Chung-Mong Koo may be a convicted man, but he is free to continue doing what he does best, managing affairs at the helm of the sixth largest automobile manufacturer in the world. On Thursday, a judge in a South Korean appeals court handed down a 3-year suspended sentence against Koo, the chief of Hyundai Motor Group.
Burbank, Calif. -- Fred Thompson, the ex-Tennessee senator-turned-actor, officially declared his candidacy Wednesday in the Republican race for the U.S. presidency.
After months of testing the waters, Thompson finally joined the race for the GOP nod just four months before the first voting begins.
"I am running for president of the United States," he said during a taping of NBC's "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," prompting cheers and applause from the audience in Burbank, Calif.
Thompson said he plans to discuss his decision in a Web cast scheduled to go online early Thursday.
The former federal prosecutor made his mark as Republican counsel on the Senate Watergate committee, and served eight years in the U.S. Senate from Tennessee.
However, Thompson also is known as an actor, having starred in several high-profile movies, such as "In the Line of Fire," "Class Action," and "Die Hard 2." His most recognized role has been District Attorney Arthur Branch in NBC's "Law & Order."
Louisville, Ky. -- John Schnatter, founder and chairman of the Papa John's pizza chain, has sold nearly $8.6 million worth of company stock in the past week, reports say.
That brings his stake in the Louisville-based company to less than 21 percent.
Schnatter sold 322,400 shares between last Friday and Wednesday for between $26 and $27.50 per share, according to filings this week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Louisville Courier Journal reported.
In June, Schnatter filed a trading plan with the SEC, that allowed him to sell up to 1.8 million shares of the Louisville-based pizza chain's stock through June 30 of next year.
Schnatter and his wife pledged $6 million to the University of Louisville that is expected to help pay for a new football stadium, the report said. .A company official said the sale and the pledge were unrelated.
Durban, South Africa -- This year's Roscar awards in South Africa for wildlife movies included a memorial award honoring filmmaker Rick Lomba, killed on location by a Bengal tiger.
Nicky Lomba, the filmmaker's 18-year-old daughter, presented a statue of a hippo Wednesday to Evert van den Bos of Nature Conservation Films, based in Holland and Tanzania, for his movie about a woman who saved the street elephants in Thailand, the Durban Daily News reported Thursday. Van den Bos' work also earned a rhino Roscar -- the wildlife equivalent of an Oscar -- for best environmental-conservation campaign film at the Durban Wild Talk Africa conference.
Julika Kennaway of Cape Town won the Roscar for the best newcomer with her movie about a man, Daniel Radziej, who had a special bond with two leopards and a lion on an isolated farm in Namibia. Radziej was killed when the four-wheel-drive vehicle Kennaway was driving crashed after a day of filming.
WASHINGTON -- Former U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson, R-Tenn. -- best known for playing a lawyer on TV -- plans to announce his presidential candidacy on the Internet.
Thompson's campaign announced Thursday the official announcement will be made Sept. 6 on www.ImWithFred.com, The Des Moines Register reported. Thompson will follow up the announcement with three days in Iowa and visits to New Hampshire and South Carolina, all early primary states.
"By announcing via Web cast, Fred is able to take his consistently mainstream conservative message directly to the voters, who are already responding to that message with a strong upwelling of grassroots support," Bill Lacy, the manager of his exploratory committee, said in a statement.
Thompson, a lawyer and lobbyist, spent one term in the Senate representing Tennessee. He got into acting playing himself in a movie about a Tennessee whistleblower, and most recently played District Attorney Arthur Branch on "Law & Order."
LUXEMBOURG -- The next International Monetary Fund director likely will not be European, the eurozone finance ministers president said in an interview published Wednesday.
"In the euro group and among (European Union) finance ministers, everyone is aware that (former French Finance Minister) Dominique Strauss-Kahn will probably be the last European to become director of the IMF in the foreseeable future," Jean-Claude Juncker, who also is Luxembourg's prime minister, told FT Deutschland, The Financial Times' sister newspaper.
Juncker's comments were a response to growing criticism from large developing economies the EU was trying to maintain its claim to nominate the IMF head by putting forward Strauss-Kahn, FT Deutschland said.
Under a longstanding, if tacit, agreement, the IMF is headed by a European and the United States has the right to nominate the head of the World Bank.
A U.S. Census Bureau report on Tuesday has shown a drop in poverty rate in the country. Making its annual report on Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance, the report said Americans had made up for pay cuts by working for longer time periods daily in 2006.
Google Inc. has announced the departure of one of its top executives, Chief Financial Officer George Reyes. The 53-year old high profile CFO will, however, remain with the company till they are able to find someone to succeed him at office, a task expected to take a few months.
CHICAGO -- The words Hollywood craves -- "two thumbs up" -- are gone while reviewer Roger Ebert and Disney-ABC work on a renewal of "At the Movies With Ebert & Roeper."
Disney-ABC Domestic Television waited until late last week to announce Ebert was withholding permission to use the thumbs, which he and late partner Gene Siskel copyrighted, reported the Chicago Sun-Times, for whom Ebert reviews movies. Ebert denied he withheld the designation.
The long-time movie reviewer is negotiating a new contract with the program from which he has been absent since cancer surgery last year.
"They made a first offer … which I considered offensively low," Ebert said by e-mail to the Chicago Tribune. "I responded with a counteroffer. They did not reply to this, and ... ordered the 'thumbs' removed from the show. This is not something I expected after an association (with Disney) of over 22 years."
WASHINGTON -- White House officials say first lady Laura Bush will not be traveling to Australia with her husband in September due to a pinched nerve.
Sally McDonough, a spokeswoman for the first lady, said she sustained the painful injury while hiking in Utah's Zion National Park in the spring of this year, ABC News reported Monday.
"The nerve is in her neck area and it is uncomfortable," McDonough said. The spokeswoman said Laura Bush is not taking any medication for the injury "that I'm aware of."
Mrs. Bush was able to accompany her husband to Africa in June, but White House doctors who have been administering her physical therapy recommended she skip the Australia visit because of the long flights to and from the country.
McDonough said the first lady phoned Australian Prime Minister John Howard's wife Sunday to express her regrets for missing the trip.
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