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News Summary: Deal on UK press regulation

The Associated Press

PRESS LAW: British politicians struck a last-minute deal on press regulation. The new code aims to curb the worst abuses of the country's scandal-ridden media.

THE BACKGROUND: Victims' groups had lobbied for an independent watchdog whose powers are rooted in legislation. Media groups had opposed any law, saying it threatens press freedom.

THE COMPROMISE: The proposed regulator would be independent of the media and could force newspapers to pay fines of up to $1.5 million if they violate the body's rules. Submitting to the regulator is optional, but media outside the watchdog's purview risk being slapped with extra damages if stories fall afoul of Britain's court system.