CHURCH GROUPS WANT DAVID CURBED

The Washington DC-based Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has joined several Christian groups in denouncing a recent Curb Your Enthusiasm episode in which Larry David's character accidentally splatters urine on a picture of Jesus. "It is beyond tasteless to insult the religious sensibilities of billions of people in America and around the world with such a cheap and vulgar publicity stunt. Jesus, peace be upon him, is loved and revered by both Christians and Muslims," said CAIR in a letter to HBO, which carries the series. In Sunday's episode, David's character, who has been taking medication to increase his urine flow, visits a bathroom in his assistant's home and discovers that the medication has succeeded beyond his imagination. Moments later, the assistant enters the bathroom, sees the droplets of urine on Jesus's picture, concludes that Jesus is crying, and summons her mother. When she arrives, they both kneel and begin praying. The Catholic League, the nation's largest lay Catholic group, was the first to condemn the show. "Would [David] think it's comedic if someone urinated on a picture of his mother?" Catholic League President Bill Donohue asked in a statement. Appearing on Fox News, Deal Hudson, who operates InsideCatholic.com, demanded that HBO apologize. "Why is it that people are allowed to publicly show that level of disrespect for Christian symbols?" he asked. In response, HBO made no apologies, maintaining that David's "humor is always playful and certainly never malicious."

DOBBS CLAIMS THAT SOMEONE SHOT AT HIS WIFE

CNN personality Lou Dobbs claimed on Thursday that someone fired a shot at his wife outside their home on October 5 and blamed the incident on critics of his stand on illegal immigration. "I know - it's become part of a way of life - the anger, the hate, the vitriol, but it's taken a different tone where they've threatened my wife," Dobbs said on his radio show. He did not explain why he had not discussed the incident for more than four weeks or why he was convinced that the shooter was one of his critics. The Associated Press quoted a police investigator as saying that the bullet did not penetrate the siding of the house but merely fell to the ground outside.

ELECTRONICS COMPANIES POST BETTER-THAN-EXPECTED RESULTS

Several consumer electronics manufacturers posted higher-than-expected revenue results today (Friday) that boosted their stock. Heading the list was Korea-based Samsung, which reported third-quarter profits of $3.1 billion, more than three times the results for the same quarter a year ago. The company attributed the surge primarily to strong sales by its LCD television unit as demand for home theater systems continues to rise internationally. Samsung's stock closed up 1.4 percent on the Korean Stock Exchange. Likewise, Japan's Panasonic posted a net profit of $67.1 million, thereby laying to rest predictions that it would report a sizable loss. Its shares were up 1.9 percent. Finally, Sony reported a loss of $292 million, but that was nearly half the loss that had been predicted by many brokers. Sony shares climbed 2.8 percent on the news.

BBC EXECS FACE 25-PERCENT SALARY CUTS

Britain's publicly funded BBC, under pressure to cut costs, said Thursday that it will cut the salaries of some 641 senior managers and executives by an average of about 25 percent and eliminate 18 percent of its senior management posts. The announcement was made by the BBC Trust, which oversees the use of the $5 billion in annual receipts that the broadcaster collects each year in "license fees" paid by everyone in the U.K. who owns a television set. The BBC had announced earlier that he planned to cut the amount it pays to on-air talent. Sir Michael Lyons, the BBC Trust's chairman, said: "It is right that as a major public service organization, the BBC shows leadership on this issue during difficult economic times."