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MAIL & GUARDIAN: Opinion

Sherman ‘was a joy to work with’

Vincent Sherman, who directed -- and romanced -- Bette Davis, Rita Hayworth and Joan Crawford during his heyday as a leading Hollywood filmmaker in the 1940s and 1950s, has died. He would have been 100 on July 16. His death at the Motion Picture and Television hospital was announced on Monday by his son, Eric Sherman.

Sears, Roebuck chairperson dead at 93

The man at the helm of Sears, Roebuck and Company when the retailer built the Chicago high-rise that bears its name has died. Arthur H Wood was 93. Wood's signature is on the last beam used to build the Sears Tower. The country's tallest building was completed in 1973.

Former Irish leader’s death ‘a very sad occasion’

Charles Haughey, who served three terms as Ireland's prime minister, died on Tuesday at his home in Dublin after a long battle with cancer, the government said. He was 80. ''It is a very sad occasion, and marks the passing of an era,'' said Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern.

Goodbye laughing Michael

The worst thing about having old friends is that they go and die on you. When they do, strands of a web of common experience die with them. You also lose what might be called the shorthand of your friendship; how you could talk to each other without ever having to explain why, what or wherefore.

Japanese conductor dies of heart failure

Hiroyuki Iwaki, who conducted major orchestras across Europe and the United States, died of heart failure at a Tokyo hospital on Tuesday at age 73, his agency said. On New Year's Eve 2004 in Tokyo, Iwaki conducted performances of all nine symphonies written by Ludwig van Beethoven.

Ligeti, musical pioneer, dies at 83

Gyorgy Ligeti, the Hungarian-born musical pioneer whose use of texture and density marked him out as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century, died in Vienna on Monday after a long illness. He was 83. Although sometimes hailed as the spiritual heir to Bartok, Ligeti's work encompassed everything from Romanian folk music to avant garde, electronic compositions.

Chihana ‘liberated Malawi from dictatorship’

Veteran politician Chakufwa Chihana, who rallied opposition to the iron-fist dictatorship of the late Hastings Kamuzu Banda, died in South Africa early on Monday after an unsuccessful attempt to remove a brain tumour, the government and relatives said. He was 67. He died at about 8am at Johannesburg's Garden City clinic.

Famed composer ‘was fascinated by patterns’

Composer Gyorgy Ligeti, who fled Hungary after the 1956 revolution and gained fame for his opera <i>Le Grand Macabre</i> and his work on the soundtrack for Stanley Kubrick's <i>2001: A Space Odyssey</i>, died on Monday. He was 83. Ligeti was celebrated as one of the world's leading 20th-century musical pioneers.

Nation on the move

An African woman recently asked me why I didn't just call a local, supposedly black company, with feminist credentials to boot, to do what the traditional removal companies -- Stuttafords, stuff like that -- would charge me a fortune to do when I had to move house. So I did.

MASH producer dies at 95

Ingo Preminger, a literary agent, producer of the film MASH and brother of the late filmmaker Otto Preminger, has died. He was 95. Preminger began his career as an attorney in Vienna, Austria, but fled the Nazis with his family in 1938 and moved to New York.

Renowned Danish ceramicist dead at 87

Danish ceramicist Bjoern Wiinblad, best known for his pottery decorated with native fairy characters and trademark cherubic maidens, has died, his secretary said on Friday. He was 87. Wiinblad died shortly before midnight on Thursday, said Goy Badse, his secretary of 45 years.

Club of shame

The role of the South African government in the covert "rendition" of Khalid Mehmood Rashid is an affront to the foundational values of our democracy. The Constitution was written with the ghosts of those who had suffered arbitrary detention, torture or disappearance watching over its drafters with the expectation that never again would such abuses be allowed.

Jazzman Hilton Ruiz dies

Jazz pianist and composer Hilton Ruiz, who came to New Orleans to work on a Hurricane Katrina benefit recording, died early on Tuesday, his agent and manager said. He was 54. Ruiz had been comatose at a hospital since he fell early no May 19 in front of a French Quarter bar.

MK stalwart was a ‘remarkable man’

Uriah Maleka (83), a founder member of Umkhonto weSizwe (MK) and former representative of the African National Congress in Angola, has died after suffering a mild stroke. Maleka's son Tito confirmed that his father died on Saturday morning at the South Rand clinic in Johannesburg.

Eric Molobi dies after battle with cancer

South African businessman and political activist Eric Molobi has died aged 58 after a battle with cancer, South African Broadcasting Corporation news reported on Sunday. Born on June 5 1947, Molobi was imprisoned on Robben Island during the apartheid era. While in prison he obtained a bachelor's degree.

Imamura ‘was treasure of Japanese cinema’

Director Shohei Imamura, who portrayed modern Japan's downtrodden in raw realism and eroticism and became the first Japanese to win the prestigious Palme d'Or at Cannes twice, died of cancer in Tokyo on Tuesday. He was 79. Imamura was often considered the top Japanese director since the late Akira Kurosawa.

Michelin was ‘rising figure’ of French economy

Edouard Michelin (43), who drowned on Friday in a boating accident, was hailed as a rising French business figure, having helped turn round the fortunes of his family tyre company at a young age. French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy said he was one of the ''rising figures'' of the French economy.

Last Grateful Dead keyboardist dies in Los Angeles

Vince Welnick, the Grateful Dead's last keyboard player and a veteran of several other bands, including the Tubes and Missing Man Formation, has died at age 55, the Grateful Dead's long-time publicist said. Welnick died on Friday, said Dennis McNally, who declined to release the cause.

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