The purpose of this site is for information and a record of Gerry McCann's Blog Archives. As most people will appreciate GM deleted all past blogs from the official website. Hopefully this Archive will be helpful to anyone who is interested in Justice for Madeleine Beth McCann. Many Thanks, Pamalam

Note: This site does not belong to the McCanns. It belongs to Pamalam. If you wish to contact the McCanns directly, please use the contact/email details campaign@findmadeleine.com    

2011: Sep/Dec key News Events - Days (1582-1673)*

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News from September through to December 2011 that is not covered elsewhere on the site

"I do not think Madeleine is dead," says Kate McCann, 01 September 2011
"I do not think Madeleine is dead," says Kate McCann, mother of the small girl who disappeared four years ago in Portugal, in an exclusive conversation with Marie Claire. Marie Claire

She does not lose hope of finding her daughter and gives details from the case in the book that will be launched at the Rio de Janeiro Book Fair, from Friday onwards.

By Livia Deodato
01/09/2011
With thanks to
Ines for translation

Her speech is halting and her voice seems to be constantly choked by tears ready to break. It is difficult to estimate the pain and sadness felt by Kate McCann, four years after the disappearance of her daughter Madeleine. Now aged 43, the British woman does not cease in the search for her first born. She abandoned medicine and, since 3rd May 2007, has dedicated herself exclusively to gather information sent by people from all over the world who claim to have found the girl – if she were alive, she would be eight years old (on http://www.findmadeleine.com site there is an age progressed image of her current appearance).

Marie Claire: Collection of McCann family photographs

The police officially archived the case in July 2008. But Kate and her family have not. The book entitled "Madeleine" was launched in the UK and in Portugal in May and now arrives in Brazil (Editora Prumo, 440 pages, R$ 49,90). Based upon the diary written by Kate during the years and during the police investigation, the book raises the hypothesis of a kidnapping by a paedophile network, criticises the investigation led by the Portuguese police (and the lack of action on the part of the British) and tells of the crisis brought to the relationship between Kate and Gerry, Madeleine's father. The younger children, the twins Sean and Amelie, now aged six and a half, continue to ask about their older sister and explain to their young friends that "Mummy used to be a doctor, but now she is searching for Madeleine".

"There is still hope. We live in a kind of limbo since she disappeared, but we cannot give up," said Kate in the exclusive interview she granted to Marie Claire.

Marie Claire – How do you feel today? And how are Gerry and the twins?
Kate McCann
– Very well, considering everything we have been through. We are much stronger. Now, we try to find a balance. Gerry works full time and my work has been to continue to search for Madeleine. Now we also have the chance to do normal things, family things, like taking Sean and Amelie to school.

MC – Do the twins often ask about Madeleine?
KM
– Not every day, but often. Her disappearance is also part of their lives. They understand what happened and what we are trying to do. Their understanding is very simple: "Madeleine is missing and we have to find her". We always talk about her rescue, about what we will do when she returns home, about hope.

MC – The hope of finding Madeleine has become your reason for living. What would your reaction be if you discovered that she is dead?
KM
– Unfortunately, I consider all possibilities. During the last few days I have only managed to think the worst. But we still have hope, in any case. I read about many other cases, of families who managed to get their children back decades after their disappearance. We cannot give up. It is hard not knowing anything about her whereabouts – we are living in a kind of limbo since she disappeared. It is so difficult to shake off the dust and find direction. We have to continue to search.

MC – You no longer work? Do you dedicate all your time to the search for Madeleine?
KM
– I no longer work as a doctor. The last four years have probably been the years during which I have been the busiest in my "professional" life. I have spent a lot of time reading the police files, writing my book and also launching search campaigns for Madeleine. Even opening Gmail takes a lot of time. Sean and Amelie understand and always tell their young friends: "Mummy used to be a doctor, but now she is searching for Madeleine". Until we find her, there is still a lot of work to be done.

MC – Do you still have police support in the search for her?
KM
– The official police work was stopped in July 2008. We continue with a private investigation and we have had incredible help from people, who gave up their holidays, continuing to search for her, they take photographs of girls they think could be Madeleine and they send them to us.

MC – Did the most recent news, that Madeleine could have been found in India, bring you any greater hope?
KM
– We receive dozens of pieces of news daily about the supposed whereabouts of Madeleine. In this case, the difference was that this information arrived at the media, which followed it and led to its repercussion. However, that she was supposedly found in India gives me more strength: that even at such a distance, I can count on the help of persons who continue to search for her.

MC – Is there any reason for you to smile today?
KM
– For a long time, I did not allow myself to enjoy life and felt guilty if I did so. But the thing is that if I had not taken time, I would never have anywhere to get strength from in order to continue searching. I have two other children and now I am stronger. I feel more capable of facing life – and I do this for Madeleine.

MC – Do you manage to feel the presence of Madeleine?
KM
– I do not think Madeleine is dead. Any mother would feel the same way. I believe Madeleine is out there and, at times, I feel close to her. Any mother would feel this. I feel close to her. Madeleine is part of our family. We do not feel that this is the end.

MC – How do you deal with the memories left by Madeleine? Can you look at photos and videos?
KM
– They are very good memories. When I begin to think of them, I sometimes feel sadness, at other times they leave me happy and comfort me, they bring me tranquillity. She is in our life. There are photos of her all over our house. Amelie always refers to her as "my big sister".

MC – At a certain moment, you were accused of being suspects. How did you cope with that?
KM
- (choked voice). I found it incredible. When you imagine that nothing worse could happen...the search for Madeleine became my greatest obsession. And many people do not understand this. It is like a nightmare, a bad dream that you can't remember.

Marie Claire: Collection of McCann family photographs

MC – On the other hand, you have received support from people across the world…
KM
– I would not be capable of describing the importance of the support that I have received since Madeleine's disappearance. That has helped me enormously. People have been very good and caring – and this also has strengthened us to continue the fight. We have even had a large support from Brazil, from a very kind family that became very close to us.

MC – How is your relation with the press nowadays?
KM
– We need the media. Madeleine needs the media in order to be found. We have a hard time with the press. But I hope the press will help to find Madeleine. We just ask journalists to be responsible with the information, because it is our little one who is missing.

MC – Is it very painful or exhausting to continue to give interviews? Or do you think that this is what you must do so that the searches for Madeleine continue?
KM
– At the beginning I found this very intimidating. The questions appeared to me to be very difficult and they interfered too much with my feelings. I always tried to preserve my privacy. But as I have already given dozens and dozens of interviews during the past four years, I have got used to it a bit. I know that the media is powerful and reached millions of people. And if this is necessary to bring my Madeleine back, then I will do this.

MC – Do you often visit Portugal?
KM
– Yes. We often go to Lisbon to talk with our lawyers. I also go to Praia da Luz five times a year (the site of the resort where the family was on holiday and from which Madeleine was abducted). For a long time after her disappearance I did not manage to return there, but I now go there often because I feel closer to her there.

MC – What will be your next steps now?
KM
– I continue to write my diary. The book was launched in the UK and in Portugal in May. Next week it will be launched in Brazil, in September in Germany, in October in Spain and in some other countries before the end of the year. People will read the book and will know that there are still various unanswered questions – and to which they might be able to respond. We believe in the information that is sent to us and we hope to gather more in order to find her. I have faith that we will find the key information which is missing in order to find her. Keep searching and praying for Madeleine, who is still missing. We cannot give up.

We want justice for the death of our mother in Greece, says son of Jean Hanlon, 02 September 2011
Michael has spent thousands on the case. He hired a lawyer, and Gerry and Kate McCann's former spokesman Clarence Mitchell, and travelled to Crete six times to gather evidence.

We want justice for the death of our mother in Greece, says son of Jean Hanlon Daily Record

Michael Porter

Karen Bale
Sep 2 2011

NEARLY three years have passed since Michael Porter kissed his mum goodbye.

They parted at the airport, where Jean Hanlon caught a plane back to her "Shirley Valentine" life in Crete.

The next time Michael saw Jean, 53, she was lying on a slab in a filthy Greek morgue. Her body had been found in the sea, four days after she went missing.

The Greek authorities claimed Jean's death was an accident, but Michael and his brothers David and Robert were convinced it was murder.

They kept up the pressure on the Greeks, travelling to Crete to do their own detective work and speak to witnesses.

Their efforts eventually forced local police to admit that Jean's body had a horrific catalogue of injuries, including a broken neck.

And now the brothers are closer than ever to the justice they crave. Two suspects have been identified and a murder trial could start in weeks.

"We've waited so long for justice for mum," Michael, 26, told the Record. "Finally we've been told the trial should begin in two or three months.

"Our lawyer's optimistic. He has strong, hard evidence.

"We've heard that one of the suspects is threatening to leave the country, which could mean the case collapses.

"But we have to keep pushing. We've almost got the case to court.

"We're doing this for mum - and we won't let her down."

Jean, from Dumfries, quit a steady job at her local hospital and sold her house to follow her heart and start a new life in the sunshine.

She moved to Crete in 2003, working in bars and restaurants in the summer and coming home in the winter. Michael last saw her on one of her trips back to see her family.

A few months later, in March 2009, Jean disappeared. Four days later, on Friday the 13th, her body was found in the sea off the town of Heraklion.

Michael said: "When she vanished, my first reaction was disbelief. I'm a worrier, and I started to panic that the worst had happened - and then it did.

"Next thing we knew we were flying to Greece to identify a body.

"We were taken to a dirty morgue where cats and dogs were running about and sanitary bins were overflowing.

"The way mum's body was left on the table, they had so little respect for her.

"We were shown a pile of clothes, which was when I knew deep down it was mum. I recognised them.

"But I couldn't accept it. Her body was unrecognisable. Her face had been destroyed by the water and battered beyond recognition.

"We refused to identify the body and ordered blood tests, which, eventually, proved it was mum."

The Greeks signed off Jean's death as an accident and dismissed the case, but her family knew from the start that "nothing added up" and they would have to get to the truth themselves.

Michael has spent thousands on the case. He hired a lawyer, and Gerry and Kate McCann's former spokesman Clarence Mitchell, and travelled to Crete six times to gather evidence.

He interviewed suspects and witnesses and trawled through his mum's diaries and belongings. Everything he learned only made him more suspicious.

Michael recalled: "My brothers and I went to her home village, we went to Heraklion and we tracked down the last people to have seen mum.

"We found out exactly where she had been that day. We knew something wasn't right."

One of Jean's closest friends, a man called Peter, told how she went to a bar in Heraklion, 25 minutes from her home village, with a Greek man who spoke no English on the night she disappeared.

During the "date", Jean sent Peter a text that said simply, "Help." He didn't know if she was in trouble, or just trapped with a boring suitor.

Peter spoke to Jean on the phone and she sounded drunk, but the post mortem confirmed she was not.

Michael seriously doubts that his mum was on a "date" with the man. He said: "She had a job interview that night to get work for the summer season.

"Why would she then go to Heraklion with a man who didn't speak English?

"She didn't drive and had no way of getting home, and she had agreed to babysit a disabled girl in her village the next day.

"She wouldn't go on a date with a strange man, without a lift back home, knowing she had promised to look after a child."

Desperate for answers, the family took Jean's body back to Scotland for a second post mortem.

The results were inconclusive, but the family's pressure told on the Greeks.

After Jean's case featured on the local version of Crimewatch, the police suddenly admitted that she had a broken neck, a blunt force injury at the back of her head, a broken spine, a shattered coccyx, broken ribs, punctured lung and gouges to her knees and shins when her body was found.

The cops claimed the injuries had been revealed by a secondary post mortem, but the family had already buried Jean by then so there was no body to examine.

"It made us so angry," Michael said. "They'd obviously had that information all along, but for whatever reason had kept it to themselves."

The local police then announced they had two suspects in the murder inquiry, both friends of Jean. The men were questioned and told not to leave Crete.

Last November, Michael and David were asked to come to the island to give statements to the prosecuting judge investigating the case.

Nine agonising months then passed with no more news of the case - until David flew to Crete last week to try to find out what was happening. He returned with the news the family had waited years to hear - that a trial was poised to start.

They are not daring to get their hopes up - they have been let down too many times. But whatever twists have yet to come, they know one thing - they will never stop fighting.

Michael , an actor and singer who lives in Majorca, said: "When I think of mum, I think of her lying in the morgue.

"Even when I'm doing nice things, like relaxing on a lilo on the sea, I think of her body in the harbour. They are horrible thoughts.

"I want to remember her as mum, as my best friend. And I don't think I can until this is over."

Kate McCann: I truly believe Maddie is alive, 04 September 2011
Kate McCann: I truly believe Maddie is alive Sunday Express

Kate McCann is convinced her daughter Madeleine is still alive

By Tracey Kandohla
Sunday September 4,2011

KATE McCann is convinced her daughter is still alive and insists: "I do not feel it is the end."

As the tormented mother pledged to continue searching for Madeleine for the rest of her life, she told how she still feels the presence of her missing child.

Kate said: "I do not think Madeleine is dead. Any mother would feel the same way. I believe Madeleine is out there and, at times, I feel close to her."

Kate told how she visited the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz, from where Madeleine was snatched nearly four-and-a-half years ago, at least five times a year.

She revealed: "At first it was too painful to go back there but I visit quite often now because I feel closer to Madeleine there."

Former GP Kate, 43, spoke out to help launch her book in Brazil. The harrowing memoir, Madeleine, will go on sale there on Tuesday. The book, published in the UK on Madeleine's eighth birthday in May, is a best-seller. Translations have been launched in Portugal and Holland.

Kate hopes her 384-page account will help jog readers' memories and could lead to a vital clue in the global search to find her.

Kate told Marie Claire magazine: "We've been ­living in limbo since Madeleine disappeared. But there is still hope and we can't give up. I do not feel it is the end."

Speaking for the first time about a sighting in July of a Madeleine lookalike, she said: "It wasn't Madeleine but it gives me strength that people are still looking for her."

Kate and heart consultant husband Gerry, 43, of Rothley, Leicestershire, had their hopes dashed after being shown photos of the girl seen in the Himalayan town of Leh, India. Kate told the magazine's Brazil edition: "We still receive dozens of alleged sightings of Madeleine across the world. It is heartbreaking not knowing where she is and it is still a struggle to see beyond tomorrow but we have to keep looking. We will never give up."

Kate, who has six-year-old twins Sean and Amelie, told how she had grown "much stronger" over the years and has dedicated her life to finding her eldest child. She admitted: "For a long time I didn't allow myself to enjoy life but I feel more able to enjoy life now and I do it for Madeleine."

Kate's book will also be released in Germany this month, in Spain in October and Hungary in November. She said: "There are still many questions that remain unanswered and readers may be able to answer. We believe that we will find the key information which will help bring Madeleine back."

Every penny raised from sales of Kate's book will be spent on the continuing search by private investigators.

Former BBC Presenter Clarence Mitchell joins Burson-Marsteller UK, 05 September 2011
Former BBC Presenter Clarence Mitchell joins Burson-Marsteller UK Burson-Marsteller

News • 5th September 2011

London, 5 September, 2011 – Clarence Mitchell has joined Burson-Marsteller's London team where he becomes a Managing Director, providing strategic counsel to corporate and public affairs clients and reporting to UK CEO Matt Carter.

Clarence Mitchell was most recently Director of Media Strategy and Public Affairs at Lewis PR, offering clients strategic counsel across the issues and crisis management and public affairs practices, a role he combined with his ongoing duties as official media spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann, whose daughter Madeleine went missing in Portugal in May 2007. Previously, he was a consultant with Freud Communications.

Prior to that, he was Director of the UK Government's Media Monitoring Unit leading a team that advised No 10 and all of the major Departments of State on how best to respond to the daily news agenda. Before moving into Government Comms and PR, he was an on-air News Correspondent and Presenter with BBC News.

Commenting on the hire, Matt Carter said: "Clarence has first-class experience in handling the media, as a BBC journalist, a government media adviser and someone who's faced the cameras regularly on behalf of his clients. He's a great addition to B-M's award-winning UK team"

Commenting on his new role with Burson-Marsteller, Clarence said: "I am absolutely delighted to be joining such an established, forward thinking agency as Burson-Marsteller. With its truly global reach, impressive client list and its innovative evidence-based approach to communications, I know it's an environment I will thrive in. I'm excited by the campaign challenges to come."

About Burson-Marsteller UK

Burson-Marsteller UK (http://www.bursonmarsteller.co.uk/) established in 1967 is the European HQ of the global public relations and public affairs firm.

Reflecting London's role as a world class business centre, the UK's capital city has become the leading market for global public relations services providing an unrivalled opportunity to interact with and influence a diverse range of stakeholders. As such, Burson-Marsteller UK is well placed to serve and grow its international client base of FTSE 100 and Fortune 500 companies leveraging London as a gateway to the world.

For more information, please contact ;

Meera Thakkar
Tel: 0207 300 6422
Email@ meera.thakkar@bm.com

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What's Wrong with: Burson-Marsteller? Corporate Watch

Magazine Issue 2
- Winter 1996

This is not a real disaster / This is an Ecosystem

Burson Marsteller (BM) is a large and powerful public relations company which is adept at creating a positive image for corporations involved in unethical business practices including human rights violations, environmental destruction and animal-testing. Many of these companies have faced public scrutiny and even convictions for their various activities.

'Crisis Management'

"When is a disaster not a disaster? When it turns into a business opportunity... With good crisis management, a company can even ride the bad publicity of multiple deaths and come out smelling of roses." - Pat Anderson, writing in the professional journal Marketing Week, 22/4/94.

Disasters do happen. The best we can hope for is to learn from experience. This necessitates a serious debate afterwards, and to be effective such a debate needs to be balanced. Corporations that spend vast amounts on post-disaster PR are disrupting that crucial debate and evading responsibility. BM prides itself on being the leading 'crisis management' PR company. It has done the PR for the following disasters:

In India in 1984, for US company Union Carbide when its pesticide plant in Bhopal leaked more than 40 tonnes toxic gas. 2000 people were killed instantly; up to 15,000 have died since as a result of the disaster, and hundreds of thousands are suffering lung, eye and gastric complaints. Tuberculosis incidence in Bhopal is 3 times the Indian average. Following BMs work, the Indian Supreme Court dropped all charges of manslaughter against Union Carbide, although safety mechanisms at the plant were appallingly inadequate. The company has now left India, leaving most of the responsibility with the Indian government.

In 1979, when Babcock and Wilcox's nuclear reactor failed at Three Mile Island, the worst nuclear accident ever in the US. There are still over 2,000 lawsuits pending.4

For the Exxon Corporation, following the Exxon-Valdez disaster in Alaska, one of the most devastating oil spillages the world has ever seen.

In 1995, for Occidental Petroleum, Dow Chemicals and Shell in a legislation battle in California. These chemical corporations are trying to avoid new legislation that would force them to clean the local water supplies of DBCP, a soil fumigant pesticide that causes testicular cancer. 5

Working with Disreputable Companies.
Burson-Marsteller's corporate clients include :

BP Chemicals -
In 1992, it was found that BP's Hull facility discharges twice the level of methyl ethyl ketone (MEK) - a chemical which can cause genetic damage, foetal damage or birth defects at unsafe levels of exposure - into the water than the total amount of MEK released in the United States.

Kerr McGee -
owners of a uranium mine in the Navajo Nation, New Mexico. Accused of paying low wages and not informing the workers about the hazardous effects of uranium. Deaths are being recorded every month.

Malaysian Timber Industry Development Council -
has felled vast areas of tropical rainforest, particularly in the states of Sarawak and Sabah, threatening the livelihoods of the indigenous peoples who lived there. BM has been hired to "repel falsehood and lies spread by evil-minded environmentalists." 7However, even the pro-business Malaysian Government has reported that 5 states have over-logged8; and although the International Tropical Timber Organisation warned the loggers in 1990 to cut their output to 9m m3/yr it has remained at 16-19m; and at the present rate the primary forest will be finished in 7-8 years9.

Monsanto and Eli Lilly -
both companies produce the growth hormone BST to increase milk yields in cattle. It has been criticised for risk of infection in the cows, the fact that there is already a milk surplus, and unknown effects of this hormone on human beings. Acting on this concern, state legislators in Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Vermont attempted to enforce labelling of milk produced with, and containing, this hormone. Their efforts were thwarted by Burson-Marsteller acting on behalf of these companies.10

Pfizer -
a pharmaceutical company accused in 1990 by the US Generic Pharmaceutical Industry of fraudulent and deceptive practices for its failure to report severe side effects of its Feldene drug before it obtained US approval. Listed by the Multinational Monitor as one of the ten worst companies in 1988 for supplying faulty heart-valves. At least 394 of these valves ruptured killing 252 people by 1990. The company has also conducted extensive tests on animals, was listed by a US group as one of the top fifteen corporate contributors to global pollution based on 1987 figures and had one of its plants listed by Greenpeace as one of the ten worst polluters in the South East of England.

SmithKline Beecham -
A pharmaceutical and research company which, in the year to March 1991, exceeded its toxic waste discharge quota into the rivers and sea more than 30 times. The company also owns its own animal testing facilities and has been accused of unnecessary cruelty in housing its animals.

Unilever -
food, chemical and household goods manufacturer. Implicated in pollution of rivers in the UK and convicted for water pollution offences between 1/9/89 and 31/8/91. Owner of Birds Eye Walls - a food manufacturer which admitted in 1991 to annually importing 30,000 tonnes of beef from Brazil (where much grazing land is felled rainforest). In June 1989, 87 workers at the plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil were fired for occupying the plant in an attempt to achieve better pay and conditions.

Other controversial companies which have recently retained BM include:

Boots, Nestle, British Nuclear Fuels, Philip Morris, Coca-Cola, Proctor & Gamble, Ford Motor Co.,Rhone-Poulenc, General Electric, Rorer, Glaxo-Wellcome, Scott Paper, Grand Metropolitan, Scottish Nuclear, J Sainsbury, Shell.

Also, BM was hired by the Argentinian military junta led by Gen. Jorge Videla, which seized power in a coup d'_tat in 1976, to improve the country's "international image, especially for fostering foreign investment ... through projecting an aura of stability for the nation, its government and its economy". During Videla's reign, 35,000 people 'disappeared' and thousands of political prisoners were tortured. Videla is now serving a life sentence for murder.-

In 1996, BM was hired by the Indonesian government, which has one of the worst human rights records in the world and has been widely condemned for committing genocide in East Timor.13

Forming Industry 'Front Groups'

Increasingly the companies in an industry are uniting to form front groups to influence public opinion and legislation. These groups often give themselves 'green' sounding names: while pretending to show their concern and thus make a serious contribution to the environmental debate, they are in fact simply furthering the interests of the companies funding them. Indeed the aim is usually to relax environmental standards in order to cut their costs.

In the early '90s, Burson-Marsteller was instrumental in setting up the Business Council for Sustainable Development (BCSD), whose members include Chevron, Volkswagen, Ciba-Geigy, Mitsubishi, Dow Chemicals, Du Pont and Shell.14 Their press release said: "In a major new initiative on the future development and use of the world's natural resources, over 40 top world business leaders have joined forces in the form of an international organisation to propose new policies and actions on the sustainable development of the earth's environment."15

The BCSD was headed by Stephen Schmidheiny, a Swiss billionaire industrialist; and also a close friend of the secretary-general of the UN council on environment and development (UNCED). Substantial representations were made by the BCSD to UNCED's 1992 Earth Summit in Rio; with the result that proposals drawn up by the UN's own centre for trans-national corporations - concerning the environmental impact of these large companies, and issues of corporate responsibility and accountability - were not discussed or even circulated to delegates.16

In Europe, BM set up the Alliance for Beverage Cartons and the Environment, in 'defence of the beverage carton against environmental and regulatory pressures'. Its purpose is to make disposable cartons look environmentally friendly, and is sponsored by packaging interests such as Tetra Pak, Elopak, Bowater (now called REXAM) and Weyerhauser.17

In the US, BM represents the Fur Information Council in its multi-million campaign to combat 'animal extremists'.18

In Canada, the timber industry paid BM $1million to set up the British Columbia Forest Alliance, which poses as a forest protection movement.

Burson-Marsteller's Methods

MEDIA:
As a PR firm, Burson-Marsteller obviously has a lot of friends in the media. Anyone with enough money (eg. large corporations) thus gets easy access through BM to public opinion, while those who have concerns other than the pursuit of money (eg. victims of industrial disasters) find it much harder to get their view across.

BM is a joint partner with Independent Television News (ITN) in the ownership of Corporate Television Network, which produces video press releases for corporate clients. As ITN is actually a media news service, its venture with BM makes a mockery of the notion of independent media.21

LOBBYING:
Described by the Observer as 'compromising the independence of all-party groups', BM has had a great deal of involvement in putting commercial interests inside the Palace of Westminster. When a group of businessmen recently decided to throw their weight behind a campaign to abolish British Summer Time, they naturally hired BM. Within weeks, BM had become the administrative secretariat of the supposedly 'independent' Daylight Extra All-Party Group, and were using its name to drum up support among MPs for a Private Member's Bill. They eventually failed.22

SUMMONING 'GRASSROOTS' SUPPORT:
Through use of strategic contacts, BM creates the appearance of popular support for its campaigns. In blocking the BST legislation (Eli Lilly and Monsanto, above), BM formed a coalition of businessmen, lobbyists, farmers, vets, executives of biotechnology companies, and so on. Faced with a constant barrage of letters, petitions and media actions, the legislators had no choice but to back down. Burson-Marsteller's control of both the media and key decision-makers is worrying, particularly because it is not surprising.

HIRING THIRD PARTIES:
BM has also been accused of paying academics to write articles supporting its campaigns, without of course declaring their interests.

Specialisation in Environmental Issues

Let me through! I'm a crisis PR expert!

To quote BM's own literature: "When you need help on environmental issues, you need environmental professionals... Burson-Marsteller offers a worldwide environmental team. Issue experts. Lobbyists. Community relations counsellors. Technical advisors and media specialists." At $18m per year, BM has a larger income from dealing with environmental issues than any other PR firm.2

References
1: O'Dwyer's Directory of PR Firms, Spring 1993
2: ibid, May 1992
3: See reference 3.
4: A Dictionary of the Environment, S Elsworth, 1990
5: Los Angeles Times, 17/10/95
6: Company info from ECRA, Multinational Monitor
7: "Defending the Earth", Human Rights Watch & Natural Resource Defence Council, 1992
8: AFP, Kuala Lumpur, 3/10/94
9: "Sarawak: the Struggle Continues", Rainforest Information Centre, 25/4/95
10: PR Watch, vol.1, no.2, 1st quarter 1994
11: Public Relations Consultancy Yearbook, 1994 and 1996
12: Sultans of Sleaze, J Nelson, 1989
13: Observer, 8/12/96
14: "Changing Course", BCSD, 1992
15: New Catalyst, Summer 1993
16: Ecologist, vol.22, no.4, 1992
17: "No Need to Worry", ACE, 7/8/90
18: 7 Days, 4/10/89
19: Pulp & Propaganda, Canadian Forum, Jul/Aug 1994
20: Tribune Business News, 23/2/96
21: Observer, 10/9/95
22: Observer, 17/9/95
Many references originally found in Green Backlash by Andrew Rowell

Burson-Marsteller. 24-28 Bloomsbury Way. London WC1A 32PX. tel 0171 831 6262. fax 0171 404 2360

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PR: The dark history of spin and its threat to genuine news
The Independent

As the public-relations industry increasingly tries to dominate the media, it is not only contaminating journalism but is itself reverting to its lowly propaganda origins, say David Miller and William Dinan

Monday, 14 April 2008

- Extract -

If you haven't heard of National Propaganda, that may be because its story features in virtually no history books - perhaps a testament to the power of propaganda to manage and manipulate how we see the world. Corporate propaganda did not come to Britain as an export from the US, but arose here at the same time and for the same reasons - as a defence by the powerful of their interests. Today it is called public relations, a term invented by early spin doctors when propaganda got a bad name.

PR today attempts to control the political agenda by attempting to dominate the whole information environment so that alternatives to the market seem nonsensical or minority pursuits. The most important way in which it operates is by direct influence on the political élite as opposed to influence on public opinion.

The aim is to ensure that almost everything that the political class hears will come from apparently independent institutes, think tanks, scientists, journalists or civil society. In reality, many of these sources are put in place by the PR industry. The aim is to undermine or marginalise independent journalism, control decision-making, and lastly, mystify and misinform the public. In doing so, PR is bringing about the death of genuine news.

The PR industry has even taken over sections of the media. An early example was the 1995 joint venture between ITN and Burson-Marsteller, one of the most controversial PR firms in the world. Corporate Television Networks, which still exists, was, for a while, based at ITN headquarters, with full access to ITN archives, and made films for Shell and other companies.

- End of extract -

Professor David Miller and Dr William Dinan lecture at the University of Strathclyde. They run
www.spinwatch.org, and recently published A Century of Spin (Pluto Press)

Burson-Marsteller snaps up Lewis PR's Clarence Mitchell as MD, 05 September 2011
Burson-Marsteller snaps up Lewis PR's Clarence Mitchell as MD PR Week

Sara Luker
05 September 2011, 8:29am


Clarence Mitchell, the ex-BBC presenter famous for being the spokesman for Madeleine McCann's parents, is the new MD of Burson-Marsteller.

Clarence Mitchell: joins Burson-Marsteller
Clarence Mitchell: joins Burson-Marsteller

Mitchell will report to UK CEO Matt Carter and will provide strategic counsel to corporate and public affairs clients.

Carter told PRWeek: 'Clarence has first-class experience in handling the media, as a BBC journalist, a government media adviser and someone who's faced the cameras regularly on behalf of his clients. He's a great addition to B-M's UK team.'

Mitchell was most recently director of media strategy and public affairs at Lewis PR, a role he combined with his duties as official media spokesman for Kate and Gerry McCann. Before that he was a consultant with Freud Communications.

Mitchell left Lewis PR in July as reported in PRWeek.

Mitchell also held the position of director of the Conservative Party's Election Media Monitoring Unit, reporting directly to director of communications Andy Coulson.

Before moving into government comms and PR, he was a news correspondent and presenter with BBC News.

He said of the move: 'With Burson-Marsteller's global reach and evidence-based approach to communications, I know it's an environment I will thrive in. I'm excited by the campaign challenges to come.'

Child Bereavement and Trauma Service: CHUMS Annual Conference, 03 October 2011
Child Bereavement and Trauma Service: CHUMS Annual Conference Centre for Death & Society

 
CHUMS conference

03 October 2011

06-07 October 2011
Letchworth Hall Hotel, Letchworth

This two day conference is relevant to all professionals working with children and will include networking opportunities.

Day 1:
Alicia Sims Franklin, Grief Inc., USA
'Grief is not "one sixe fits all": Exploring the ways in which children, adolescents and their families grieve differently

Day 2:
Kate and Gerry McCann
Gerry and Kate describe how they have helped their children try to understand and cope with Madeleine's disappearance whilst trying to understand and cope with it themselves.

Workshops are available on both days, choose from the four options below.

Workshop 1: Alicia Sims Franklin, 'Taming the Tornado Within'
Focusing on the connections between children's anger, unresolved grief and violence

Workshop 2: Kate Cairns, 'Secondary trauma'
Exploring the impact of living and working with traumatised children

Workshop 3: Emma Chilvers 'Managing Energy'
A Whole Life Balance, Taking car of yourself

Workshop 4: 'Looking at self-harm'
Why young people do it. What can we do to help?

For further information and to book, contact CHUMS at:
Tel: 01582 707469
Email: paula.fensome@luton-pct.nhs.uk

McCann libel trial hearings to start in February 2012, 11 October 2011
McCann libel trial hearings to start in February 2012 Joana Morais blogspot

Gonçalo Amaral

By Astro
11 October 2011

The civil complaint filed by the McCanns against Gonçalo Amaral, over his book "Maddie - A Verdade da Mentira" (The Truth of the Lie) will start to be tried in February 2012.

The first two hearings have been scheduled for the 9th and 10th of February, 2012, at 9.30 a.m., at the Civil Court of Lisbon.

The defence fund that supports Mr Amaral by helping to finance the legal expenses related to this trial, is still in operation. Donations are very welcome. Please refer to Projecto Justiça Gonçalo Amaral for contributions. Thank you.

What Kate McCann's secret diary does not tell, 24 October 2011
What Kate McCann's secret diary does not tell El Confidencial

Montage of Madeleine/McCann photos

By Aníbal Malvar
24/10/2011 (06:00h)
With thanks to Ines for translation

Kate McCann has been in Madrid this week to present the book "Madeleine", based upon her diaries and in which she exhaustively describes the police and personal efforts to recover her daughter. On 3rd May 2007, Maddie McCann aged four, disappeared whilst sleeping with her twin siblings in a chalet in Praia da Luz, in the Algarve. Since then, nothing has been heard about the girl.

The police had asked Kate McCann to try to reconstruct in detail and in writing all her activities, meetings, conversations, phone calls and visits, during the days previous to Madeleine's disappearance. Including the tiniest or most trivial detail. They assured her that this memory exercise would help the investigators follow the leads that might have appeared to her as having gone unnoticed. Kate McCann was used to, since her teenage years, taking up her exercise book every day and writing some impressions and details about her life. In other words, she kept a diary. However, this was not told to the Portuguese police. She waited for the arrival of the British intelligence service to deliver this more intimate diary. When the existence of this book came to light, the Portuguese police requested a copy from the British. It was denied. A gesture that muddied even further the already tense relations between the Portuguese and British investigators who were collaborating in the search for the girl.

Gonçalo Amaral had spent six years heading the Portimão Criminal Investigation Department when he was put in charge of the investigation. A few days before being taken off the case "due to political pressure" according to his own words, Amaral phoned me early in the morning in my Portimão hotel. It was the 12th September 2007 and until then, the Portuguese officer had avoided any contact with the press: "Justice is done in silence", he quoted Saint José to kindly evade any requests for interviews. The meeting took place in a Brazilian owned cafeteria in Olhão. A dull and over lit place that would remain open until dawn.

Amaral, who had charged the McCanns five days previously, arrived late, unshaven, his suit wrinkled and with deep shadows under his eyes. He said he had not slept for days. His shabby appearance was one of the most recurrent arms used by the British press to discredit him. In the UK defending the innocence of the McCann couple had become a question of patriotism, the tabloids had gone to the lengths of qualifying the Portuguese officer as a dipsomaniac, a bumpkin and even as suspected of being involved in a paedophile network. They did not pay any attention to Amaral who continued to insist on the theory that Madeleine had suffered a domestic accident and that the parents had disposed of her body to avoid scandal: according to Amaral's suspicions, the autopsy would have revealed that the McCanns had been sedating their hyperactive daughter and that they had exceeded the dosage. Gerry McCann, a doctor by profession, was at the point of being named for an important position in the British health service when the girl disappeared. A well-connected man with influence at the highest levels.

Although the Portuguese police had not had access to Kate McCann's diaries, Amaral knew of part of their content due to press leaks. According to these leaks, Kate admitted in her writings that Maddie's hyperactivity would on occasions, rile her. In any case, Amaral also doubted the veracity of what Kate had written, suggesting that the version of the diary delivered to the British several weeks after the disappearance would have been later manipulated to hide evidence: "If you take this book and write now that it is the 12th September and your impressions..., is that a diary or fiction?".

The line of investigation opened by Amaral and so dismissed by the British, is just a question of method: "Almost 90% of all missing children cases are the parents' responsibility," he says, referring to police statistics. But, in this case, there were more elements of suspicion.

Firstly, the McCanns did not call the police immediately after the disappearance. They first organised, together with the friends they were dining with that night, search patrols around the resort. When they finally called the Portuguese police, the McCann apartment had been infested by amateur investigators contaminating the scene of the events and making it difficult to obtain "clean" evidence. An unreasonable attitude from educated and affluent persons. Any parent having the financial resources the McCanns had would have immediately considered the possibility of a kidnapping with economic motives.

Furthermore, the media circus organised by the McCanns, implied to Amaral the immediate "condemning to death" of the girl in the case that this was an abduction by a paedophile network. The McCanns had clearly disregarded the recommendations for discretion made to them by the Portuguese police.

After having been removed from the case, a few days after our interview, Gonçalo Amaral requested early retirement and left behind 28 years of his profession in order to write the book "Maddie. The Truth of the Lie". In a few days more than 120,000 copies were sold. In the book, Amaral claims that Gerry McCann hid his daughter on the beach and, later, with the help of accomplices, froze her body and disposed of it. Traces of blood appeared in the apartment and car boot of the McCanns, but the police did not consider that there was conclusive proof to accuse the parents. Before the book "Truth of the Lie" was printed, PJ inspector Paulo Pereira Cristóvao had already written "The Star of Madeleine", a book in which he relates the investigation and maintains theories very similar to those defended by Amaral. This book also had successful sales.

Now Kate McCann has just presented her book "Madeleine" in Madrid with the aim of raising funds to continue searching for her daughter. Both the Portuguese and British police have abandoned the investigation. The McCanns however, have insisted during these four years, contracting detectives who have followed false leads even to India and offering a two million pound reward to anyone who provides true information leading to Madeleine's whereabouts.

Kate McCann's book has also been distributed in the UK and Portugal. Although "Madeleine" is partly based on them, it does not include the diaries that were so zealously denied by the British police to Gonçalo Amaral, whom, no longer a member of the police, continues to request publicly the re-opening of the case whenever he has the opportunity.

I'll never stop searching for Maddie, says Kate McCann, 29 October 2011
I'll never stop searching for Maddie, says Kate McCann Daily Record

Oct 29 2011

THE mother of missing Madeleine McCann said yesterday she still wished she could "stop time".

Kate McCann, who marked the fourth anniversary of Maddie's disappearance in May, said she and husband Gerry would not give up on finding their little girl.

In a message on the Maddie search website, she wrote: "My grandparents always said the years pass more quickly the older you get. It certainly feels that way.

"I still dream of being able to stop time.

"Our only alternative, however, is to continue doing as much as we can to the best of our ability to enhance the search for Madeleine. So that is what we'll do."

She added: "It is a big relief that our Government finally agreed to a review. It will be lengthy and difficult but definitely a major step."

Maddie was nearly four when she vanished from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in 2007.

Kate Prout murder: Police prepare to search Redhill Farm, 21 November 2011
Kate Prout murder: Police prepare to search Redhill Farm BBC News

Prout returned to Redhill Farm with police on Friday to show them where he buried his wife's body

21 November 2011 Last updated at 08:13

Police are due to start searching farmland in Gloucestershire for the remains of murder victim Kate Prout.

On Friday her husband Adrian took police to Redhill Farm, Redmarley, to show them where he had buried her body.

Prout was jailed for life in February 2010 for her murder following a trial. Police said he had now admitted the killing.

A wooded area on the 276-acre farm remained under tight police guard during the weekend.

'Divorce settlement'

On Thursday, police said they had received "significant" new information about the case.

Speaking then, Det Supt Simon Atkinson said Prout had admitted to detectives that he murdered Mrs Prout - something which he had always denied - and has now suggested that he disposed of her body on Redhill Farm.

Former teacher Mrs Prout disappeared the day after she asked her husband for a £800,000 divorce settlement.

The last time anyone heard from her was on 5 November 2007 when she called her bank, First Direct.

Prout, who owned a pipe-laying business and commercial pheasant shoot, had said he would need to sell £1.2m Redhill Farm to pay the settlement.

Instead, he offered her £600,000 plus maintenance.

Prout reported his wife missing on 10 November. Her wallet and credit cards, shoes and clothes were all left behind.

------------------

Cadaver dog sniffed death in Prout home This Is Gloucestershire

Saturday, March 05, 2011

EVIDENCE of a dead body inside murdered Kate Prout's home was discovered by a sniffer dog, it has emerged.

The "cadaver dog" homed in on an area in the living room of the Redmarley home she shared with her husband Adrian Prout, who was convicted of her killing last year.

MURDERED: Kate Prout.
MURDERED: Kate Prout.

An hour-long documentary on the murder case told how the dog, which was specially trained to seek out dead bodies and where deaths occurred, concentrated on a specific spot in the living room at Redhill Farm.

And for the first time another of Kate Prout's brothers, Ted Wakefield, spoke about the case.

Appearing on the Crime and Investigation network's The Perfect Murder?, he said he told his then-friend Prout that if he had done "something silly" he would "spend the rest of his life in jail, or always looking over his shoulder".

Prout was convicted in January 2010 of killing Kate amid an acrimonious divorce battle on Bonfire Night 2007. She wanted £800,000 from the sale of £1.2 million Redhill Farm but to keep it, Prout offered her £600,000. On November 5 she vanished, without taking clothes, money, valuables or her car. Prout reported her missing five days later, after another of her brothers, Richard Wakefield and her former partner David Edge persuaded him to contact police.

After a massive search of the farm and surrounding countryside Gloucestershire Constabulary found no evidence of Kate, 55, inside or outside the property.

There were no traces of blood, or signs of a struggle, but the cadaver dog indicated to police that a dead body had been in the living room.

Gloucestershire Constabulary drew together a mass of circumstantial evidence that pointed to Prout having strangled his wife with his bare hands and burying her body.

A jury of 11 men and women found him guilty by a majority of 10 to one and he was sentenced to life in prison. He must serve a minimum of 18 years.

His family continues to protest his innocence but her family has pleaded with Prout to reveal where his wife is so they can give her a decent burial.

The programme, part of the channel's Nightmare in Suburbia series, also featured Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kelly who led the investigation, Kate's brother Richard Wakefield and his wife Linda.

"I thought it was quite a good programme in how it put the case over," said Richard Wakefield, who lives in Far Oakridge, near Stroud.

"It was just the truth. At least everybody can see what really happened."

The Perfect Murder? will be screened on the Crime and Investigation channel again, tomorrow at 8pm and Monday at 3am.

----------------

We are sure Kate was murdered - detectives This Is Gloucestershire (no longer online)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Police now believe missing farmer Kate Prout was murdered.

Officers have refused to rule out the possibility the 55-year-old from Redmarley may have come to harm.

They say the possibility she has been murdered is stronger than ever.

Although investigations at her Redhill Farm home finished a fortnight ago it is understood specialist sniffer dogs used in the search for missing four-year-old Madeleine McCann in Portugal have been used in the investigation and found evidence of Mrs Prout's death.

Det Supt Neil Kelly said specialist dogs had been used but could not comment on what was found.

Mrs Prout disappeared on November 5 last year. Mrs Prout vanished from her home on Bonfire Night, but her husband Adrian did not report her missing until November 10.

A 45-year-old man, believed to be Mr Prout, was arrested in connection with the case and remains on police bail.

Acting Det Supt Neil Kelly said that Gloucestershire Police had gathered no evidence to suggest she was still alive.

He said: "A very thorough search of the land surrounding Mrs Prout's home has been concluded but the investigation remains very much open. Despite exhaustive efforts, however, we have unfortunately not discovered any evidence to suggest that Mrs Prout is alive and that she disappeared of her own volition.

"We fear, therefore, that either some harm has befallen her accidentally or that she has been murdered. Had the former occurred, we believe it likely that she would have been discovered by now, and as a result, we fear more strongly than ever that she has been murdered."

McCanns Get Court Date For £1m Cop Lawsuit, 11 December 2011
McCanns Get Court Date For £1m Cop Lawsuit Sky News

The McCanns are seeking at least 1.2m euros (£1m) in damages from Goncalo Amaral
The McCanns are seeking at least 1.2m euros (1m) in damages from Goncalo Amaral

3:48pm UK, Sunday December 11, 2011

Gerry and Kate McCann's £1m lawsuit against the Portuguese police officer who bungled the hunt for missing Madeleine will be heard early next year, it is understood.

The civil case against Goncalo Amaral - who was in charge of the Madeleine investigation for five months before he was thrown off the case - will take place in Lisbon on February 9 and 10, according to a source close to the couple.

The 52-year-old former detective has made a fortune selling a book and TV documentary claiming the young British girl is dead - and wrongly claiming her parents staged a cover-up.

In their writ the McCanns describe Mr Amaral as 'self-obsessed'
In their writ the McCanns describe Mr Amaral as 'self-obsessed'

The McCanns have always strongly denied his allegation and in a 36-page writ lodged in June 2009, they accuse Mr Amaral of libel and breaching their human rights.

The couple, from Rothley in Leicestershire, will not give evidence themselves but are expected to attend court.

"Mr Amaral has made the McCann family's life hell and he has made himself rich in the process," a family source said.

"Kate and Gerry want to stop him spouting his malicious lies about them and to stop him profiting from their pain, and the only way to do that is by going to court."

In their writ, the McCanns describe the now-retired detective as a self-obsessed, manipulative money-grabber with no morals.

They claim Mr Amaral's repeated insistence that their daughter is dead discouraged people from looking for her.

The couple also describe in detail the pain and anguish they say Mr Amaral caused them by repeatedly smearing them - saying his slurs left them "totally destroyed".

Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 - only days before her fourth birthday
Madeleine disappeared in May 2007 - only days before her fourth birthday

The McCanns are seeking at least 1.2m euros (£1m) in damages from the ex-policeman, and if they win the case the money will go towards the search for Madeleine.

Mr Amaral's book, titled The Truth About The Lie, was translated into six languages and has sold more than 333,000 copies worldwide.

It was also made into a 50-minute TV documentary.

Madeleine disappeared on May 3, 2007, only days before her fourth birthday.

She had been left sleeping in a holiday apartment as her parents dined with friends in a nearby tapas bar in the resort of Praia da Luz in southern Portugal.

The country's attorney general Jose Pinto Monteiro has cleared the McCanns of any wrongdoing over Madeleine's disappearance.

Missing People: Carol Service, 12 December 2011
Missing People: Carol Service Missing People Facebook
Brenda Blethyn OBE and Sir Trevor McDonald OBE light a candle to remember the missing with the McCanns
Brenda Blethyn OBE and Sir Trevor McDonald OBE light a candle to remember the missing with the McCanns. — at St Martin-in-the-Fields.

My Chloroform: In Your Eyes, 17 December 2011
My Chloroform: In Your Eyes soundcloud.com

My Chloroforms' EP 'Worlds Collide'

Taken from My Chloroforms' EP 'Worlds Collide'.

75% of all download sales for this song will be donated to the 'Find Madeleine' appeal - http://www.findmadeleine.com

In Your Eyes is currently available to purchase from My Chloroform's Facebook and ReverbNation STORE pages (copy and paste links into your browser):
http://www.facebook.com/MyChloroform?sk=app_112652562318
http://www.reverbnation.com/store/index/artist_593887

A hurt which never goes away for the McCanns, even at Christmas time, 17 December 2011
A hurt which never goes away for the McCanns, even at Christmas time Daily Mirror

Madeleine McCann
Madeleine McCann

by Fiona Phillips
17/12/2011

DESPITE the fact that Christmas now seems to start in October, a new report claims we didn't actually feel "Christmassy" until Thursday this week.

Well, bully for us, because while we're stressing out over presents, trees, decorations, food and the lack of money to buy it all with, there are some for whom Christmas is a damn sight more painful.

On Monday I went to the Missing People Christmas Carol Service, dedicated to the memory of those who won't be home for Christmas and, in some cases, haven't been for years.

I sat next to Kate and Gerry McCann, whom I've had the pleasure of meeting on several ­occasions.

I don't need to tell you that their eldest daughter Madeleine has been missing for over four years now, her presence replaced by a continuing ache.

It's hard to utter throwaway ­salutations on seeing someone again when you know their suffering never ceases. A simple phrase like "how are you?" can suddenly sound like the elephant in the room, when the answer "how the hell do you think they are?" booms away inside your head.

They must know there's a sense of "what to say/ what not to say" when encountering them, because the McCanns are ­great at making people feel ­comfortable.

Gerry has got a brilliant sense of humour, which must have been his secret weapon during the years following Madeleine's ­disappearance. That and his obvious love for Kate, whose hand he held throughout the service.

We talked about Madeleine and of how her disappearance is very much a part of her twin brother and sister, Sean and Amelie's, lives.

Heartbreakingly, Gerry told me that one of the six-year-olds had said: "Will it be a good Christmas this year, even though Madeleine's still not home?"

It's hard to sing a Christmas carol when someone has told you that, let alone to stand at a lectern and deliver a heart-tugging reading when you're the one living the nightmare.

You could hear the profound silence as Kate read words from The Beacon by Simon Armitage: "... somewhere out there there has to be life, the distance only a matter of time, a world like our own, its ­markings and shades as uniquely formed as a daughter's eye, distinctly flecked, undeniably hers, looking back this way through the miles and years..."

So while most of us are looking forward to spending time with loved ones next weekend, just imagine what it must be like to live Christmas in a never-ending limbo.

News of the World made hush payment of £125K to McCanns, 17 December 2011
News of the World made hush payment of £125K to McCanns The Guardian

Confidential deal towards search fund for Madeleine was part of apology for tabloid's publication of mother Kate's diary extracts

Daniel Boffey
Saturday 17 December 2011 13.48 GMT

Kate and Gerry McCann giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry over coverage of their daughter Madeleine's disappearance. News of the World made a confidential payment for publishing Kate's private diaries.

The News of the World paid £125,000 to the fund supporting the search for Madeleine McCann as part of an apology for publishing Kate McCann's diaries – on condition that the terms of the deal remained secret.

The payment was made after the missing girl's parents expressed their outrage at the story, which Kate McCann said made her feel "mentally raped". All the parties involved in the negotiations over the payment, which was agreed in September 2008, were asked to sign a confidentiality agreement hiding the scale of the newspaper's culpability.

The payment was made despite claims by the defunct newspaper's editor at the Leveson inquiry last week that he believed he had had the full support of the McCanns to publish. Colin Myler, who edited the NoW from 2007 until it closed this year, told the inquiry he had received repeated assurances from his head of news, Ian Edmondson, that the McCanns' spokesman, Clarence Mitchell, supported publication – a claim which has been strenuously denied.

Myler told the inquiry that he subsequently ran an apology and paid a "substantial sum" because "he felt very bad that she didn't know". However, the Observer has learned that the NoW initially tried to minimise the compensation. A source at News International, the owner of the newspaper, said there were hours of negotiations between the newspaper's lawyers and Carter-Ruck, the solicitors hired by the McCanns, in the days following publication of the story on 14 September 2008.

A deal was finally struck in which a £125,000 payment was agreed, but all parties were obliged to sign agreements that they would not talk about the size of the compensation. Last night Kate and Gerry McCann's spokesman and News International declined to comment.

The Leveson inquiry into the media will hear this week from former NoW sports journalist Matt Driscoll, who was awarded almost £800,000 for unfair dismissal in April 2007 while on long-term sick leave for stress-related depression following a campaign of bullying provoked by the newspaper's then editor, Andy Coulson.

It will also hear via video link from Piers Morgan, former editor of the Daily Mirror and the NoW, who now works for CNN in New York. At 28, Morgan was appointed editor of the NoW, making him the youngest tabloid newspaper editor in history. He was editor of the Daily Mirror for more than 10 years, but was sacked in 2004 after the newspaper conceded that photos it published apparently showing British soldiers abusing an Iraqi were fake.

Morgan claimed in a GQ magazine interview in 2007 that phone hacking was "widespread" and that "loads of newspaper journalists were doing it" when Clive Goodman and Glenn Mulcaire were jailed in January of that year.

Asked in the interview whether he knew about voicemail interception while he was editor of NoW, Morgan said: "Well, I was there in 1994-95, before mobiles were used very much, and that particular trick wasn't known about. I can't get too excited about it, I must say. It was pretty well known that if you didn't change your pin code when you were a celebrity who bought a new phone, then reporters could ring your mobile, tap in a standard factory setting number and hear your messages. That is not, to me, as serious as planting a bug in someone's house, which is what some people seem to think was going on."

In 2006 Morgan wrote an article for the Daily Mail claiming that he was played a tape of a message Paul McCartney left on the mobile phone of Heather Mills. "The couple had clearly had a tiff, Heather had fled to India, and Paul was pleading with her to come back," he wrote. "He sounded lonely, miserable and desperate, and even sang We Can Work It Out into the answer-phone."

---------------------

Change of header:

McCann fund received £125,000 from News of the World

 
Screenshot of original header: 'News of the World made hush payment of £125K to McCanns'

Thanks to Anna Andress for screenshot

McCanns thank supporters for help, 21 December 2011
McCanns thank supporters for help Grantham Journal

Published on Wednesday 21 December 2011 19:09 [Press Association]

The parents of missing Leicestershire girl Madeleine McCann have thanked supporters for their help, saying they will move into 2012 with "renewed energy and continued hope".

In a message on the Find Madeleine website, Kate and Gerry McCann said they had ended the year on a positive note, with the launch of the Government's Missing Children and Adults' Strategy earlier this month.

And last week, Spanish private detectives claimed to have handed Scotland Yard "important leads" in the search for the couple's daughter. Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

Writing on their website on Wednesday, Mr and Mrs McCann said: "It's Christmas - again. A time of mixed emotions for our family and many others in similar positions around the world. A time to hold together. Thank you to all our supporters for your help throughout the year and for remaining united with us in our longing and determination to find Madeleine.

"The year has ended on a positive note. Our search for Madeleine and the Metropolitan Police review of the case are progressing well. In addition, this December saw a landmark event for the protection of, and support for, missing children and their families left behind.

"The Government's Missing Children and Adults' Strategy aims to reduce the number of people who go missing; to protect the missing whilst they are away, and to give families access to support, similar to victims of crime."

They said the strategy followed 12 months of campaigning by individuals and organisations such as the charity Missing People.

"Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign and influenced this significant development," their message added. This Christmas, please keep Madeleine and all missing loved ones and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you. The support you give enables us to move into 2012 with renewed energy and continued hope."

Last week, Spanish private detectives claimed they had handed Scotland Yard up to eight "very important leads" in the search for Madeleine. Sources said four Metropolitan Police officers held talks with Barcelona firm Metodo 3, which investigated her disappearance on behalf of the family.

A Scotland Yard spokesman refused to confirm the meeting took place and family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: "Kate and Gerry will simply not be commenting whilst the Metropolitan Police review of Madeleine's case is under way."

Xmas 'jigsaw poster' bid to trace Madeleine McCann, 22 December 2011
Xmas 'jigsaw poster' bid to trace Madeleine McCann Daily Star

ABOVE: Madeleine McCann's parents say they have new hope, thanks to a UK police search for their daughter

By Jerry Lawton
22nd December 2011

MADELEINE McCann's parents say they have new hope, thanks to a UK police search for their daughter.

And Kate and Gerry McCann posted a jigsaw picture of Maddie on their website with the plea: "Do you hold the missing piece of the puzzle?"

The doctors, both 43, said Christmas was "a time of mixed emotions" for them but insisted they would "hold together".

On the findmadeleine.com website they said: "The year has ended on a positive note.

"Our search and the Metropolitan Police review of the case are progressing well."

The couple also welcomed the introduction of the Government's Missing Children And Adults' Strategy to reduce the number of people who disappear, and support those left behind.

Madeleine, then three, vanished from a holiday apartment in the Portuguese resort of Praia da Luz in May 2007. Portuguese police failed to solve the case.

But now Scotland Yard detectives are reviewing the investigation following a request from Prime Minister David Cameron.

----------------

Daily Star says... Daily Star

Prayer for McCanns

By Daily Star reporter
22nd December 2011

THE parents of missing Madeleine McCann will move into 2012 with "renewed energy and continued hope".

In an optimistic message, Kate and Gerry said they had ended the year on a positive note.

And while it is a time of "mixed emotions" they remain "determined" to find their missing girl.

They said: "This Christmas, please keep Madeleine and all missing loved ones and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

"Thank you to all our supporters for your help throughout the year and for remaining united with us."

Hear, hear.

Let's hope 2012 finally brings a breakthrough in this terrible case.

Because the McCanns have suffered for coming up to five long years.

Their unwavering hope is a beacon to us all in troubled times.

They deserve a break.

Some good news that delivers the happiest of Christmases.

The nation prays for them.

Do you hold the missing piece? McCanns release jigsaw image of Madeleine as they speak of 'continued hope' at Christmas, 22 December 2011
Do you hold the missing piece? McCanns release jigsaw image of Madeleine as they speak of 'continued hope' at Christmas Daily Mail

By Katie Silver
Last updated at 7:37 AM on 22nd December 2011

The parents of missing Madeleine McCann today thanked supporters for their help, saying they will move into 2012 with 'renewed energy and continued hope'.

In a message on the Find Madeleine website, Kate and Gerry McCann said: 'It's Christmas - again. A time of mixed emotions for our family and many others in similar positions around the world. A time to hold together.'

They added that they had ended the year on a positive note, with the launch of the Government's Missing Children and Adults' Strategy earlier this month.

The McCann parents continue their desperate search for new information, mentioning that Christmas is a particularly hard time for those with missing children

Still, the distressed parents appealed for new information, imploring: 'Do you hold the missing piece of the puzzle?'

And last week, Spanish private detectives claimed to have handed Scotland Yard 'important leads' in the search for the couple's daughter.

Madeleine was nearly four when she went missing from her family's holiday flat in Praia da Luz in the Algarve on May 3 2007 as her parents dined with friends nearby.

Writing on their website today, Mr and Mrs McCann said:

'Thank you to all our supporters for your help throughout the year and for remaining united with us in our longing and determination to find Madeleine.

'Our search for Madeleine and the Metropolitan Police review of the case are progressing well.

Gerry and Kate McCann of Leicestershire lost their daughter Madeline, 4, in Praia de Luz, Portugal in May 2007 (pictured). They have fought to find her since

'In addition, this December saw a landmark event for the protection of, and support for, missing children and their families left behind.

'The Government's Missing Children and Adults' Strategy aims to reduce the number of people who go missing; to protect the missing whilst they are away, and to give families access to support, similar to victims of crime.'

A police handout of Madeleine from December 2007

They said the strategy followed 12 months of campaigning by individuals and organisations such as the charity Missing People.

'Thank you to everyone who supported this campaign and influenced this significant development,' their message added.

'This Christmas, please keep Madeleine and all missing loved ones and their families in your thoughts and prayers. Thank you.

'The support you give enables us to move into 2012 with renewed energy and continued hope.'

Last week, Spanish private detectives claimed they had handed Scotland Yard up to eight 'very important leads' in the search for Madeleine.

Sources said four Metropolitan Police officers held talks with Barcelona firm Metodo 3, which investigated her disappearance on behalf of the family.

Kate and Gerry McCann at the High Court in London last month. The pair thanked supporters and asked for continued 'thoughts and prayers'

Investigator Francisco Marco Fernandez told Spanish TV officers had travelled to Spain to pick up around 30 boxes of documents.

A Scotland Yard spokesman refused to confirm the meeting took place and family spokesman Clarence Mitchell said: 'Kate and Gerry will simply not be commenting whilst the Metropolitan Police review of Madeleine's case is under way.

'They remain pleased that the Met team is continuing its work and that progress is being made.'

The Metropolitan Police force has said there would be no limits in its re-examination of the search.

Madeline's parents welcomed the Government's new Missing Children and Adults' Strategy and thanked those who campaigned for it

Police have travelled to Portugal three times in connection with the fresh review and a total of 30 people are now working on the force's Operation Grange.

The review prompted criticism when it was launched in May, with politicians expressing concerns that it would divert resources from other crime victims.

It was sparked after a request from Home Secretary Theresa May supported by Prime Minister David Cameron.

Portuguese detectives, helped by officers from Leicestershire Police, carried out a massive investigation into Madeleine's disappearance.

But the official inquiry was formally shelved in July 2008 and since then no police force has been actively looking for the missing child.

2011 Review: Liverpool Echo/Leicester Mercury, 27/28 December 2011
2011 review: Paddy Shennan reports on some of the events that made ECHO headlines between January and June Liverpool Echo

by Paddy Shennan
Dec 27 2011

- Extract -

JUNE

(...)

The chances of finding missing Madeleine McCann were improving after Scotland Yard was called in to review the investigation, according to her mum, Kate.

(...)

----------------------

2011 remembered in Leicestershire - May and June Leicester Mercury

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

- Extract -

May 2011: A sad anniversary for the McCann family, while in sport Coalville have a big day out in London

The month of May brought with it the anniversary that Kate and Gerry McCann prayed they would never see – four years since the disappearance of their daughter, Madeleine.

Later in the month, Kate McCann released her book, giving her account of how the little girl vanished during a family holiday.

It told of the support the couple received from villagers in Rothley and how they attempted to bring back some kind of normality to the lives of her two younger children, Sean and Amelie.

(...)

Bestselling books of 2011: the top 5,000 listed, 29 December 2011
Bestselling books of 2011: the top 5,000 listed The Guardian

Nielsen's bestselling books of 2011 are dominated by paperbacks and elderly novels. See what came top

Posted by Simon Rogers
Thursday 29 December 2011 08.30 GMT

- Extract -

Data summary


--------------
The top-1,000 selling books of 2011

--------------
Pos.
Title
Author
Imprint
Volume
Value, £
1
One Day#
Nicholls, David
Hodder Paperback
935,355
5,157,015.10
(...)
         
18
Madeleine: Our Daughter's Disappearance and the Continuing Search for Her
McCann, Kate
Bantam Press
246,939
2,504,671.44

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