PARIS – Bernard Bigot, a French scientist leading a vast international effort to demonstrate that nuclear fusion can be a viable source of energy, has died. He was 72.
The organization behind the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor, or ITER, said Bigot died Saturday from an unspecified illness. The organization's director general since March 2015, Bigot was approaching the midway point of his second term, due to end in 2025.
An ITER statement described his death as “a tragic blow to the global fusion community.”
His deputy, Eisuke Tada, will take over leadership of the ITER project during the search for Bigot's successor.
Unlike existing fission reactors that produce radioactive waste and sometimes catastrophic meltdowns, proponents of fusion say it offers a clean and virtually limitless supply of energy if scientists and engineers can harness it.
Richard Wald, ABC journalist, 92
NEW YORK – Richard Wald, a longtime journalist who helped build ABC News into a powerhouse following a career in newspapers, has died. He was 92.
Wald suffered a stroke early last week and never regained consciousness before dying Friday at a hospital in New Rochelle, New York, said his son, news executive Jonathan Wald.
The wiry, optimistic newshound taught journalism at his alma mater, Columbia University, after retiring from ABC News in 1999. He served on the boards of the Pulitzer Prizes, DuPont-Columbia and Peabody awards.
He worked at now-defunct New York newspapers the Herald Tribune and World Journal Tribune, as well as the Washington Post, and oversaw “new journalism” stalwarts like Jimmy Breslin, Thomas Wolfe and Gail Sheehy.
Explaining why he joined NBC News in the late 1960s, Wald often said, “I didn't leave newspapers. Newspapers left me.”
He was NBC News president from 1973 to 1977, where he installed Tom Brokaw and Jane Pauley as “Today” show hosts. He also let screenwriter Paddy Chayefsky trail him for two days, and became the model for the network news president in the satiric film “Network.” Forced out at NBC because of tension with his bosses, he joined ABC News and was a top deputy to the mercurial Roone Arledge.
Andrew Symonds, test cricketer, 46
SYDNEY – Former Australian test cricketer Andrew Symonds died after a single-vehicle crash in northeast Australia late Saturday. He was 46.
Cricket Australia reported Symonds' death on its website today, citing a police statement.