Diego Costa WILL be charged and banned, former top ref tells talkSPORT

first_imgFormer Premier League and World Cup referee Graham Poll has told talkSPORT Chelsea bad boy Diego Costa is likely to be banned by the FA following his antics in Saturday’s feisty London derby victory over Arsenal.In a bizarre three minute spell at the end of the first-half, the fiery Spaniard was involved in tussles with both Laurent Koscielny and Gabriel, with the latter defender receiving a red card for kicking out at Costa.Mike Dean has been criticised for his handling of the game, which exploded into life when Costa and Koscielny first scrapped in the box, with both players shoving each other to the turf before Costa pushed the Frenchman in the face with both hands.The duo escaped punishment with the official apparently none the wiser, but Dean had a box seat view moments later when Gabriel got involved and appeared to lash out at Costa with his boot – earning himself a second yellow card in a matter of seconds.It only got worse for Arsene Wenger, with Santi Cazorla also given his marching orders late on for two bookable offences, while goals from Kurt Zouma and Edan Hazard sealed three points for the Blues.“I thought Mike did as well as he could do, given what he actually saw,” Poll told Hawksbee and Jacobs when asked about the headline incident.“I thought he didn’t have a choice with either red card and, had he seen the clash between Costa and Koscielny – which he clearly didn’t – then Costa wouldn’t have been on the pitch to wind up Paulista.“Cazorla was stupid for his two challanges and Gabriel was stupid for getting involved, because Costa will wind you up. That’s part of the sportsmanship of the game, you might not like it but it’s a part of the game nowadays.“Mike Dean didn’t see the incident between Costa and Koscielny, it won’t be in his report so therefore the FA will be looking at that and I believe they will charge.“Once you see it slowed down and you see what Costa does, there’s too much involved there. So, for me, he will get charged and I expect a ban to follow.”last_img read more

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Man United and Arsenal stars feature in Champions League English XI

first_img Centre back: Chris Smalling (Manchester United) 12 Wayne Rooney scored the winner for Manchester United against CSKA Moscow at the start of November, but does he makes the Champions League English XI? Click the arrow above to see which players are selected 12 Goalkeeper: Joe Hart (Manchester City) 12 Striker: Wayne Rooney (Manchester United) 12 Striker: Theo Walcott (Arsenal) Right wing: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) 12 12 Right back: Calum Chambers (Arsenal) 12 Left wing: Raheem Sterling (Manchester City) 12 Centre back: John Terry (Chelsea) 12 Left back: Luke Shaw (Manchester United) Central midfield: Jack Wilshere (Arsenal) Central midfield: Michael Carrick (Manchester United) 12 12 If there’s ever been an alarming statistic to illustrate the gradual decline of English football, the last round of Champions League matches might retain it.Only eight English players started games in Match Day 4, with five of those coming from Manchester United and not a single Arsenal representative.To put that into some context for you, courtesy of Opta, Spain and Brazil boasted 44 and 38 starters respectively, with France and Germany not too far behind on 27 and 22.England’s paltry eight was matched by Croatia and Turkey – and we wonder why our national team has fallen so drastically from grace in recent years?Despite that startling revelation we have to acknowledge the quality of English players currently sidelined through injury. The likes of Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Luke Shaw would all have been in contention to start in the last round of games, had they been fit, and are all very much in the England first-team mix.But who would make up an English XI, if everyone was fit, from those players involved in the Champions League this season?Click the yellow arrow above, right, to see our selection… 12last_img read more

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Mourinho to switch to this formation and introduce £10.5m man to attack – how things could change at Chelsea

first_img Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho 4 One way or another, despite the small rise of optimism in southwest London after their convincing defensive display at White Hart Lane, the predictabilty of Chelsea’s forward play must change; soon no side will fear Mourinho’s men.Should Mourinho stick with his current formation and personnel or alter the shape to help the club out of their sticky situation over the festive period? Let talkSPORT know by leaving a comment below. Mourinho’s style is not centred upon masterminding a team irresistible in its play, rather, it’s to construct an unbeatable side. His persistence with 4-2-3-1, however, may be the very reason this season’s Chelsea are being defeated so often, with his two key players unreliable.The main problem with their current system is that it allows too many to hide when the going gets tough.Could Mourinho be doing more to help his side, therefore?With wingers Willian, Pedro and Hazard, a diamond formation – which reaped unprecedented success with midfield generals such as Frank Lampard, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack in previous seasons – may not be currently suited to the Blues.But the flexibility of a 4-3-3 structure might.With Chelsea’s current form questionable, setting up with a 4-3-3 system would allow the Blues to start on the offensive, but offer the option of switching to a 4-5-1 should the defence – which it has done so often this season – require extra support.On paper, this could – or rather should – be Chelsea’s strongest XI in such a formation.Football, though, isn’t played on paper.And, alternatively, one player who arguably hasn’t been given a fair chance to impress this season during the club’s slump is Loic Remy. The Frenchman has found life at Stamford Bridge tough going, with Mourinho seemingly unconvinced that he possesses the quality to lead the line for a side that should be competing for every piece of silverware available.What Remy does, however, that Costa certainly hasn’t of late, is express a desire to run in behind the opponent’s defenders. He has, admittedly, gained a slight reputation for mistiming his runs and inexplicably being caught offside; but the former Queens Park Rangers and Newcastle United man is the kind of out-and-out frontman that Chelsea have missed this season.Remy’s desire, in contrast to Costa, isn’t to drop deep and get on the ball but, simply, to get into goalscoring positions.He might not be a 15-plus goals a season man for Chelsea but, at present, neither does Costa look to be. 4 4 4 As the Premier League champions, Chelsea’s dire form this season has been a major surprise, and the longer it continues, the more it confounds considered opinion.Surely, goes the thinking in many quarters, it is only a matter of time until the Blues go on a winning run of the kind football fans have been conditioned to expect from the club – and manager Jose Mourinho – over the past decade. Indeed, there had been signs that Chelsea were finally turning what has been a long, debilitating corner.The victory over Norwich City, despite the narrow 1-0 scoreline, appeared to have shaken a few players into life – particularly Eden Hazard – and a 4-0 Champions League thrashing of Maccabi Tel Aviv, along with a 0-0 draw away at tough-to-beat Tottenham Hotspur, looked to have eased the pressure on Mourinho.But the 1-0 defeat to newly-promoted AFC Bournemouth has brought the champions crashing back down to earth.While the team’s defending had shown considerable improvement – certainly the goalless draw at White Hart Lane impressed observers – it’s Chelsea’s attack that remains the most worrying aspect of the club’s play. Scoring against Norwich City and Maccabi Tel Aviv should be par for the course for Chelsea; not so long ago, the Carlo Ancelotti-led Blues would have cut such opposition to shreds. Meanwhile, failing to score against the Cherries at home was simply inexcusable. Remarkably, this season Chelsea haven’t even reached double figures in goals scored from open play, netting just seven, with six also – courtesy of Willian’s growing reputation as a dead-ball specialist – coming from set pieces. Last term for Mourinho it was easy deciding his attack; Costa and Fabregas’ on-field relationship was proving formidable, while Hazard provided an unpredictable route to goal that opposition defenders found difficult to halt.But what was their deadliest weapon only months ago, has now become their weakest – Chelsea’s creative brain has almost perished. And there’s one ever so important aspect that may be key to their struggle.4-2-3-1.The Portuguese manager has remained loyal to the successful 4-2-3-1 of their title-winning campaign – a formation that saw the partnership of Nemanja Matic and Fabregas blossom in the centre of the park – yet this could now be the very root of the current problems. The poor performances of the midfield pair has been pivotal; they have left an ageing defence exposed, and it’s their inability to protect the back four, combined with their lack of ideas going forward, that has thwarted the Blues’ attack.last_img read more

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Man City-linked Guardiola to leave Bayern Munich – reports

first_imgManchester City have been put on red alert by reports claiming Pep Guardiola is set to announce his decision to leave Bayern Munich.The former Barcelona coach’s contract at Bayern expires at the end of the season and he has been strongly linked with the Premier League club, as questioned continue to be asked of Manuel Pellegrini’s leadership at the Etihad Stadium.On Wednesday Spanish newspaper Marca reported the 44-year-old has already informed the Bundesliga champions he is ready to seek out a new opportunity.It was also claimed Guardiola is prepared to reject a €20million-per-season offer to continue at the Allianz Arena.The Catalan has twice guided Bayern to the German title but the Champions League trophy has eluded him, with Real Madrid and then Barcelona eliminating the Bavarians in 2014 and 2015.Manuel Pellegrini remains in charge of City, but with doubts still surrounding his tactical expertise, the two-time Premier League champions could be tempted to move quickly and secure Guardiola’s services should he make himself available in the new year.Manchester United and Chelsea have also been linked with the former Spain midfielder, although City are likely to be able to trump their rivals with a huge contract offer. 1 Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola last_img read more

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Mauricio Pochettino’s line up for FA Cup clash – Predicted Spurs XI v Leicester

first_imgSpurs will go into their third round match with Leicester trying to go one better than last year.The White Hart Lane clash – which is live on talkSPORT after Chelsea vs Scunthorpe – sees the two Premier League sides square up in the cup, before facing off in the league three days later.Spurs were knocked out of the competition last January in the fourth round, when Leicester scored two late goals to leave north London victorious.In terms of team news for Sunday’s clash, the home side will be without midfielder Mousa Dembele, who is expected to be out for around four more weeks with a groin problem.Clinton N’Jie is a long-term absence and Alex Pritchard is nearing a return, but he is not back to fitness. Danny Rose has been kept out of the side in recent weeks with Ben Davies impressing at left-back, and Mauricio Pochettino must decide whether to rest star striker Harry Kane.Meanwhile Claudio Ranieri’s high-flying Foxes will be without main man Jamie Vardy, who had minor surgery this week.The games come thick and fast at this time of year and, with Spurs still in the Europa League, Pochettino will eventually have to rotate his squad accordingly.Who will the Argentinian boss select and trust to book their place in the hat for Monday’s fourth round draw?Take a look at talkSPORT’s predicted Tottenham line-up by clicking the yellow arrow above, right.Earlier this week, Tottenham and France goalkeeper Hugo Lloris tells talkSPORT they ‘need to add experience’ to become a ‘great team’ 11 3. Danny Rose – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 22. Nacer Chadli – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 23. Christian Eriksen – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 16. Kieran Trippier – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 28. Tom Carroll 6. Nabil Bentaleb – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 11. Erik Lamela – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 13. Michel Vorm – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 11 4. Toby Alderweireld – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 10. Harry Kane – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 27. Kevin Wimmer – see the full line up, in squad number order, by clicking the arrow above 11 11 11last_img read more

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PSG set to send Chelsea crashing out of the Champions League – Coral DD

first_imgCoral’s Dave Stevens joins the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast to round up the latest sporting odds.Chelsea host Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night in a Champions League last 16 second leg tie at Stamford Bridge.The Blues have a crucial away goal, as well as home advantage, after losing 2-1 in the first leg but they are not fancied to progress, with PSG the 13/8 favourites.Coral is the official betting partner of the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfastlast_img

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Yahoo’s earnings slip but not as far as projected

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.Analysts entered the quarter with low expectations after Yahoo struggled through the first half of the year in spite of an online advertising boom. The company’s third-quarter results exceeded the average earnings estimate of 8 cents per share among analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial. Revenue for the period totaled $1.77billion, a 12 percent improvement from last year. After subtracting commissions paid to Yahoo’s advertising partners, revenue stood at $1.28 billion – nearly $40 million above the average analyst estimate, according to Thomson Financial. Investors cheered the news, released after the stock market closed. Yahoo’s stock price surged $2.43, or 9.1 percent, in after-hours trading after finishing Tuesday’s regular session at $26.69, down $1.17. The stock price still remains well below its levels in early 2006 when Yahoo shares climbed above $40. Since then, online search leader Google Inc. has pulled far ahead of Yahoo and other rivals scrambling for a piece of the estimated $45 billion market for Internet advertising. “We have a lot more work to do, but we are genuinely excited about where the company is headed,” Yang told analysts during a Tuesday conference call. SAN FRANCISCO – Yahoo Inc.’s third-quarter profit slipped less than analysts feared, raising hopes that co-founder Jerry Yang will deliver on his promise to turn around the slumping Internet powerhouse now that he has settled in as chief executive. The prospect of better times lifted Yahoo’s stock price more than 9 percent late Tuesday. The Sunnyvale-based company said it made $151.3 million during the three months ended in September. That was 5percent less than its net income of $158.5 million in the same period last year. The earnings were 11 cents per share in both periods because Yahoo bought back some of its stock during the past year in an attempt to bolster its eroding market value. The third quarter was Yang’s first as Yahoo’s CEO since Chairman Terry Semel stepped aside in mid-June under pressure from disgruntled shareholders. Yang has been working closely with Susan Decker, a longtime Yahoo executive who was promoted as part the June shakeup, to retool the company in an effort to regain some of the ground lost to Google during recent years. “To some degree, he has seemed to stabilize things,” Gartner analyst Mike McGuire said. “He answered some questions this quarter, but there will be more in another 90 days.” Investors have seemed skeptical about Yang’s comeback hopes. Before the rally in Tuesday’s extended trading, Yahoo’s stock price had fallen by 5 percent in the months since Yang became CEO. Google’s shares soared by 20 percent during the same period. After releasing disappointing second-quarter earnings in July, Yang pledged to overhaul Yahoo’s operations during a 100-day review. Yahoo has either closed or announced plans to close several services, and Yang indicated other “one-off” features were likely to be weeded out before the year is over. He didn’t provide any details but said Yahoo is trying to focus on its strengths in e-mail, sports and news while devoting less attention to things such as its music subscription service. “The Yahoo we envision today is very different from the Yahoo of a year ago,” Yang said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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New Mr. Martinsville?

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGame Center: Chargers at Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, 10 a.m.“He’s Mr. Martinsville,” Gordon said Sunday after his teammate won his third straight race on the 0.526-mile oval, the shortest and trickiest in Nextel Cup racing. “That guy is unbelievable here.” Johnson, who has four victories at Martinsville to Gordon’s seven, said he’s not ready to accept the title. “I saw something where Richard Petty won how many?” he asked of NASCAR’s career victories leader at the track with 15. “That’s Mr. Martinsville. That’s the king.” It certainly looks like Johnson is a candidate to be next best. MOTORSPORTS: Johnson holds off Gordon in battle of the speedway’s stars. By Hank Kurz, Jr. THE ASSOCIATED PRESS MARTINSVILLE, Va. – Jeff Gordon has passed the torch to Jimmie Johnson at Martinsville Speedway, the track where Gordon has had more success than most anyone. Johnson made the pass he didn’t allow Gordon to make in the spring, sneaking inside his Hendrick Motorsports teammate with 44 laps to go in regulation Sunday and holding on for his series-high seventh victory of the year and the 30th of his career. “I was nervous with (Gordon) behind us and I was able to hold him off,” Johnson said in Victory Lane. “And then (Ryan Newman) got in there and I knew he was going to be real tough on a short run, too. … I know he’s hungry. He’s been working real hard to get back to Victory Lane, so I knew he wasn’t going to cut me any slack.” Turns out the slack came from the caution flags. A record 21 of them flew, slowing the proceedings for 127 laps, and forcing the race to be extended by six laps. Even the hoped for two-lap dash to the finish was cut short by yet another accident. “Those last restarts were tough on me,” Johnson said. The Hendrick Motorsports teammates who have dominated the Nextel Cup Series all season did it again, and Johnson got some unexpected late help from a feisty Newman. Newman challenged Gordon for second on lap 492, getting increasingly more physical, and finally passed him on the inside on the 494th circuit as Johnson opened a lead of nearly two seconds. He then had to withstand a two-lap overtime sprint to the finish, with Gordon lurking third and ready to take advantage if the leaders faltered. They didn’t, and Johnson held on through one overtime green-flag lap before David Ragan’s Turn 1 spin ended it. Johnson gained in the championship chase with four races remaining, cutting Gordon’s lead to 53 points. “This thing’s not over yet,” said Johnson, the defending series champion. Newman held on for second, Gordon was third and Kyle Busch fourth. “Jimmie was strong, we were strong, and he got the best of us,” Gordon said, adding that he was angry at first that Newman got so rough, but bore no ill will afterward. “We had some trouble on pit road and to be able to rebound from that and come back and get a top-five finish, we’re got to be real happy about that.” Newman thought he had a chance to overtake Johnson, but the cautions that limited green-flag chances to six laps or less after lap 463 made it difficult. “It was pedal to the metal and hopefully you have a good enough car to make a move,” Newman said.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Bodyguards might have killed Afghans after suicide bombing

first_imgSayed Mohammad Bakir Hashimi, a Shiite cleric who performed a religious ceremony on Kazimi after the blast, told the AP the lawmaker had three bullet wounds. However, Kazimi’s family now denies he was hit by bullets. Interior Ministry spokesman Zemeri Bashary said most of the victims were hit by ball bearings from the bomb, and not bullets. Bashary gave different casualty numbers than the Education Ministry, saying 59 people in total were killed and 100 wounded. “There was small number of people injured by bullets,” Bashary said. “Bodyguards of lawmakers opened fire into the air and hit some people.” Adrian Edwards, the spokesman for the U.N. mission in Afghanistan, said there is “very, very conflicting” information on the number of gunfire victims. “The reports we’re hearing are that significant numbers were victims of gunfire, but defining who died from gunfire, who died from the explosion is pretty difficult,” Edwards said. Hundreds of children had crowded onto the tree-lined driveway leading to the New Baghlan Sugar Factory to greet visiting lawmakers when the blast went off. Witnesses and survivors describe bodyguards firing into the thick black smoke for up to five minutes after the attack. “One guy pointed his gun at me, but I put my hands up and said, `Don’t shoot!”‘ 13-year-old Nezamuddin said this week from his hospital bed. He said a bullet had passed through his ankle, which was bandaged with gauze. “A lot of bullets were fired. … My friends were hit by bullets.” The trees near the blast are pockmarked from the impact of the bomb’s ball bearings, and a nearby wall is scarred with bullet holes. Mourners set up a small memorial, including a red plastic flower wreath from the British Embassy. Visitors lit candles on the site, leaving puddles of white wax around the tree. Dr. Khalil Narmgui, director of the Baghlani-jadid hospital, said his staff treated 11 gunfire victims – five killed and six wounded. In the nearby city of Pul-i-Khumri, Dr. Mohammad Yousuf Fayyez of the provincial hospital said his staff were not able to differentiate between gunfire and bomb wounds, while Dr. Habib Rahman Fazli said none of those treated at the Pul-i-Khumri Textile Hospital suffered from gunfire. However, the U.N. official who asked not to be identified said that doctors told investigators that “we know how to differentiate between the bullet and blast wounds, we know how to tell the difference.” One doctor who helped treat patients said he was pressured to hide the truth. “One of the deputies of the ministry – I won’t say which ministry – said please don’t reveal the high number of casualties by the bullets,” the doctor said. He asked not to be named out of fear of reprisals. The head of Baghlan’s elected provincial council said he found it hard to believe that so few people admitted to the hospital were gunfire victims. “The people said it was raining bullets from the gunmen and security guards,” said Sarajuddin, who goes by one name. “It is surprising a mine or suicide bomb could hurt 200 people,” he said. At the Baghlani-jadid hospital this week, six boys and one man lay in a room, recovering from wounds. Ahmad Fareed pulled up his left pant leg to show where surgeons removed a bullet lodged in his left knee. A doctor held up the silver-colored, inch-long bullet. Outside on the hospital steps sat Mohammad Gul, who buried his 5-year-old son, Nazir. His older son Nassir, 13, is recovering from shrapnel that ripped through his legs. “Nassir doesn’t know about his younger brother. He asked me just now, `Where is my brother?’ … I told him, `He’s fine. He’s at home,”‘ Gul, 55, said, his voice cracking. “Half of Nazir’s head was blown off, and he was hit in the shoulder by a bullet.”160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREStriving toward a more perfect me: Doug McIntyre Separate teams of U.N. investigators have uncovered conflicting information about the number of people hit by gunfire and are trying to reconcile the differences, according to two Western officials who have seen the internal reports. The two spoke to the AP on condition they not be identified, talking about preliminary findings. But at least one of those reports – based on interviews with witnesses and medical authorities and a reconstruction of the bomb scene – says that of the roughly 77 people killed and 100 wounded, up to two-thirds were hit by the three to five minutes of gunfire the bodyguards fired into the crowd, one official said. “A large number of people – and quite probably a majority – were killed and wounded as a result of gunfire after the blast,” said the second official, a U.N. employee. The official said one internal report is highly critical of the bodyguards’ reaction. Among the dead were 61 students and five teachers, said Education Ministry adviser Hamid Almi. Six members of parliament and five bodyguards also died. The deadliest previous suicide bombing in Afghanistan was in June, when 35 people were killed in a bomb attack on a police bus. Among the parliamentarians killed was Sayed Mustafa Kazimi, the chief spokesman of Afghanistan’s only opposition group, the National Front. No group has claimed responsibility for the attack, and Afghan officials say they don’t know who was behind the bombing. The Taliban has denied it was responsible. A government investigation is also under way. BAGHLANI-JADID, Afghanistan – Up to two-thirds of the 77 people killed and 100 wounded in a suicide bombing last week were hit by bullets from visiting lawmakers’ panicked bodyguards, who fired on a crowd of mostly schoolchildren for up to five minutes, a preliminary U.N. report says. Afghanistan’s Interior Ministry says only a “small number” of the victims were hit by gunfire, but an Afghan official in Baghlan province told The Associated Press that bodyguards were “raining bullets” on the crowd. The suicide bomb contained ball bearings, the Interior Ministry said, which may have caused wounds that look like bullet holes. An Afghan doctor who treated patients after the Nov. 6 blast, meanwhile, told the AP that a high-ranking government official told him not to publicly reveal the number of gunfire victims, suggesting a possible government cover-up. last_img
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first_imgWaterford company Rigney Dolphin is establishing a new customer relations centre in Derry, which will generate 297 posts over the next three years. The company said it was a strategic development which would help expand its customer base into the UK. Invest NI provided €1.35m in funding for the jobs investment.The announcement has been welcomed by local political leaders in Inishowen. One in every five call centre positions in Derry is staffed by Donegal people.297 JOBS BOOST IS GOOD NEWS FOR INISHOWEN was last modified: December 15th, 2010 by gregShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more