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Rebekah Brooks' gift horse

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The expanding inquiry into the culture of bribery, phone hacking, and generally cozy relations between reporters at Rupert Murdoch's British tabloids and the UK police, has yielded a nugget that's a bit of an early Christmas present for tabloid headline writers.

Rebekah Brooks, a Murdoch confidante and former editor of his defunct weekly tabloid News of the World, was given a horse by the Metropolitan police. The retired police horse was housed at Brooks' country estate for about two years ending in 2010, and her spokesman has said that it was an act of charity on her part. The Mirror, a rival of Murdoch's tabloid The Sun, has dubbed the event "horsegate." You can count on them riding this one for a few days yet.

(The Sun, oddly, is ignoring the horse story to focus on what celebrities are getting up to on Twitter and warning that drug violence in UK cities is "as bad as Mexico.")

Brooks may be hounded by the police now and is out on bail on charges connected to the News of the World scandal, but she was once a major mover and shaker in British politics and society.

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