March 27, 2014 in Nation/World

In brief: Jonathan Schell, anti-war activist, author, dies at 70

From Wire Reports

NEW YORK – Jonathan Schell, the crusading author, journalist and anti-war activist who condemned conflicts from Vietnam to Iraq and warned of a nuclear holocaust in terrifying detail in his galvanizing best-seller, “The Fate of the Earth,” has died at age 70.

Schell’s companion, Irena Gross, said he died Tuesday at their home in New York City. The cause was cancer, she said Wednesday.

With a hatred of war shaped in part by his firsthand accounts of U.S. military operations in Vietnam, Schell wrote for decades about the consequences of violence – real and potential – with a rage and idealism that never seemed to wane.

As gentle in person as he was impassioned on paper, Schell was a reporter and columnist for The New Yorker and Newsday among others and most recently the “peace and disarmament correspondent” for The Nation, where his last column appeared in the fall. He wrote several books, notably “The Village of Ben Suc” about Vietnam and “The Fate of the Earth,” published in 1982 during an especially tense moment of the Cold War.

Pope Francis fires Germany’s ‘bling bishop’

VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis on Wednesday fired a senior German prelate, known as the “bling bishop,” following his fall into disrepute for using church funds to build an expensive home for himself.

Limburg Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst had already been suspended by the pontiff in October, after the alleged $43 million bill for renovation work on his residence triggered a major scandal in Germany.

In a statement, the Vatican’s Congregation for Bishops said Pope Francis had accepted Tebartz-van Elst’s resignation after concluding that “a situation that prevents a fruitful exercise of the ministry” had arisen.

Software glitch delays space station arrival

MOSCOW – A software glitch on a Russian spacecraft heading to the International Space Station has delayed the arrival of three astronauts, including an American.

NASA said the crew was in no danger, and the U.S.-Russia space partnership was strong despite tensions over Ukraine.

The Soyuz spacecraft carrying Russians Alexander Skvortsov and Oleg Artemyev and NASA’s Steve Swanson blasted off successfully early Wednesday and was scheduled to dock six hours later. Because of the glitch, the trip will now take two days.

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