Murdochs face 50 more hacking claims. The queue of people suing Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World for hacking into their voicemails and putting them under surveillance is getting longer, despite 16 cases being settled overnight in London’s High Court.

Hugh Tomlinson QC told Justice Vos there are now another 50 plaintiffs ready to march into the courtroom, with half a dozen already lined up as test cases. However, Rupert and James Murdoch will doubtless be relieved that a couple of their loudest critics — comedian Steve Coogan and the Liberal Democrats deputy leader Simon Hughes — finally went quietly. — Paul Barry (read the full story here)

Murdochs throw a party for Dame Elisabeth. It was all hands on deck for one of Australia’s most powerful families last night, as Dame Elisabeth Murdoch celebrated her 103rd birthday at the Melbourne Recital Centre.

A significant philanthropist (the hall where the party was held bears her name), the mother of media baron Rupert Murdoch was recognised by being made a freewoman of the city for services to the City of Melbourne. Dame Elisabeth’s grandchildren, Lachlan and Elisabeth, were in attendance to help cut the cake, while dignitaries Victorian premier Ted Baillieu (No. 2 on our Melbourne list), lord mayor Robert Doyle (No. 7 in Melbourne) and News Limited boss Kim Williams (our No. 4 Media Maestro) also joined the celebrations. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Mike Smith’s interest rates power play. Last year, we named RBA chief Glenn Stevens as our No.2 Money Mover because of his huge say over interest rates. Tomorrow we might see Stevens’ place on the power list threatened, with ANZ chief Mike Smith set to go it alone in shifting the bank’s rates.

The ANZ will announce on Friday whether it plans to shift its rates independently of the RBA, when the bank’s new rate-setting committee meets for the first time. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

GetUp’s birthday gift for Rinehart. Gina Rinehart turns 58 today. But, with her family dispute continuing, and a new advertising campaign launched by GetUp! questioning the motivations behind her Fairfax raid, the celebrations are bound to be relatively low-key.

And given her current courtroom dispute is against three of her four children who allege their mother has been involved in “serious misconduct” as the trustee of the family’s trust fund, we’re guessing the family birthday wishes will be in short supply. — The Power Index (read the full story here)

Peter Fray

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