Canadian singer Gord Downie dies of brain cancer-statement

Tragically Hip singer Gord Downie takes part in an honoring ceremony at the Assembly of First Nations Special Chiefs Assembly in Gatineau, Quebec, Canada on December 6, 2016. (File photo by Reuters)
Updated 18 October 2017
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Canadian singer Gord Downie dies of brain cancer-statement

TORONTO: Gord Downie, the lead singer of Canadian rock band the Tragically Hip, has died, according to a statement issued by his family.
Downie, 53, who was diagnosed with terminal brain cancer in December 2015, died on Tuesday night surrounded by his children and family, the statement added.
Downie is considered one of Canada’s greatest songwriters and was the frontman of the rock band beloved for songs about culture, small towns and hockey.
Downie was known for his frenetic stage presence and telling long stories in the middle of songs. Formed in the 1980s with roots in blues and rock, the Tragically Hip found radio popularity on both classic and alternative rock stations.


S. Korea’s last polar bear dies ahead of British retirement

Updated 18 October 2018
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S. Korea’s last polar bear dies ahead of British retirement

  • Tongki — a 23-year-old male named after a Japanese cartoon character of the 1980s — lived in a 330-square-meter (3,500-square-foot) concrete enclosure at the Everland theme park outside Seoul
  • The autopsy results suggested that Tongki appeared to have died of old age

SEOUL: The last polar bear kept in South Korea has died of old age only weeks before his planned departure to better living conditions in Britain, zoo officials said Thursday.
Tongki — a 23-year-old male named after a Japanese cartoon character of the 1980s — lived in a 330-square-meter (3,500-square-foot) concrete enclosure at the Everland theme park outside Seoul.
The zoo had planned to move him to the Yorkshire Wildlife Park next month to allow him to enjoy his final days in more appropriate surroundings — the facility in northern England has a 40,000 square meter polar reserve — and had thrown him a farewell party in June.
But Tongki was found dead on Wednesday night and autopsy results suggested that he appeared to have died of old age, the zoo said in a statement, adding it plans to conduct more tests to determine the exact reason for his death.
The average life span of polar bears is around 25 years and Tongki was the equivalent of around 80 in human terms.
“We have designated this week as a period of mourning for Tongki and decorated his living space so visitors can say farewell,” a zoo official told AFP.
Born in captivity at a zoo in the southern city of Masan, Tongki was the only polar bear still living in South Korea and had been alone at Everland since the last fellow resident of his species died three years ago.
Everland said Tongki will not be replaced, and other South Korean zoos have no plans to import the animals, which are classed as “vulnerable” on the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of endangered species.