US & Canada

News this week: Canada mourns the death of Gord Downie

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Gord Downie was a gifted lyricist, dubbed Canada's unofficial poet laureate

Goodbye, Gord Downie

Canadian rock band Tragically Hip's frontman Gord Downie has died following a battle with brain cancer. He was 53.

At home, Downie was a legend - part rock star, part folk hero - known for his energetic live performances, cryptic lyrics filled with obscure Canadiana and impassioned activism on environmental and indigenous issues.

Downie was not just a musician who happened to be Canadian - he was a musician who defined what it means to be Canadian.

"He loved every hidden corner, every story, every aspect of this country that he celebrated his whole life," Prime Minister Trudeau said.

But perhaps Downie's greatest legacy will be how he handled his own mortality. He spent the last two years of his life, saying goodbye to his fans on a cross-country tour with the Hip, he released a solo album called The Secret Path to raise awareness for reconciliation, and he recorded a solo album that will be released on 27 October.

Image copyright Getty Images

What you need to know about Myanmar

Since August 2017, more than half a million have fled the destruction of their homes and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma) for neighbouring Bangladesh.

The UN says it is the fasted-growing refugee crisis today.

Myanmar's military says it is fighting Rohingya militants and denies targeting civilians.

But the UN says it is "textbook ethnic cleansing". Amnesty International says the Myanmar military has killed hundreds of Rohingya and raped and abused Rohingya women and girls.

Rohingya Muslims say they are the decedents of Arab traders living in the country for generations.

But the Myanmar government says they are illegal immigrants from Bangladesh.

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