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News International to launch Sun on Sunday website?

Domain name registered two days before News of the World closed

News International could be preparing to replace the News of the World with the Sun on Sunday, after it was revealed that two related domain names had been registered earlier this week.

The closure of the News of the World was announced yesterday by News International chief executive James Murdoch. The shock closure of the Sunday tabloid, which has run for 168 years, was in response to the growing fury over the paper's role in a phone hacking scandal that saw the voicemails of high-profile celebrities, politicians and even victims of the 7/7 London bombings and murdered teenager Milly Dowler hacked by a private investigator.

Micro-blogging service Twitter was whipped into a frenzy, with web users commenting on the paper's demise, as well as predicting which title would replace the News of the World. The hash tag #NOTW remained in the most popular trending topics on Twitter throughout the day and the paper was mentioned a staggering 7,000 times in an hour and a half after the story broke yesterday afternoon.

While titles as outlandish as The News of the Universe were suggested, many speculated that the existing daily tabloid The Sun would simply be made available seven days a week.

These rumours were further fuelled when the Sunday Telegraph's business editor, Kamal Ahmed, noticed the Sun on Sunday web domains were registered two days ago.

"All in the planning - sunonsunday.co.uk and sunonsunday.com registered two days ago," he tweeted.

According to Who.is, a site that allows web users to look up information including registration dates of thousand of top-level domains (TLDs) and second-level domains (SLDs), www.thesunonsunday.co.uk was registered on July 5 this year.

However, the site did not list the registrant's name or address, simply stating: "The registrant is a non-trading individual who has opted to have their address omitted from the WHOIS service."

Last week, News International staff were also told a single group managing editor covering both the The Sun and the News of the World had been appointed, which further fuelled the rumours that The Sun will move to publication seven days a week.

News International has yet to comment on the speculation.

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