UK’s News of the World bids farewell to readers

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    LONDON (AP) ? Britain’s tabloid News of the World is signing off with a simple front page message: THANK YOU & GOODBYE.

    The tabloid’s on Saturday is printing its last edition after an expanding phone-hacking scandal brought down the muckraking newspaper after 168 years.

    The final edition hits newsstands on Sunday and is expected to pay tribute to the News of the World’s many scoops in its archives.

    THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP’s earlier story is below.

    SUN VALLEY, Idaho (AP) ? Rupert Murdoch has expressed his full support for the head of his U.K. newspaper division amid continuing fallout from an expanding phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World.

    The tabloid, forced to close amid fresh revelations of impropriety, is printing its final issue Saturday.

    Many journalists and media watchers have expressed astonishment that Rebekah Brooks, who was editor of Murdoch-owned News of the World when some of the hacking allegedly occurred, was keeping her job even as the paper’s journalists are put out of work.

    When asked by reporters Saturday in Sun Valley, Idaho ? where he is attending a media conference ? if Brooks continues to have his support, Murdoch replied simply: “Total.”

    “We already apologized,” he said. “We’ve been let down by people … the paper let down its readers.”

    Murdoch is expected in London Sunday on a scheduled visit.