NEW YORK/LONDON (Reuters) – NYSE Euronext's attempts to charm investors into backing the lowest of two bids were overshadowed by investor demands the exchange open talks with arch-rival Nasdaq OMX.
At a packed shareholder meeting in New York on Thursday, the Big Board owner faced mounting calls that it talk to its cross-town rival, whose $11.2 billion advances it has rejected in favor of a near $10 billion all stock merger with Deutsche Boerse.
Kenneth Steiner, who owns about 1,000 NYSE Euronext shares, called for the board to be ousted and accused the company of selling itself too cheaply by ignoring the Nasdaq-led cash and stock bid.
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan – Taliban militants tunneled at least 480 inmates out of the main prison in southern Afghanistan overnight, whisking them through a 1,000-foot-long underground passage they had dug over months, officials and insurgents said Monday.
Officials at Sarposa prison in the city of Kandahar, the birthplace of the Taliban, say they only discovered the breach at about 4 a.m., a half hour after the Taliban said they had gotten all the prisoners out.
TOKYO (Reuters) – Toyota Motor Corp (7203.T) said it could take until the end of the year before production has fully recovered to levels before the massive earthquake and tsunami on March 11 devastated Japan's northeast, disrupting the supply of key parts.
In the clearest forecast yet of how long it would take for the Japanese auto industry to recover, Toyota said output would start to pick up in July in Japan and around August overseas, with a complete recovery expected in November or December.
Until then, Toyota's domestic factories will continue to work at volumes equivalent to half of original plans, and at an average 40 percent outside Japan, the world's biggest automaker said.
NEW YORK (Reuters) – McDonald's Corp (MCD.N) reported a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on Thursday as the world's largest restaurant company posted March sales in all regions that topped analyst expectations.
Total revenue during the quarter that ended March 31, rose 9 percent to $6.1 billion, with sales in Europe leading the way.
March sales at restaurants open at least 13 months were up 3 percent in the United States, up 4.9 percent in Europe and gained 0.5 percent in McDonald's Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa unit. Globally they rose 3.6 percent.
LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) – The 2006 movie "Superman Returns" was supposed to reignite the comic-book character for big-screen audiences and make a star out of unknown actor Brandon Routh. While critics praised the film, it underwhelmed at the box office, earning $391 million worldwide.
Now, with another Superman film in the works -- Zack Snyder's "Superman: Man of Steel," which stars Henry Cavill in the title role -- "Superman Returns" director-producer Bryan Singer says he made some mistakes with his own film.
PARIS (AFP) – Film director Woody Allen could see French President Nicolas Sarkozy playing a role like those of Humphrey Bogart, who was famous for his cynical and hardboiled anti-heroes.
Allen has already directed Sarkozy's wife, supermodel turned singer Carla Bruni, in a cameo role in his latest movie "Midnight in Paris", which will premiere next month at the Cannes Fim Festival in southern France.
Asked by the French weekly "Journal du Dimanche" whether he could imagine casting Sarkozy himself in a future production, Allen said he could.
"If such an idea ever came into my head, I could no doubt find him work. I could see him in a Bogart type role," he said.
Bogart appeared in at least 75 films in the 1930s, 40s and 50s, but was best known in the roles of tough guy private eye Sam Spade in The Maltese Falcon and reluctant resistance hero Rick Blaine in Casablanca.
When the interviewer asked whether Sarkozy might not be better off emulating another US actor better known for playing psychopathic gangsters -- "Goodfellas" star Joe Pesci -- Allen laughed.
"A hard nut? Yes, yes, I'm sure he could play that," he joked, according to the French paper's translation of its interview.
Allen also denied a rumour that, following her walk-on part in "Midnight in Paris", Bruni might take a meatier role in his next movie, insisting she had no plans to become an actress and had taken the previous role for fun.