LONDON – The scale of the child sex abuse scandal engulfing the BBC expanded on Thursday as authorities announced that 300 potential victims had come forward with accusations against one of the broadcaster’s most popular children’s entertainers and that others might have acted with him.
The scandal swirling around one of Britain’s most respected news organizations also prompted a spirited defense from New York Times chairman and publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. of the paper’s incoming CEO, the former top executive of the BBC.
In a letter to staff, Sulzberger said he was satisfied that Mark Thompson, who was the BBC’s director general until last month, had no role in the decision to scrap an investigative segment about the abuse allegations against the late Jimmy Savile.
The well-known children’s TV and radio host is accused of using his fame to coerce teens into having sex with him in his car, his camper and even in dressing rooms on BBC premises.
Police Commander Peter Spindler, head of the Scotland Yard inquiry into the scandal, said Thursday that 300 potential victims had come forward so far and even more were expected to contact authorities. He said all but two of the cases involved girls and that detectives had interviewed 130 people.
Astronauts dock at space station
ALMATY, Kazakhstan – A Russian Soyuz spacecraft carrying three astronauts and a consignment of fish successfully docked Thursday with the International Space Station after a two-day voyage.
The arrival of NASA astronaut Kevin Ford and Russians Oleg Novitsky and Yevgeny Tarelkin on Thursday brings the crew at the orbiting outpost to six.
Novitsky gently slotted the Soyuz craft into the Russian Poisk research module around 255 miles above southern Ukraine around six minutes ahead of the scheduled 8:35 a.m. arrival.
The trio blasted off Tuesday from a Russian-leased facility in the southern Kazakhstan town of Baikonur.
Incoming cargo includes 32 guppy-like fish that will be used to test how conditions in space impact on living organisms.
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