Reporting from London — Two tabloid journalists were arrested Tuesday in a phone-hacking scandal that has reached into the highest echelons of Britain's government and involved the royal family.
The two men were arrested on suspicion of illegally intercepting voice mail messages left on cellphones. Authorities declined to name the pair, but British news reports identified them as Neville Thurlbeck and Ian Edmondson, the chief reporter and former news editor, respectively, of the News of the World, a British weekly specializing in celebrity gossip and sensational stories.
The two allegedly took part in a widespread effort by reporters at the tabloid to tap into the cellphones of movie stars, professional athletes and other celebrities, in hopes of gleaning tidbits for publication. One former reporter for the paper, Clive Goodman, has already spent time in jail for illegally accessing messages left by Prince William and Prince Harry for their aides.
The scandal has turned into a headache for both the police and the government.
Scotland Yard has been accused of conducting a lackadaisical investigation into the initial allegations of phone hacking several years ago, reopening the case only after an expose appeared in the New York Times in September.