How a German ’racing pigeon’ went viral after speed camera snapshot

The German town of Bocholt on the Dutch border has become unexpectedly famous all because of a speedy pigeon.

How a German ’racing pigeon’ went viral after speed camera snapshot
The snapshot that has travelled the world over. Image: DPA

The pigeon exceeded the speed limit by 15 km/h, although officials are sceptical it’ll pay the fine.

It was caught speeding down a residential street in the North Rhine-Westphalia town at 45km/h, a good tick over the 30km/h speed limit. 

The pigeon’s speed triggered the automatic camera in the device – and a viral story was born. 

After initially being picked up by the German media, the pigeon story flew worldwide – covered by outlets in the United States, the United Kingdom, Brazil and Australia. 

The penalty for such an offence is €25. 

The ‘We Love Bocholt’ Facebook site said they were caught off guard by their newfound fame. 

A Facebook user from Bocholt lamented that now the pigeon “was even more famous than us”, while several others claimed to have know the pigeon well. 

According to the United KIngdom’s Pigeon Control Resource Centre says pigeons fly on average as fast as 123km/h and have been clocked at up to 150km/h – meaning that pretty much anywhere but the Autobahn is off limits. 

READ: Greens call for speed limit on Autobahn

SHARE YOUR VIEW: Should there be a speed limit on the Autobahn?

The pigeon was caught on camera back in February, but the news wasn’t brought to light until May. 

In cases of speeding such as this, there’s a 3km/h leeway – although that would mean the pigeon is still 12km/h over the limit. The Bocholt City Council said they decided against opening up a call for witnesses to the incident. 

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pigeon – (die) Taube

snapshot – (der) Schnappschuss

speed camera – (die) Blitzer

fine – (die) Geldstrafe

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Norway Uni pulls coronavirus message citing ‘poorly developed’ US health system

One of Norway's leading universities has been forced to change a message warning overseas students of the US's "poorly developed health services", after it was dragged into a storm of criticism on social media.

Norway Uni pulls coronavirus message citing 'poorly developed' US health system
Norwegian University of Science and Technology is one of Norway's leading universities. Photo: NTNU
Over the weekend, the Norwegian Institute of Science and Technology posted a message on its Facebook page for its students on international postings,  advising them to heed the latest advice from Norway's foreign ministry on the coronavirus pandemic, and return back to Norway. 
“This applies especially,” the message said, “if you are staying in a country with poorly developed health services and infrastructure and/or collective infrastructure, for example the USA.” 
But on Monday, after a storm of social media criticism, the message was changed, stripping out all mention of the US. 
Anne Dahl, communications advisor for the university's rector, told state broadcaster NRK that the university had decided to change the post because the furore was distracting people from the serious underlying message. 
“We do not want the expression of a single phrase to overshadow important information, so the specific wording about the US was removed,” she wrote in an email. 
The original wording was quickly picked up by Twitter commentators in the US. 

It then got viral news coverage, with both conservative outlets like Fox News, and left-of-centre newspapers like the UK's Independent picking up the story. 
Several people flocked to the original post to attack the university in the comments. 
The post was then changed on Monday to remove all reference to the US.