Sierra Leone’s top Ebola doctor dies from virus

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The doctor leading Sierra Leone’s fight against the worst Ebola outbreak on record died from the virus on Tuesday, the country’s chief medical officer said.

The death of Sheik Umar Khan, who was credited with treating more than 100 patients, follows those of dozens of local health workers and the infection of two American medics in neighboring Liberia, highlighting the dangers faced by staff trying to halt the disease’s spread across West Africa.

Ebola is believed to have killed 672 people in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since the outbreak began in February, according to the World Health Organisation.

The contagious disease, which has no known cure, has symptoms that include vomiting, diarrhea and internal and external bleeding. The fatality rate of the current outbreak is around 60 percent although Ebola can kill up to 90 percent of those who catch it.

The 39-year-old Khan, hailed as a “national hero” by the Health Ministry, had been moved to a treatment ward run by the medical charity Medecins Sans Frontieres in the far north of Sierra Leone.

He died less than a week after his diagnosis was announced, and shortly before President Ernest Bai Koroma arrived to visit his treatment center in the northeastern town of Kailahun.

“It is a big and irreparable loss to Sierra Leone as he was the only specialist the country had in viral hemorrhagic fevers,” said the chief medical officer, Brima Kargbo.

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Weak health systems are struggling to contain the disease despite international help ranging from doctors to safety equipment.

Guinea, where the outbreak originated, has seen new cases in the capital Conakry and in the eastern mining town of Siguiri, where a new isolation ward has opened. In both areas, the infection spread through contact with visitors from Sierra Leone, according to Aboubacar Sidiki Diakite, who leads Guinea’s efforts to stop the outbreak.

In neighboring Liberia, the national soccer authority suspended matches nationwide, a spokesman said.

While the WHO has stopped short of recommending travel restrictions, the Togolese airline Asky has suspended flights to and from Sierra Leone and Liberia as concern over the spread of the virus has increased since the first death was reported last week in Nigeria’s coastal city of Lagos, home to 21 million people.

The dead man was Patrick Sawyer, a consultant for Liberia’s Finance Ministry in his 40s who had flown to Nigeria with Asky via its home hub, Lome.

His wife Decontee told the U.S. channel NBC News on Tuesday that he was an American from Minnesota.

Asky said it would no longer take on food in Guinea, and that passengers leaving the Guinean capital Conakry would be checked for signs of the disease before departure.

The airline added that medical teams would be deployed to screen passengers in transit through Lome.

Nigeria’s largest carrier, Arik Air, has suspended flights to Liberia and Sierra Leone because of the Ebola risk.

On Monday, a U.S. administration official said President Barack Obama was receiving updates and noted that U.S. agencies had stepped up assistance to help contain the virus.

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Lampard joins MLS side New York City

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Former Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard has joined Major League Soccer side New York City FC on a two-year deal.
Lampard, 36, was released by the Blues at the end of last season after his contract expired to end his 13-year association with the London side.
He moved from West Ham to Chelsea in June 2001 in an £11m transfer and became the club’s record goalscorer with 211 goals in his 649 appearances.
“New York ticks all the right boxes for me. It’s very exciting,” said Lampard.
“Chelsea will always have a huge place in my heart, but it’s now a new challenge.
“I had a fantastic 13 years there and can look back at that with pride, but it was a great time for me and Chelsea to move on.
“Having seen the vision of this club, I have seen a real long-term plan and I want to be involved and I want to keep on challenging myself.”
Newly-formed New York City FC will play in their first MLS season in 2015.
The franchise, which is owned by Manchester City, are currently building their squad and have already signed ex-Spain striker David Villa from La Liga winners Atletico Madrid.
However, Villa, 32, will spend three months on loan from October to December at Australia A-League side Melbourne City and Lampard could look for a similar loan spell, or train in England to maintain his fitness.
New York sporting director Claudio Reyna, who played in Scotland with Rangers and in the Premier League with Sunderland and Manchester City, described the deal as “really exciting”.
“Frank Lampard is one of the greatest players in Premier League history and in European and world football over the last 15 years,” he added.
“He is a leader and we are extremely delighted to have him here.”
During his time at Stamford Bridge, Lampard was Chelsea’s vice-captain and won the Premier League title three times, the Champions League once and the Europa League once.
He also won four FA Cups and the League Cup twice and has also gained 106 England caps throughout his career, with his last international appearance coming in the 0-0 draw against Costa Rica in the World Cup.
England captain Steven Gerrard announced his retirement from international football last week and Lampard admitted he would have to consider his own future with the national team.
He added: “In terms of England, I’ve not had a lot of time after the World Cup. Getting my personal future was the most important, now I have to think about England.
“Now I know where I will be playing my football, I can make that decision and I will do soon.”

Top earning actors of the year.

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The movie industry is dominated by eye catching movies, spell bound thrillers and action packed comic movies. As much as the movie is rolling in day after day, so does the actors earning rise role after role either as a villian or a superhero. One superhero tops this chart and he is no other than Robert Downey Jr of the “IRON MAN franchise”. Here is a quick run down of the list according to forbes.com.

The 49-year-old star made most of his money from June 2013 to June 2014 from “Iron Man 3,” which made $1.2 billion at the box office and assured him the top spot again in the annual ranking.

“As Iron Man, he’s the driving force behind four of Marvel’s biggest hits, including ‘The Avengers,'” Forbes.com said.

Former wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, 42, who starred in “G.I. Joe: Retaliation,” and the “Fast and Furious,” films, jumped into second place this year from fifth in 2013 with earnings of $52 million, followed by “Hangover,” star Bradley Cooper, 39, with $46 million.

“His work in the lucrative ‘Hangover,’ franchise has given him the ability to take risks with smaller films like ‘Silver Linings Playbook,’ and ‘American Hustle,'” Forbes said about Cooper.

“The Wolf of Wall Street,” star Leonardo DiCaprio, 39, had a lucrative year with two hit films and came in fourth at $39 million in earnings, while Australian “Thor” actor Chris Hemsworth, rounded out the top five with $37 million.

DiCaprio was a driving force behind “The Wolf of Wall Street,” which made $395 million worldwide and he also starred in “The Great Gatsby,” which took in $351 million globally.

Mark Wahlberg, 43, who was in fourth place last year thanks to the comedy hit “Ted,” just made the top 10 this year along with actor Will Smith, 45. Each actor earned an estimated $32 million.

Forbes.com compiled the rankings and estimated earnings by talking to managers, producers and agents.