Cosmologist had an eye on the universe

Hermann Bondi, an astrophysicist whose ideas about cosmology helped formulate the steady-state theory of the universe, has died at age 85. Martin Rees, Britain's royal astronomer, said Bondi died on September 10 in Cambridge. He had suffered from Parkinson's disease for years, Rees said.

‘Judy was the love of his life’

Producer Sid Luft, who is credited with reviving the career of his then-wife Judy Garland in the 1950s, has died. He was 89. Luft, whose movie production credits included Kilroy Was Here (1947), French Leave (1948) and A Star Is Born (1954), died on Thursday in Santa Monica of an apparent heart attack.

How I did my bit for global apocalypse

On Wednesday, he was just watering the dead bonsai juniper on his desk when his in-box pinged. Dave down in Concentric Redundancies had flagged the e-mail as possessing "Extreme Priority", as he did with all his messages: Mr Maseko upstairs had already had a word with Dave about sending photographs of a brown smudge on various hideous quilts.

‘Remarkable talent’ in cinema will be sorely missed

Guy Green, who won an Academy Award for cinematography for the 1946 film Great Expectations, died of heart and kidney failure at his Beverly Hills home. He was 91. Green, who also directed more than two dozen films, lapsed into a coma about 10 hours before his death on Thursday, his wife of 57 years, Josephine Green, told The Associated Press.

Oscar-winning director dies of heart failure

Robert Wise, director of top Hollywood musicals West Side Story and The Sound of Music, died overnight at his Los Angeles home, days after his 91st birthday, an official of the San Sebastian film festival said on Thursday. The death of Wise cast a pall over the festival, which was scheduled to pay a special homage to the director who also made Star Trek, the Motion Picture.

Time for questions

It is hard to know what to make of this week's Cabinet statement affirming the executive's duty to answer parliamentary questions, while simultaneously hinting that certain questions are unreasonable and a waste of the government's time. One would like to think that Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka's appointment to probe the matter is a positive development.

‘I consider myself as Russian as I am French’

Vladimir Volkoff, a Franco-Russian author of espionage novels and non-fiction books famed in France, died overnight at home, his publisher, Pierre-Guillaume de Roux, said on Wednesday. He was 72. Volkoff began his literary career in 1962 after serving as a French secret-service officer.

Chief rabbi built bridges between faiths

South Africa's chief rabbi emeritus Cyril Harris succumbed to cancer on Tuesday in Hermanus in the Western Cape, a Jewish Board of Deputies spokesperson said on Tuesday. ''His body will be taken to Jerusalem and buried either on Wednesday evening or Thursday morning,'' Zev Krengel said on Tuesday night.

Blues star dies after avoiding hurricane

Clarence ''Gatemouth'' Brown, the famed Louisiana-based singer and guitarist known for Cajun music, blues and jazz, has died in Texas after leaving New Orleans to avoid the ravages of Hurricane Katrina. The Grammy Award-winner died on Saturday aged 81, according to media reports.

Diplomat key in forging US-China ties

Xiong Xianghui, a former assistant to Chinese premier Zhou Enlai who was involved in the rapprochement between Beijing and Washington in the early 1970s, has died of lung cancer, state media reported on Tuesday. He was 86. An official funeral was to be held at Babaoshan Revolutionary Martyrs' Cemetery in Beijing.

The lawyer who went after the Marcos millions

Feisty Philippine lawyer Haydee Yorac, who led the recovery of more than -million of ill-gotten wealth of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, died on Tuesday in the United States due to a lingering illness. Yorac (64) died in Chicago, Illinois, while being treated for ovarian cancer.

‘Mr Softball’ devoted his life to the game

If anyone in South Africa deserved the sobriquet ''Mr Softball'', it was Phillipus ''Phillip'' Petrus Kahts, who died recently in Cape Town at the age of 62. The past 46 years of Kahts's life were devoted to the game. Among other achievements, he successfully bid for the men's fast-pitch Softball World Cup to be held in South Africa in 2000.

Horne’s irony was lost on Australia

Donald Horne, a historian and author who first labelled Australia ''The Lucky Country'' and was credited with helping launch its republican movement, has died at age 83, his agent said. Horne, who also was a respected journalist, died early on Thursday at his Sydney home, said his literary agent, Jane Cameron.

Affordable offshore investing

For Deutsche Bank and the JSE, the launch of Itrix, their range of international exchange traded funds (ETFs), could not have come at a better time amid fierce public debate on fund management fees. An ETF is a basket of shares that passively tracks an underlying index and is itself listed on a stock exchange.

Joerger ‘provided foundations’ of Disneyland

Fred Joerger, one of Disneyland's original model makers who crafted miniature versions of the park's Sleeping Beauty Castle and other attractions, has died. He was 91. Walt Disney hired Joerger in 1953 as one of his first three model makers. They invented the profession that became known as ''imagineering'' .

Tall, suave and an engaging cad

Terence Morgan, the tall, suave actor who appeared in 1950s films including Turn the Key Softly, Tread Softly Stranger and Dance, Little Lady, has died at the age of 83, his family said. His first film role was Laertes in Lawrence Olivier's Hamlet in 1948.

Stern in court but likeable in person

United States Supreme Court Chief Justice William H Rehnquist died late on Saturday outside Washington after battling advanced thyroid cancer for more than 10 months. He served more than 33 years on the court, including nearly 19 years as the 16th chief justice in the court's 216-year history.

In the news tonight

Mike van Graan delivers the top stories from an alternative news source.