Canadian-born researcher Ralph Steinman was one of three scientists to win the 2011 Nobel Prize in medicine on Oct. 3. The cancer researcher had died on Sept. 30 after a four-year battle with pancreatic cancer. The Nobel committee, which had not known of Steinman's death, decided not to retract the award despite rules that it go to the living.
After more than 30 years of curmudgeonly commentary, Andy Rooney, 92, has retired from CBS' 60 Minutes. The show had featured the regular segment "A Few Minutes with Andy Rooney" since 1978. Rooney's Oct. 2 signoff marked his 1,097th original essay, which over the decades ranged from rants about everyday annoyances to unabashed stances on politics and current events.
Megachurch pastor Rob Bell, 41, has announced he is leaving the Michigan church he founded, Mars Hill Bible Church, to "take another leap into the unknown." Bell says he and his family will relocate to Los Angeles where he reportedly plans to write more books, undertake speaking engagements, and work on a spiritual television drama loosely based on his life. His book Love Wins sparked controversy in the evangelical community earlier this year for questioning orthodox doctrines about hell ("Liberal love," April 9).
An FBI investigation successfully foiled a lone wolf terrorist plot allegedly aimed at crashing explosive-filled drone aircraft into the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol. Officials arrested Rezwan Ferdaus, a 26-year-old American citizen, on Sept. 28 after conducting months-long surveillance and undercover work. Federal agents said Ferdaus also modified cell phones to act as switches for improvised explosive devices with the intent of passing them on to terrorists in the Middle East.
Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah overturned last month a court verdict that had sentenced Shaima Jastaina to 10 lashes for breaking the country's rule against women driving. The ruling had sparked worldwide condemnation, coming just days after Abdullah had announced women would be allowed to vote and run in municipal elections in 2015. Earlier this year, Saudi women protested the region's sexist law by getting behind the wheel and driving their cars around town ("Taking the wheels," July 16).
The trial of former Soviet military officer Viktor Bout, 44, the alleged international arms dealer whom U.S. officials accuse of attempting to sell weapons to a Colombian terrorist group, was due to begin Oct. 11 in U.S. federal court. Last November, the United States extradited the so-called "Merchant of Death" from Thailand-a move that angered the Kremlin.