"Disgusting" scandal brings end to the "World"

LONDON - The tabloid that traded on scandal for more than a century was finally brought down by its own scandalous practices.

The paper, controlled by media titan Rupert Murdoch, who also owns Fox and the Wall Street Journal, will shut down on Sunday.

It was bad enough when news surfaced that its journalists had been hacking into private voice mails - but worse when it emerged who their victims were, reports CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer.

"We are no longer talking about politicians and celebrities," said Prime Minister David Cameron. "We are talking about murder victims, potentially terrorists' victims having their phones hacked into. It is absolutely disgusting what has taken place."

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It all started in 2005 when details of Prince William's private life turned up in the paper. A police investigation found the royal phone had been hacked and an editor went to jail.

But it just unraveled from there.

Celebrities like Jude Law and Hugh Grant discovered they'd been hit too.

"I think there is a national sense of revulsion here," Grant said.

The revulsion grew when a new investigation found a private investigator working for the paper had helped reporters hack into the messages of a missing teenager who was later found murdered.

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The police investigation also uncovered a list of roughly 4,000 names in the private investigator's notes.

And Thursday was the last straw - the families of British soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq discovered they were on the list too.

"If these actions are proved to have been verified, I'm appalled. I find it quite disgusting," said Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir David Richards.

All over the country military families are now wondering if the News of the World has been snooping on them too.

Tony Phillipson, whose 29-year-old son James died in Afghanistan in 2006, is convinced that reporters hacked into his dead son's email account

He's now demanding the answer to the question everyone in Britain is asking.

"What on earth did they expect to find? It's unbelievable, I can't rationalize it. It just doesn't make any sense," he said.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."

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