RESIGNED. ZHANG ENZHAO, 58, as chairman of China Construction Bank (CCB), the country's third largest bank; citing "personal reasons"; amid unconfirmed Hong Kong media reports that he was fired as the result of a corruption investigation; in Beijing. In a statement, the bank's board didn't mention the corruption allegations, but said it "would move forward with improvement of its governing structure and accelerate reform of its management."
APPOINTED. ROBERT IGER, 54, president of Walt Disney Co.; as CEO, to replace his longtime boss Michael Eisner, who will step down in September under fire from shareholders over his autocratic management style and Disney's lackluster growth; in Los Angeles. Though a recent book claimed that Eisner did not have confidence in his No. 2's ability to fill his shoes, Iger was tapped by the board of directors when Eisner decided to step down one year earlier than expected.
APPOINTED. HAN DUCK-SOO, 55, veteran South Korean bureaucrat and supporter of open market economic policies; as the country's new finance minister; in Seoul. Han replaced Lee Hun-jai, who resigned last week, and promised to follow a similar economic strategy as his predecessor. "I will do my best to assure markets [of consistency], revive the economy and establish systems for an advanced Korea," Han said. The government hopes to achieve 5% economic growth this year.
ACQUITTED. RIPUDAMAN SINGH MALIK, 58, and AJAIB SINGH BAGRI, 55, of the 1985 Air India plane bombing that killed 329 people, most of them Canadian Hindus; by a Supreme Court judge in Vancouver. The terrorist bombing, of a New Delhi-bound flight from Toronto, was believed to have been carried out by Sikh separatists in retaliation for the Indian Army's 1984 storming of a Sikh holy shrine in Amritsar. Prosecutors were hampered by a lack of physical evidence and credible living witnesses. Only one person has ever been convicted in the bombing.
DIED. JANET REGER, 69, women's underwear designer whose company brought back sexy, luxury lingerie to Britain; in London. Reger founded Janet Reger Creations in 1967, introducing a line of brightly colored, lace-trimmed under-garments in satin and silk. Women flocked to be fitted by Reger and men anticipated the company's racy sales catalogs. Reger's daughter, Aliza, now runs the company.
PERFORMANCE OF THE WEEK
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said he'd answer questions "from my heart" during his March 14 news conference. His heart was well prepared. Most questions allowed at the event came from journalists whose queries were screened in advance by the Foreign Ministry—hence Wen's Sanskrit poetry recital after a question by an Indian reporter. In response to a TIME query, the ministry denied screening questions and said reporters "are free to raise any question." So long as it's not an ad-lib.
2 Number of South Koreans who cut off their little fingers at a demonstration last week to protest Japan's claim to islets occupied by South Korea
8 million Number of Filipinos who legally worked abroad last year
540,000 Number of Chinese who legally worked abroad last year. Beijing is pushing for a bigger share of the overseas labor market to ease unemployment at home
70 Number of provinces in Thailand, out of 76 total, affected by the country's drought. Ten areas in northern Thailand's Chiang Mai province have been declared disaster zones
26 Number of prisoners in Iraq and Afghanistan whose deaths in American custody are known or suspected by investigators to have been the result of criminal homicide
3 Years of imprisonment, the strictest punishment yet meted out to any U.S. soldier for prison abuse