Munich (Germany) (AFP) - Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone went on trial in Germany on Thursday, denying charges of bribery that threaten to land the British billionaire in jail. Ecclestone, 83, is accused of paying a German banker tens of millions of dollars to ensure his continued grip on the motor sports empire he built up virtually single-handedly over four decades. The mop-topped, diminutive F1 magnate entered the packed Munich courtroom in his trademark black suit and white shirt, saying only: "I'm confident, the sun is shining." He also declared that Ecclestone does not intend to speak for now in the trial that is set to run until September.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits increased more than expected last week, but the rise probably does not suggest a shift in labor market conditions as the underlying trend continued to point to strength. Initial claims for state unemployment benefits rose 24,000 to a seasonally adjusted 329,000 for the week ended April 19, the Labor Department said on Thursday.