When Ibrahimovic threw Gattuso into a bin!

Paris, April 5 (IANS) Recalling an incident during their stint with AC Milan, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) defender Thiago Silva has revealed that his former clubmate Gennaro Gattuso once got on the wrong side of their teammate and Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic — who threw him into a bin!

All three footballers were teammates at Milan, with the Brazilian defender Silva and Ibrahimovic leaving for PSG in 2012.

Gattuso, widely known as one of Italy’s toughest midfielders of his generation and already a World Cup winner in 2006, was put in his place by the Swedish star during one of their training sessions.

“The protagonist of this story is Zlatan Ibrahimovic,” Thiago Silva was quoted as saying by football-italia.net on Monday.

“One day, during a training session, Gattuso spent all morning teasing Zlatan. He was provoking him, and Zlatan seemed to take it without responding. In fact his revenge would come soon after.

“Rino and Zlatan met again in the dressing room after training, and Ibra lifted the entire weight of his teammate, flipped him over and threw him in the bin!

“It was crazy, we all started laughing thinking about Gattuso’s face. I swear, I couldn’t stop laughing for a week!”

Ibrahimovic has since added four French Ligue 1 titles to his impressive medal haul, scoring more than 100 goals for PSG while Gattuso is now head coach at Italian third-tier side Pisa.

Ibrahimovic is again highly rumoured to move out of his current club. He has been heavily linked to Chelsea, Juventus and Manchester City.

Stamps issued to mark Shakespeare’s 400th death anniversary

London, April 5 (IANS) Britain’s Royal Mail on Tuesday issued a set of special postage stamps to mark the 400th death anniversary of playwright William Shakespeare.

The 10 First Class stamps pay tribute to the genius of Shakespeare through his immortal words and poetry, said Royal Mail. They will be sold at 8,000 post offices across Britain.

Royal Mail said a special postmark saying “William Shakespeare 1564-1616” will be also applied to British stamped mail commemorating 400 years since the Bard’s death, Xinhua news agency reported.

The stamps are the latest of many commemoration items and events to remember Shakespeare who was born in 1564 to become an actor, poet and playwright as well as a businessman. He died on April 23, 1616.

Shakespeare’s plays are continually performed and re-interpreted throughout the world, making him arguably the most influential writer of all time.

He introduced around 1,700 words and phrases into the English language, including “assassination” and “all’s well that ends well”.

A spokeswoman for Royal Mail said: “Over 50 years, William Shakespeare and his work have appeared on 25 stamps, making him the most featured individual on Special Stamps outside of the Royal Family.”

Russia to ship S-300 defence missile system to Iran soon

Moscow, April 5 (IANS) A senior Russian official on Tuesday said Moscow is to make the first shipment of its S-300 air defence systems to Iran in the coming days as part of a long-running contract between Tehran and Moscow.

“I don’t know if this will happen today, but they (the consignments) will be loaded (for shipment to Iran),” Zamir Kabulov, a department chief at the Russian foreign ministry, was quoted by Russia’s Interfax news agency as saying.

In mid-February, the official had said that Moscow would deliver the surface-to-air missile systems to Tehran in “the nearest time”.

Russia was committed to delivering the systems to Iran under a $800-million deal in 2007. Moscow, however, refused to deliver the systems to Tehran in 2010 on the plea that the agreement was covered by the fourth round of the UN Security Council sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. The sanctions barred hi-tech weapons sales to Tehran.

Following Moscow’s refusal to deliver the systems, Iran filed a complaint against the relevant Russian arms manufacturer with the International Court of Arbitration in Geneva.

In April 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted a previous ban on the delivery of S-300 to Iran, and in November last year, Russia signed a new contract to supply Iran with the systems by the end of that year for the first time since the 2010 freeze on supplies under the UN Security Council sanctions.

Recent pledges to make the delivery came after Iran and the P5+1 states — five permanent members of the UN Security Council Russia, China, France, Britain, the US, and Germany — reached a landmark agreement, dubbed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), on Tehran’s nuclear programme in July last year.

Under the JCPOA, all nuclear-related economic and financial bans against the Islamic Republic were lifted.

Militants down Syrian warplane in Aleppo

Damascus, April 5 (IANS) Militants on Tuesday shot down a Syrian warplane in Aleppo province, a monitor group reported.

The Al Qaeda-linked Nusra Front targetted the warplane in the town of Eis, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

The London-based watchdog group did not give details of the plane crew or their fate, Xinhua news agency reported.

Meanwhile, other activists published a 20-second online video purporting to show the warplane while falling down in flames.

Activists also released another 30-second video clip, showing the pilot of the downed warplane being beaten up by an angry crowd of rebels while he lay down.

One militant said “Take whatever weapon he may have,” while another one called him a “dog”.

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