APPOINTED. Zhang Yimou, 54, dynamic Chinese film director of everything from rich period dramas (1991's Raise the Red Lantern) to allegorical martial-arts sagas (2004's House of Flying Daggers); as leader of the design team for the 2008 Summer Olympics; in Beijing. Announced last week, the team which also includes U.S. filmmaker Steven Spielberg will design the opening and closing ceremonies for the Games.
CONVICTED. George Ryan, 72, ex-Governor of Illinois; of racketeering, mail fraud, making false statements to FBI agents and tax evasion, in one of the biggest corruption scandals in the U.S. state's history; in Chicago. The accusations ended the Republican's political career in 2003, even as he basked in global acclaim for commuting the sentences of all of Illinois' death-row inmates.
SENTENCED. Ali Sufian al-Ammari, 28, and 12 other Islamic radicals, to jail terms ranging from 18 months to seven years; for planning to bomb U.S. targets and kidnap American citizens in Yemen; in Sana'a. The terrorist cell, whose members were arrested in June 2005, was alleged to have stockpiled explosives and weapons and surveyed restaurants and hotels used by Americans in the Yemeni capital. The cell's alleged leader, al-Ammari, received the heaviest sentence for his role in founding and training the group.
DIED. Sir Jack Cater, 84, Hong Kong corruption-fighter widely credited with eliminating endemic graft in the then colony in the 1970s; on Britain's Channel Island of Guernsey. As head of the newly formed Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), the ex-Royal Air Force squadron leader cracked down on the city's notoriously crooked police force and inefficient bureaucracy. He was appointed Hong Kong's Chief Secretary in 1978 under Governor Murray MacLehose, and later became its Commissioner to London before retiring from government in 1985.
DIED. Warren Platner, 86, architect and designer whose graceful steel-wire chairs, tables and ottomans for the Knoll furniture firm have been continuously produced since 1966; in New Haven, Connecticut. Platner, who worked with Eero Saarinen and I.M. Pei, had a role in some of the most striking examples of modernism, including the interior design of Chicago's Water Tower Place, a vertical shopping mall, and Windows on the World, the restaurant that sat atop New York City's World Trade Center.
DIED. Ellen Kuzwayo, 91, prominent prize-winning South African author; in Soweto. Imprisoned in 1977 for political protests, she shot to national fame as a women's-rights and anti-apartheid champion with her autobiography Call Me Woman, which made her the first black woman to win South Africa's CNA literary prize. In the country's first all-race elections in 1994, the African National Congress member won a seat in Parliament, where she served five years.