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RIP Gord Downie: Send your condolences

BT Toronto | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

All across Canada people are mourning the passing of Canadian icon Gord Downie.

Send your thoughts, love and condolences below:

Remembering the life and legacy of Gord Downie (1964 – 2017)

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

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The frontman of The Tragically Hip was an indelible presence on the Canadian cultural landscape

Gord Downie, singer in beloved Canadian rock band the Tragically Hip, has died at age 53 from glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer. He was diagnosed in December 2015; only two per cent of glioblastoma victims live as long as three years after diagnosis. In the summer of 2016, Downie said goodbye to a nation of fans by doing a final arena tour with his brothers in song—the same four men he met at a Kingston Vocational Collegiate Institute in the early 1980s, the same four men heard on the very first Tragically Hip EP. No major performer in the history of Western pop music had ever staged a tour of that scale while living with a terminal diagnosis. And yet, it was not the only unprecedented achievement in Downie’s career.

Downie was one of the most riveting and mystifying performers in rock’n’roll history. Anyone who managed to catch him fronting the Tragically Hip in 1985, playing covers at a roadhouse in Renfrew, Ont., could tell you that. As could anyone who watched him command 40,000 people at any given outdoor appearance during the 1990s, singing songs that were summer soundtracks for an entire generation. And of course, as could many of the 11 million people who watched the CBC broadcast of the Hip’s final show on Aug. 20, 2016, which reached the second-largest number of viewers in Canadian broadcast history.

Gordon Edgar Downie was born on Feb. 6, 1964, in Amherstview, Ont., just slightly west of Kingston, to Lorna and Edgar, a travelling salesman turned real estate developer. Gord was the fourth of five children: older siblings Mike, Charlyn and Paula, and younger brother Patrick. Gord played goalie for Amherstview’s hockey team, which won a provincial B-level championship. His godfather was Harry Sinden, who would go on to coach Team Canada to victory in the 1972 Summit Series against the Soviet Union.

The Tragically Hip played their first show in November 1984 on the campus of Queen’s University. For the next three years they played in every corner of Kingston they could, mixing obscure ’60s covers with original material. Their first EP came out in December 1987; the debut album, Up to Here, in 1989. The second album, in 1991, went platinum in just 10 days. The third, in 1992, became one of the few Canadian albums to sell more than one million copies domestically. The ascent was dramatic, but the band’s very first hit single had this prescient line, written by Downie, in its chorus: “Sometimes the faster it gets, the less you need to know / But you gotta remember: the smarter it gets, the further it’s going to go.” The Tragically Hip were smart. Right to the end. And they took it as far as they could.

No other act of the day was embraced with the fervour and frenzy that Hip fans displayed toward Downie as a performer, but it was his lyrics that set him apart. Most poetic lyricists are drawn to folk or art music; Downie was a rock’n’roller, one who dared dip in the same well as Al Purdy, Raymond Carver, Northrop Frye, John Ashberry, Hugh MacLennan and others. Most artists will hear crowds singing the first verse and choruses of their most popular songs; Downie routinely had audiences singing every single line in his discography back to him, no matter how arcane or untethered the lyric was to rhyme or meter.

RELATED: Gord Downie’s farewell for the ages

Downie released five solo albums during his lifetime; he was furiously working on more in his last two years. After the Hip’s final show, he announced Secret Path: an album, animated film and graphic novel inspired by the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year-old Indigenous boy who froze to death running away from a residential school in 1966. In the space of a month, Downie transformed the half-century-old tale into a current conversation about collective reckoning and the until-then largely ignored Truth and Reconciliation Commission. “Let’s not celebrate the last 150 years,” Downie told a moneyed Toronto audience at a Secret Path performance in October 2016, one of his final public appearances. “Let’s celebrate our next 150 years.” He considered Secret Path the most important work he’d ever done in his life.

He leaves behind four children, three siblings, his mother, Lorna, the mother of his children, Laura Leigh Usher, his bandmates—Robert Baker, Johnny Fay, Paul Langlois, Gord Sinclair—and millions of fans whose lives would not have sounded the same without him.

Michael Barclay is the author of The Never-Ending Present: The Story of Gord Downie and the Tragically Hip.

Timeline: Ahead by a Century, the story of Gord Downie

Donna Karan begs forgiveness for Harvey Weinstein remarks

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

FILE - In this June 7, 2017 file photo, Donna Karan attends the 2017 Urban Zen Stephan Weiss Apple Awards in New York. Karan says she is apologetic and embarrassed about the remarks she made last week that suggested sexual harassment victims were "asking for it" by the way they dressed. Her comments on a red carpet touched off outrage online in wake of allegations against fallen mogul Harvey Weinstein. (Photo by Christopher Smith/Invision/AP, File)

Fashion designer Donna Karan is “apologetic from the bottom of my heart” and embarrassed about “stupid” remarks she made last week that suggested sexual harassment victims were “asking for it” by the way they dressed.

Her comments on a red carpet touched off outrage online following sexual harassment and assault allegations against fallen movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.

Karan spoke to Women’s Wear Daily in an interview published Monday, saying she spoke while sleep deprived and without knowing details of the mounting allegations against Weinstein, telling a red carpet reporter: “How do we display ourselves, how do we present ourselves as women, what are we asking? Are we asking for it, you know, by presenting all the sensuality and all the sexuality? … It’s not Harvey Weinstein. You look at everything all over the world today, you know, and how women are dressing and, you know, what they’re asking by just presenting themselves the way they do. What are they asking for? Trouble.”

The designer told WWD, “I made a horrible mistake. I regret it from the bottom of my heart. This is never who I am as a woman.”

Karan has been in the fashion business for 40 years, often championing women’s causes. Her on-camera comments went viral, triggering outrage and a drop in the stock price of G-111, which has owned the company that bears her name since last year.

The production company Weinstein co-founded fired him Oct. 8, days after he was accused of sexually harassing women for decades in an expose by The New York Times.

Subsequent stories by the Times and The New Yorker included allegations of abuse, and more than three dozen women have publicly accused the disgraced mogul of abuse.

He resigned from the board of The Weinstein Co. on Tuesday. Weinstein has denied the allegations.

Trump tells widow of slain soldier he ‘knew what he signed up for’

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

President Donald Trump listen to a reporter's question regarding the ongoing situation in North Korea at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J., on Aug. 11, 2017. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Donald Trump told the widow of a slain soldier that he “knew what he signed up for,” according to a Florida congresswoman.

Rep. Frederica Wilson said she was in the car with Myeshia Johnson on the way to Miami International Airport to meet the body of Johnson’s husband, Sgt. La David Johnson, when Trump called. Wilson says she heard part of the conversation on speakerphone.

When asked by Miami station WPLG if she indeed heard Trump say that she answered: “Yeah, he said that. To me, that is something that you can say in a conversation, but you shouldn’t say that to a grieving widow.” She added: “That’s so insensitive.”

Sgt. Johnson was among four servicemen killed in an ambush in Niger earlier this month.

Wilson, a Democrat, said she did not hear the entire conversation and Myeshia Johnson told her she couldn’t remember everything that was said when asked it about it later.

The White House didn’t immediately comment.

Trump has been criticized for not reaching out right away to relatives of the four killed in Niger. On Monday, Trump said he’d written letters that had not yet been mailed. His aides said they had been awaiting information before proceeding.

Janes brand breaded chicken products recalled due to possible salmonella

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

Janes pub style chicken burgers uncooked, Oct. 18, 2017. CFIA/Handout

OTTAWA – Breaded chicken products sold under the Janes brand name are being recalled due to possible contamination from salmonella.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency says the uncooked products include Pub Style Chicken Burgers and Breaded Chicken Cutlettes.

The burgers carry a code of 2018 MA 12 on the package and the code on the cutlettes packages is 2018 MA 15.

Both are sold in 800 gram packages across the country and distributed by Sofina Foods Inc. of Brampton.

The CFIA says the recalled packages should be thrown out or returned to the store where purchased.

Food contaminated with salmonella may not look or smell spoiled but can still make you sick.

Young children, pregnant women, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems may contract serious and sometimes deadly infections.

CityNews cameraman finds missing boy

CityNews | posted Wednesday, Oct 18th, 2017

File photo of a Toronto Police cruiser. CITYNEWS

A young boy has been reunited with his family thanks to a CityNews cameraman.

Joegi Manuel, 12, was last seen on Monday at 10 p.m. in the Bathurst Street East and Finch Avenue West area.

CityNews cameraman Bert Dandy was at the intersection of Goldfinch Court and Finch on Wednesday, when he saw a boy fitting the description of Manuel.

He asked the boy if that was his name and the child said yes.

Dandy told the boy to stay with him while police were called.

Authorities quickly arrived and the boy was reunited with his family safe and sound.

Researchers discover vulnerability affecting Wi-Fi security

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2017

A computer keyboard. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Security researchers have discovered a Wi-Fi network vulnerability that could allow attackers to steal sensitive information or spread malicious software while someone is logged into a computer or mobile device.

A report published Monday said the breach could only happen if an attacker is within range of the potential victim, but the weakness could affect anyone using a Wi-Fi network, whether at home, the office or at a public coffee shop.

The Wi-Fi Alliance, an industry group, says there’s no evidence that the vulnerability discovered by researcher Mathy Vanhoef has been exploited maliciously. It affects WPA2, a protocol used to secure Wi-Fi networks.

The group says the problem can be resolved through straightforward software updates.

Microsoft says it’s already deployed patches. Google says it’ll do so in the coming weeks.

Peel police recover stolen 1992 Blue Jays World Series ring

CityNews | posted Tuesday, Oct 17th, 2017

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A twisted triple play led one long-time Blue Jays executive to finally get his two stolen team rings back some 23 years later after they vanished.

The long-time staffer, who asked not to be named, told CityNews Monday he is overjoyed the two rings are now back in his family’s possession almost a quarter century after thieves broke into his Mississauga home.

“It’s actually great, the rings mean a lot, obviously, so it’s a nice relief,” he said.

The two rings, an authentic 1992 Toronto Blue Jays World Series Championship ring and a Toronto Blue Jays Anniversary ring, were stolen out of the man’s Mississauga home in the middle of the day on April 13th, 1994.

The man explains his home was one of a number that were robbed that year as part of a series of break and enters where the thieves were apparently targeting Chrysler minivans.

The thieves walked off with a number of his belongings, including the two rings, but they were never recovered despite police arresting and charging the burglars some time later.

It appeared to be game over, but then came some extra innings of sorts.

“What happened on this case, about a week or 10 days ago, I got contacted by a former employee who had it on Kijiji and one of the rings was identified as mine, because my name was actually on it,” he said.

His son then reached out to the seller who revealed she bought four boxes as part of an auction after the owner of a storage unit failed to pay their bill.

“It was a woman who actually knew nothing about baseball,” the staffer said. “She actually bought four cases of stuff… she had no idea what was in it for $31 at some auction. I guess when she decided to empty it she discovered the rings in a sock.”

A quick phone call to police and the rings were back in the former executive’s possession in no time.

“When I first saw the text from my colleague that they’d seen it on Kijiji, I sort of laughed,” he said. “I knew [police] initially caught the guys, so I had no idea how’d they’d showed up and how they got them. I sort of never really anticipated seeing them again.”

All because of one good catch online.

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