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Fri, 03 Apr 2020
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Best Hits: Russian foreign minister Lavrov's greatest achievements and public gaffes as he turns 70

Sergey lavrov
© Sputnik / Vladimir Pesnya
Russia's top diplomat has earned the respect of his colleagues both at home and abroad for his professionalism and the love of the public - mostly due unexpected gaffes rarely heard from people in his profession.

The face of the Kremlin's diplomacy, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, the longest-serving member of the Russian government, turns 70 today. Starting out as a low-ranking diplomat at the Soviet Embassy in Sri Lanka in 1972 fresh out of the USSR's diplomatic school, MGIMO, Lavrov worked his way up to becoming the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry by 2004.

Led by Lavrov, the ministry went through a major shift, changing the way it handles Russia's international interests, and allowing Moscow to strengthen its positions on the global arena over the last 16 years.

Lavrov's unusual combination of taking a hard-line stance along with his ability to resort to witty remarks and jokes have left an indelible mark on international diplomacy. Here are Lavrov's main accomplishments as well as the most memorable remarks and gaffes that accompanied them.

Smiley

Penguin-perks: Penguins take tour of Chicago aquarium during shutdown

penguins tour zoo
© Shedd Aquarium/twitter
Penguins tour the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago
Perhaps for the first time in the species' history, penguins were the visitors and not the attraction in an aquarium, after it was closed to the public amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Animal residents of the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago have had a chance to check out the place and get familiar with their neighbours under supervision.

The venue, which is on a two-week shutdown through 29 March, has posted hilarious videos of penguins wandering around and staring at fishes on a rare "field trip".

Comment: More from Shedd Aquarium's feed:






Fish

Needing some humor? Bizarre new species of shark spawns smorgasbord of snarky memes

sixgill sawshark
© Reuters/Andrea Comas
Your average shark
Scientists have chanced upon two new species of peculiar-looking sharks, giving fresh ammunition to meme-makers who delighted in the creatures' comically-long snouts.

The sixgill sawshark boasts a conspicuous snout that has teeth and catfish-like whiskers to help it find prey. Native to the West Indian Ocean, neither of the two new species have been spotted alive in the wild - but that hasn't stopped internet users from giving them face-lifts - in Photoshop.

Robot

DNC completes assimilation process - Tulsi backs Biden

Tulsi Borg
© Babylon Bee
Washington, D.C. — The DNC Collective has assimilated yet another species, the Borg King Joe Biden proudly announced Thursday morning.

Species 10027, Tulsi Gabbard, was successfully injected with nanoprobes and assimilated into the Borg's campaign, according to Biden's statement. Gabbard quickly lost all principles and independent thought and began tirelessly working to further the purposes of the mysterious Borg species, sources inside the Borg Cube indicated.

Smiley

What to do when you run out of toilet paper

AwakenWithJP
© YouTube/AwakenWithJP (screen capture)
The toilet paper apocalypse is upon us! Here's what to do when you run out of toilet paper. With the fear and panic about the Coronavirus, aka, COVID-19 we're on the greatest toilet paper shortage the world has ever known. But this video will help.


Cow

Florida police warn of rogue cow on the run: Loose since January, 'faster than it looks'

rogue cow florida
© Pembroke Pines PD/ Twitter
A cow described as "faster than it looks" is wanted by U.S. police after avoiding capture for over a month.

The elusive female has been on the loose in South Florida since late January and local authorities have now issued a wanted poster for her.

Corona

Jonathan Pie: Coronavirus - Survival of the richest!

Boris Johnson and coronavirus cartoon
© Chris Riddell
As Coronavirus takes over the world, intrepid UK News reporter Jonathan Pie discusses his hygiene habits and the state of humanity.

Warning: contains strong language


Syringe

Nation's nerds wake to utopia where sports is cancelled, everyone stays at home and social interaction is forbidden

Nerds
U.S. — The nation's nerds woke up in a utopia this morning, one where everyone stays inside, sporting events are being canceled, and all social interaction is forbidden.

All types of nerds, from social introverts to hardcore PC gamers, welcomed the dawn of this new era, privately from their own homes.

"I have been waiting my whole life for this moment," said Ned Pendleton, 32 -- via text message, of course -- as he fired up League of Legends on his beefy gaming PC. "They told me to take up a sport and that the kids playing basketball and stuff were gonna be way more successful than us nerds who played Counter-Strike at LAN parties every weekend."

Post-It Note

Disaster at rally as Biden smudges note on hand reading, 'you are Joe Biden and you are running for president'

joe biden hand
A Joe Biden campaign stop that began with the former vice president speaking with all the grace and class he is usually known for ended in disaster after the presidential candidate accidentally smudged a note on his hand reading, "You are Joe Biden and you are running for president."

The speech started out well but quickly derailed after Biden greeted the crowd and then looked down at his reminder message scrawled in marker on the back of his hand. It was all smudged, possibly by his sweat and also when he was rubbing women's shoulders in the crowd before the speech.

"Uh-oh," he muttered. "I'm, uh... I'm Joe... Montana? No, that can't be right. Joe Billingsworth? Mmm... that doesn't sound right." Biden frantically gestured toward an aide standing nearby to help him out, but the aide turned out to be a microphone stand, so he didn't receive much help there.

Comment: Not too far from the truth!




Music

Homebound residents across Italy sing together to stave off virus lockdown blues

cheery thoughts in Italy
© REUTERS/Alberto Lingria
The prospect of a coronavirus-induced lockdown is a truly daunting one but, through the magic of the internet, we have seen some truly inspirational moments, including beautiful, communal singalongs from across an Italy in crisis.

With more than 1,000 killed and 12,400 infected, Italy has been the country hardest hit by Covid-19 outside China. The country has been on lockdown since March 10, with police patrolling the streets to ensure the rate of infection slows as people self-isolate.

To stave off boredom and cabin fever, Italians across the country have taken to their balconies and begun singing to and with each other, in heartwarming scenes.


Comment: See also: