.

ANDERSON: Atika Shubert reporting there, following the Home Affairs Committee hearing today with John Yates and the Paul Stephenson, the star guests.

Our guest tonight is Andrew Porter, political editor for "The Daily Telegraph".

Your response to what we heard from the two top policemen in the U.K. who have, of course, resigned their positions?

ANDREW PORTER, POLITICAL EDITOR, "DAILY TELEGRAPH": Well, I think it's very interesting what they were saying in terms of their own resignations, obviously, the fact that this is Britain's top policeman forced into going.

He was very keen to try and explain this issue about his own -- the reasons he went. Neil Wallis, a guy he had employed as a P.R. adviser, trying to equate it to David Cameron's own position, employing, actually, that guy, Neil Wallis' editor, Andy Coulson. He went into Number Ten and worked at Downing Street for David Cameron.

Basically, that's what's blown up this evening in terms of the relationship between -- between these people, Downing Street dragged into it again, this whole relationship between the prime minister's office and the officers and the conduct with Neil Wallis.

And I think that's what's going to be in tomorrow's papers in terms of...


PORTER: -- in terms of the evidence of the police officers.

ANDERSON: All right, let's get back to the Murdochs today.

Neither of them accepting responsibility. Neither of them saying that they knew what was going on or when it was going on. But certainly Rupert Murdoch was grilled as to why he wasn't taking responsibility given his position as CEO and chairman of News Corporation and why he wasn't effectively responsibly for good governance.

Now, this is what he said.

Have a listen.


JIM SHERIDAN, BRITISH PARLIAMENT MEMBER: Mr. Murdoch, do you accept that ultimately you are responsible for this whole fiasco?


SHERIDAN: You're not responsible?

Who is responsible?

RUPERT MURDOCH: The people that I trusted to run and then maybe the people that they trusted.


ANDERSON: He didn't name who those people were. He did suggest that he runs a company of 53,000 people, that "News of the World" was some 1 percent of its business while it was still around, though he couldn't oversee everything.

Good enough?

PORTER: Probably in terms of his own position and News Corp's position. But I think in terms of the MPs, they really wanted someone to be accountable today. And I didn't get that with Rupert Murdoch. As you say, he was very clear. That was actually in his pre-prepared statement, this point about 1 percent of his business being the "News of the World".

The MPs actually didn't let him make that statement. The News International had to release that separately.

But I think, actually, they really wanted someone to take responsibility. Rupert Murdoch didn't do that (INAUDIBLE).

ANDERSON: He did make a closing statement in which he said that phone hacking is wrong and that police bribery is wrong.

When all is said and done, this was about trying to find out who knew what when and if there was any culpability, criminal culpability, as it were, for senior executives in News Corporation.

What did we really learn at the end of today?

PORTER: I'm actually not too sure we learned too much, to be honest with you. I think that we will only see, when the police conduct their investigations about where they -- they've seen more of the incriminated evidence, one would suggest, in terms of e-mails with relation to payments of police officers, private investigators that are involved in phone hacking.

So, actually, I think the forensic questioning of MPs today -- James Murdoch was very good at talking in the round, very sort of polished in a - - in a sort of almost a mid-Atlantic type way, responding to those -- responding to those questions. but I don't think he really -- the MPs pinned him or his father down in terms of -- in terms of who was responsible ultimately.

ANDERSON: Thank you.

Our guest joining us tonight with some expert analysis.

You're watching CONNECT THE WORLD.

Coming up, our special coverage of the phone hacking saga continues.

I'm Becky Anderson in Westminster in London.

Stay with us.


ANDERSON: A very warm welcome back.

I'm Becky Anderson outside the houses of parliament in London with a special program on the ever widening phone hacking scandal here. we saw the Murdochs and Rebekah Brooks being questioned by parliamentarians today.

And Wall Street kept a close eye on those hearings, along with the rumors of a shake-up at the top of News Corp.

And I want to bring in Felicia Taylor, outside the News Corporation buildings in New York -- Felicia, if people thought they were going to hear a statement from the CEO and chairman, Rupert Murdoch, who is 80 years old, of course, grilled today by parliamentarians. If they thought they were going to hear that he was stepping down, well, they were disappointed.

How did the shareholders react (ph)?

FELICIA TAYLOR, CNN CORRESPONDENT: You're right, they were looking for some kind of indication that there might be a change in the succession plan. That's not what we heard today. And frankly, as far -- as far as shareholders are concerned, that wasn't a bad thing, because that means everything stays in place.

And for shareholders, they got a rise of about 5.5 percent. The stock gaining today. So we've now seen -- although the stock has been on a -- a downturn since July 5th, shareholders like the fact that there's actually nothing that they see wrong about the company.

We didn't hear anything from them in terms of a -- a surprise today. So, again, that was good news for them.

And, frankly, the newspaper business isn't the business that makes money for the company. It's the cable divisions, such as Fox News, which is also headquartered right here in Manhattan.

So for shareholders, they weren't disappointed at all. And, frankly, they think that this is just going to go away in time. This is almost what they're calling their BP moment.

Take a listen.


BARTON CROCKETT, MEDIA ANALYST, LAZARD CAPITAL MARKETS: I think, at the end of the day, you look one or two years after this, you know, when the controversy is decided, we know the full extent of it. I think people will take another look at News Corp and realize it's a very big business. And all of this stuff, it's really a flea on the back of an elephant. And you'll have a very profitable company focused on TV networks that will be growing very well. And I think it will attract investor interest once again.


TAYLOR: So it's not the newspaper that actually makes money for the Rupert Murdoch empire. It's the television division, the cable channels, their film companies (INAUDIBLE) Searchlight. It's that. And, frankly, even the phone hacking scandal isn't going to make people turn away from Fox Sports or Fox News.

So there's no actual spillover. So as far as the business is concerned, it's healthy. And if they did hear the succession plan, pretty much, Rupert Murdoch has that kind of in place. He's -- we've heard rumors about Chase Carey possibly being the person that would slide into that CEO seat. He's at -- the now chief operating officer and people like Chase very, very much, as well, on Wall Street, that is. He has a great track record. He's always been on the broadcast side. He's never been on the print side. So he's almost removed from the scandal itself.

So even if we did hear something about a succession plan, that wouldn't be bad for shareholders of News Corp -- Becky.

ANDERSON: All right. We thank you for that. Felicia Taylor is outside the News Corporation's headquarters there in New York.

There's other news, of course, going on today. Ralitsa Vassileva is going to update us at CNN Center. Ralitsa, what's ahead on CONNECT THE WORLD?

RALITSA VASSILEVA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Becky, it was a busy day for Japan's new heroes. Just ahead, the women's World Cup champs received accolades back home. And find out what they have to say about their stunning victory. That's after the break, so stay right here.


ANDERSON: You're back with CONNECT THE WORLD here on CNN. I'm Becky Anderson outside London's Houses of Parliament. What a day. Let's get you a check of the headlines this hour.

Rupert Murdoch denies ultimate responsibility for Britain's phone- hacking scandal and says he won't step down. The News Corporation chairman and his son James were grilled by -- for three hours by parliament members here in London earlier today. The senior Murdoch called today the most humble day of his life.

Well, the hearing was briefly brought to a dramatic halt when a spectator hit Rupert Murdoch with a foam pie, calling him a "naughty billionaire." Murdoch's wife Wendy jumped to his aid while security escorted the man away. British media are identifying him as a comedian named Johnnie Marbles.

In other news, the chief of staff of the Israeli Defense Forces confirmed that the navy seized a boat full of activists as the vessel approached Gaza. The boat had set sail from Greece with the goal of breaking what activists call "Israel's siege of Gaza."

US president Barack Obama is praising a bipartisan deficit reduction plan put together by six senators. He says he'll continue working for a grand compromise. The government must raise the debt ceiling by August the 2nd or risk going into default.

And stocks surged late in the US after Mr. Obama spoke, the Dow Jones jumping 201 points, and the NASDAQ rose by 2.1 percent.

And those are the headlines this hour.

And I'll be back with more on what is -- has been a momentous day here at Westminster in 20 minutes time. Let's head, though, to CNN Center, Ralitsa Vassileva. Ralitsa, they are, apparently, still celebrating a women's World Cup victory in Japan.

VASSILEVA: That's right, Becky. The women's national football squad returned home to Tokyo this morning to a rousing heroes' welcome. One of the first things, though, that the team members did was pay tribute to those who died in the earthquake and tsunami in March.

Japan won the women's World Cup title Sunday in Germany with a thrilling victory over the favored US team on penalty kicks. Let's talk more about Japan's victory and also other happenings in the world of sports with Candy Reid, joining me here in the studio.

This team lifted the spirits of an entire nation with their win.

CANDY REID, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: Absolutely. And interestingly enough, they watched DVDs of actually the earthquake and tsunami to inspire them, to propel them onto victory, because seeing what happened to so many people back home -- they're playing football, it's so easy, isn't it?

And look what they did. As you said, they inspired the entire nation. A really remarkable achievement.

Japan weren't the best team overall at the World Cup. They even admitted that the USA had actually outplayed them in the final, but Homare Sawa, a five-time World Cup veteran, she's been playing for the national team for 18 years, would you believe it?

She just said perseverance was the key. It sent a tremendous message back home, and we can hear from the World Cup-winning captain. She thanked all her people back home for Japan's historic victory.


HOMARE SAWA, JAPANESE TEAM CAPTAIN (through translator): Thank you all for your support for us. Although it was a long, long way to reach the world number one, but it's good that we never gave up.

We were not able to win the championship without support from people here. Thank you again. I hope it will be someday in the future Japan is able to host the World Cup.


REID: Sawa indicated before the tournament that she might actually retire -- she's 32 -- from football after the World Cup, but in that press conference, she was actually talking about playing in the Olympics, and really -- so I wouldn't be at all surprised if she's playing in the next World Cup in four years time.

And wouldn't it be wonderful if Japan would be able to hold this show piece in the future?

VASSILEVA: That would be just wonderful. And you know, I was wondering what it would do for the sport, for women's soccer?

REID: Well, absolutely tremendous. We saw 75,000 people watch the game live, the final live, and that was just amazing. And so many more watching, millions watching at home.

This really was a tremendous tournament for football -- women's football in general. Even Cesc Fabregras, who plays for Arsenal and probably will play for Barcelona shortly, he said, "These players are really good." He said, "Some of them are actually better than us." And that's quite a statement from Cesc Fabregas.

VASSILEVA: It is. What else is happening in the world of sports today?

REID: Well, we've got so much. In fact, we've got some terrific stuff from motor sport, motocross, in fact. This is a man called Chad Reed, and I must say, no relation to me.

But just watch this. Flies off his bike, really, isn't that incredible? And no, he wasn't out. He was -- he continued on. He got back onto his bike and he finished in 14th and he maintained his lead in the motocross standing. So, that's pretty terrific.

Now, let's continue onto the Tour de France, and the wearer of the overall leader's yellow jersey knows his advantage at the Tour could soon be up after reigning champion Alberto Contador finally made a move on stage 16 of the grueling three-week race.

And with the toughest climb still to come, including the highest finish in Tour history, Thomas Voeckler is savoring every minute in the maillot jaune, and he says he won't give it up without a fight.

And here he is, the current hero of all of France, but he found himself under extreme pressure from the likes of Cadel Evans, the Australian, and Contador, the Spaniard.

It was supposed to be a transition stage ahead of three consecutive days in the Alps, but in changeable conditions, Contador began testing his rival with a series of accelerations on the only real climb of the day and caught most of his rivals off guard.

Voeckler, as you saw there, tried his best to stay with him but admitted he just didn't have the legs. Contador moved to within three minutes and 42 seconds of him in the overall standings.

Up front, world champion Thor Hushovd won a Norwegian battle with Edvald Boasson Hagen to secure his second individual stage win at the race. But there's Voeckler, he's still in yellow.

Now, English Premier League club Blackburn Rovers have postponed this week's preseason trip to India following the deadly attacks in Mumbai, which claimed the lives of 20 people.

The Indian-owned club said they will reschedule the trip, which was to include a friendly match in Pune on Friday. Pune is about 100 kilometers from Mumbai.

We'll have more football and cycling news on our show, "World Sport," which is in just under 60 minutes time, a half hour sporting extravaganza, I can tell you that.

VASSILEVA: I will be watching. Can't wait. Candy, thank you very much.

Well, coming up next, cargo with a kick. Our Gateway series continues with a look at how moneymaking thoroughbreds are transported all over the world, and we'll show you around a very real horse hotel. You don't want to miss that, coming up next on CONNECT THE WORLD.


VASSILEVA: And welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. Much of what we have touched, driven, or eaten today has probably come from another country. Trains, trucks, boats, and planes all play a part in bringing goods from around the globe into our homes.

Here at CNN, we're taking a look at the cogs of this vital supply chain, taking you inside some of the world's major transportation hubs.

Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport is an important gateway for passengers and cargo, and sometimes that cargo is actually alive and kicking. Becky Anderson has more.


ANDERSON (voice-over): The very first scheduled flight into Schiphol Airport carried passengers and cargo, a stack of newspapers, and a letter from London for the mayor of Amsterdam. The airport has now become one of Europe's main transportation crossroads.

ENNO OSINGA, SVP CARGO, SCHIPHOL AIRPORT: The Netherlands is very much the gateway to Europe. So in fact, what you find is many Japanese, North American companies have their European distribution center in or around Schiphol. They carry their goods here in bulk, and then they redistribute them all over Europe.

Cargo's very important. Not only does it actually contribute to about 20 percent of the result of the airport, but the important thing to remember is large, wide-bodied passenger aircraft carry a lot of cargo, and it's actually because of the cargo that they've become profitable. So, cargo is not just a subject in itself, but it's essential to make aviation business work.

ANDERSON (on camera): A freight plane like this one can hold up to 100 tons of cargo. From food to fashion, from clothing to cars, this plane will be filled to capacity to maximize its yield.

OSINGA: People use cargo every day. Your mobile phone is air cargo. The flowers that you buy are air cargo. Fresh fruit that you eat is air cargo.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Joost Flecken, the load master here.

JOOST FLECKEN, FOREMAN, MARTINAIR CARGO: First, we start in the belly, in the front, because of the balance of the airplane. Then later on, we start on the main deck.

Normally, you have 3,000 kilos, one pallet. But sometimes you have also 19,000 or 17,000, and then you need a lot of people to push it back into the airplane.

Sometimes it's interesting, you have some nice cars, or animals are funny, of course. Birds.

ANDERSON (on camera): Well, these brown boxes and the metal containers you can see over there on the tarmac look pretty nondescript, don't they? But every so often, cargo can be alive and kicking.

ANDERSON (voice-over): Animals traveling through Schiphol have their own facility at the animal hotel. Horses are regular guests here. They make up over half of all the live cargo.

GERALD BERGKAMP, DIRECTOR, VARIATION LIVE: We ship within a group, meaning Air France, KLM, Martinair, more or less 10,000 horses.

We have customs in place, but also we have a veterinarian working around and we have, of course, our own trained people looking at the horses as soon as they arrive to check if they are fit to fly.

ANDERSON: Not far from the animal hotel, a groom is waiting for a special group of passengers.

JENNY KLEIN WILLINK, GROOM, EUROPEAN CARGO SERVICES: I go to fly to Abu Dhabi with five horses, and after Abu Dhabi, we are going to Taipei.

We fly always with our own stables for the safety, and this stable is for three horses, economy. And there's a stable for two horses, that depends on the paying of the customer.

To bring the horses safe to the other side, that's my work.

ANDERSON: The first horses to arrive are warm bloods from Germany.


WILLINK: All fine?


ANDERSON: It's not always straightforward.


WILLINK: The horses, when they are frightened, they want to go. You have to do something, because the horse is big and you are little.

9:00 we're leaving. I hope we have to takeoff, and then we fly seven hours to Abu Dhabi.

ANDERSON: Jenny and the horses are finally on their way. And so is every box and crate containing all the goods we consume and have come to depend on.

ANDERSON (on camera): Last year alone, over a million tons of cargo were transported via Schiphol. That's the equivalent of 350,000 double- decker buses. It's the effectiveness of operations like these that help grease the wheels of globalization.


VASSILEVA: And coming up right here on CONNECT THE WORLD, our special series Green Pioneers continues. We will introduce you to a sheep farmer who's looking to Mother Nature to help save an area of outstanding beauty.


VASSILEVA: Welcome back to CONNECT THE WORLD. All this week here on CNN, we're showcasing Green Pioneers, people who are tackling tough environmental challenges in innovative ways.

Our next special report takes us all the way to Patagonia in Argentina. Brian Byrnes went to meet a family of sheep farmers who are using back-to-nature techniques to save the region's fragile grasslands.


BRIAN BYRNES, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Overlooking the Strait of Magellan at the southern-most tip of continental South America is Monte Dinero, a place of stark beauty, where only the rugged survive.

Here in Patagonia, sheep are the lifeblood, their prized wool and meat sold around the globe.

Richard Fenton tends these sheep. His great-great-grandfather, Dr. Arthur Fenton, arrived here to Argentina from Ireland in 1885.

Four generations later, Richard and his father, David, are still caring for this windswept land and its creatures. But in recent years, their methods have changed.

RICHARD FENTON, FARMER: This, under the normal grazing, wouldn't -- you wouldn't see it. This would be bare ground with this sort of grass, which is not as -- the sheep don't like it as much, and it's not very productive.

So, what we're seeing is a change in the amount of grass and the type of grasses that are here and green in a time of a year when it usually would all be dry.

BYRNES (on camera): So, this is a perfect example of these new techniques that you've employed working.

FENTON: Exactly.

BYRNES (voice-over): Chief among these is a herding system that constantly rotates the sheep to different pastures. Traditionally, sheep mostly stay put, overgrazing and, ultimately, causing the desertification of much of these fragile grasslands.

Richard realized that action was needed and, after years of research, envisioned a new way of doing things.

FENTON: We've got farmers changing from being sheep farmers to grass farmers and using sheep, which was -- which has been the problem in the grazing, now is the tool to bring back nature to its full -- to its full expression.

BYRNES: And getting farmers steeped in tradition to adapt to this new mentality has been the toughest part, Richard says.

BYRNES (on camera): The sheep farming techniques used here on Monte Dinero are pioneering, but also controversial. The Fenton family and their partners believe the sheep can be used to help regenerate this Patagonian grassland instead of just destroying it. It's a concept that's now attracting the attention of world renowned scientists and clothing makers.

BYRNES (voice-over): NGO the Nature Conservancy is providing tools and technology to the group, such as satellite mapping, while the Patagonia, Incorporated clothing company plans to use the wool in their products.

This international recognition has also helped bring more partners into the network, which now includes 120 farms throughout Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay.

It has also helped the Fentons' other business, agrotourism. For the past two decades, Richard's mother, Peggy, has been receiving curious travelers from around the globe here to see how an English-speaking Irish family was able to thrive in Spanish-speaking Argentina.

PEGGY FENTON, FARMER: The people that make the effort to come here, they say that they arrive, and there's something special about this place. What it is, I don't know. You have to see it with your eyes.

BYRNES: That's not to say that life is easy, here, for the sheep or their herders. Change is often frowned upon, whether it's replacing horses with motorcycles or breeding complex new sheep species. But the results are paying off.

CHRISTIAN ALFONSO, FARM WORKER (through translator): "I have already seen a big change in the way the grass is growing. When I arrived here three years ago, one of our pastures was completely dead, and now it is thriving," he says.

BYRNES: What's more, Richard says recapturing this land can help reduce the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

R. FENTON: Natural grasslands today in the world could capture as much or more carbon than forests and could be a very big help to the environment.

BYRNES: Proving that progress in Patagonia can have a positive impact on the entire planet. Brian Byrnes, CNN, Monte Dinero, Argentina.


VASSILEVA: I'll be back with all the days headlines in just six minutes. For now, though, it's back to Becky Anderson, who's outside London's Houses of Parliament for our special coverage of the UK hacking scandal. Becky, it's off to you.

ANDERSON: That's right. Thank you, Ralitsa. It's been a history- making day here in the UK. The world's biggest media baron hauled before the Houses of Parliament behind me to explain what he knew about a phone- hacking scandal that has embroiled the media, politicians, and the police.

We're going to be back with more on what was and wasn't said, right after this.


ANDERSON: It's just before 10:00 in London. I'm coming to you from outside Britain's Houses of Parliament, the scene today of the historic hearings on the UK phone-hacking scandal.

The world's biggest media baron, Rupert Murdoch, his son, James, and the former editor of the now shut-down "News of the World" tabloid newspaper, Rebekah Brooks, all hauled before MPs to explain what they knew or didn't know about the illegal voice intercepts.

All three denied direct knowledge, but did express regret.


RUPERT MURDOCH, CEO, NEWS INTERNATIONAL: I would just like to say one sentence. This is the most humble day of my life.


ANDERSON: He was humbled, that was Rupert Murdoch. He was contrite. They all apologized for the phone hacking and police bribery, but none of them accepted any responsibility.

Matthew Chance, our Senior International Correspondent has been monitoring the day's events and joins me here, now. Your thoughts?

MATTHEW CHANCE, CNN SENIOR INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Well, certainly, I think it was very interesting, first of all, to see the world's most powerful media baron sitting there in front of that parliamentary committee, taking in those questions, his head hung down.

This is a man, remember, who hasn't given -- sat before a parliamentary select committee for 40 years, since he's been in the media business. He very rarely gives interviews, just holds audiences with politicians and figures like that.

And so, to see him in this situation was really a sign of just how much this scandal has eroded Rupert Murdoch's sort of aura of power. And that was, I think, pretty fascinating to watch.

ANDERSON: He was -- certainly wasn't accepting any responsibility, and when asked, well, whose responsibility is it, then? He's the head of this company at the end of the day, and they were asking about good government. He said it was "those I trusted and, perhaps, those they trusted," although he didn't mention anybody's name.

So, we're no closer, really, Matthew, are we, to learning who knew what when?

CHANCE: No. No, we're not. And I don't think in that sense this inquiry, these committee questions got any closer to what the truth of the matter was.

But I certainly think it was interesting to see this kind of hands-off defense that both the Murdoch's use, the idea that they -- the "News of the World" is just a small fraction of their media empire. He made the point he employees 53,000 people, he can't know what everybody's doing.

It's something that I think was slightly at tension with the reality of how these tabloid newspapers and other news organizations gather the news.

Whenever you're on a big, significant story, you get an exclusive, it's virtually unheard of that your editor and the boss of the company doesn't know exactly what you're doing and the way in which you got it. That's been my experience.

ANDERSON: For those watching around the world who've watched the share price of News Corporation plummeting over the past few days -- it did, of course, go higher today. The company's lost something like $8 billion in market capitalization, something like 25 percent of its market capitalization in the last few days.

Some people were suggesting that perhaps in an opening statement today, Rupert Murdoch would suggest that he was -- it was time to step down, it was time that he moved on. We had none of that.

CHANCE: No. In fact, quite the opposite. Rupert Murdoch made it quite clear when he was asked whether he'd consider this position, he said no, he was not going to step down. And so, that sort of cast aside some of these rumors that had been circulating that he was going to use this as an opportunity to step down and perhaps put his number two in charge.

But obviously, with the share price performing as it is, with the continuing question marks hanging over what its economic future will be, its commercial future, there've got to be questions about James Murdoch, whether he will continue in his role.

ANDERSON: Interesting. No change at the top as of yet. Matthew Chance, thank you very much, indeed. I'm Becky Anderson, that's all from me this evening on what has been an historic day. As Big Ben chimes 10:00, Ralitsa has the world news headlines for you next, then stay tuned for "BACKSTORY." Good night.