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The Observer is a British newspaper published on Sundays.
In the same place on the political spectrum as its sister papers The Guardian and The Guardian Weekly, whose parent company Guardian Media Group Limited acquired it in 1993, it takes a social liberal or social democratic line on most issues.
Though early editions purported editorial independence, Bourne attempted to cut his losses and sell the title to the government.
When this failed, Bourne's brother (a wealthy businessman) made an offer to the government, which also refused to buy the paper but agreed to subsidise it in return for influence over its editorial content.
In 1870, wealthy businessman Julius Beer bought the paper and appointed Edward Dicey as editor, whose efforts succeeded in reviving circulation.
During this period, the Astors were content to leave the control of the paper in Garvin's hands.
Garvin quickly turned the paper into an organ of political influence, boosting circulation from 5,000 to 40,000 within a year of his arrival as a result.
Yet the revival in the paper's fortunes masked growing political disagreements between Garvin and Northcliffe.
Their conflict contributed to Garvin's departure as editor in 1942, after which the paper took the unusual step of declaring itself non-partisan.
Ownership passed to Waldorf's sons in 1948, with David taking over as editor. Under Astor's editorship The Observer became the first national newspaper to oppose the government's 1956 invasion of Suez, a move which cost it many readers.
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Content from The Observer is included in The Guardian Weekly for an international readership.