London – The British Broadcasting Corporation’s top executive resigned Saturday night after the prestigious broadcaster’s marquee news magazine wrongly implicated a British politician in a child sex-abuse scandal, deepening the crisis that exploded after it decided not to air similar allegations against one of its own stars who police now say was one of the nation’s worst pedophiles.
In a brief statement outside BBC headquarters, George Entwistle said he decided to do the “honorable thing” and step down after just eight weeks in the job.
It was a rapid about-face for Entwistle, a 23-year BBC veteran who earlier Saturday had insisted he had no plans to resign despite growing questions about his leadership and the BBC’s integrity in the wake of the scandals.
Lawmaker John Whittingdale, who chairs a parliamentary committee on the news media, said Entwistle had no choice but to go, as the BBC’s management appears to have “lost their grip” on the publicly funded organization.
As government talks founder, car bomb rocks Syrian city
Beirut – Several car bombs rocked the southern Syrian city of Daraa on Saturday, a day in which opposition activists meeting abroad failed again to reach agreement about the shape of a government-in-exile acceptable to the United States and other nations sympathetic to the rebellion against President Bashar Assad.
The explosions in Daraa come as escalating turmoil envelops Syria amid new United Nations warnings that a humanitarian crisis could morph into a catastrophe. Colder, wetter weather is complicating efforts to aid about 2 million people already displaced by the fighting.
The government and the opposition gave divergent accounts of the bombings in Daraa, 60 miles south of Damascus, the capital.
The opposition said a pair of car bombs targeted military installations in Daraa, killing at least 20 soldiers.
Government media said “terrorists” – their official label for armed rebels – detonated three car bombs on public streets, killing seven civilians and injuring others.