Quirky World... Bird is the word as wanted wagtail wings it

STAY OF EXECUTION

Quirky World... Bird is the word as wanted wagtail wings it

The firm had applied for a licence from Natural England to allow it to shoot the pied wagtail which has been regularly spotted in the aisles of a branch in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, in recent weeks.

However, locals raised concerns about the plans to bring in a marksman to shoot the bird with an air rifle.

Nature presenter Chris Packham, who called for the bird to be spared on social media on September 11, tweeted: “Breaking News! The Tesco Wagtail has been caught and released by ther [sic] British Trust for Ornithology.”

Packham posted a picture of the bird, which he referred to as a “renegade”.

DEBASED DEBATE

SOUTH AFRICA: An opposition politician wanted to get a point across to the deputy president during a parliamentary debate. So he raised his middle finger in a gesture widely recognised as obscene.

South Africa’s parliament is supposed to be an enclave of orderly debate, but these days it is better known for ruckuses associated with the Economic Freedom Fighters, a new political party that wants to redistribute resources to the poor.

Floyd Shivambu, a deputy leader of the EFF, lifted a middle finger towards deputy president Cyril Ramaphosa while accusing him of involvement in the police killings of several dozen people during labour unrest at a mine in 2012.

Shivambu later retracted the gesture, saying it was not necessary because there were other ways to express his “utter disgust”. In a statement, he said: “I therefore publicly withdraw the middle finger.”

MONKEY BUSINESS

ENGLAND: More than 600 people wearing gorilla costumes and fancy dress took to the streets of London in a charity event in aid of gorillas.

Organisers of the London Great Gorilla Run — now in its 11th year — said £100,000 (€127,000) had so far been raised.

People ran, jogged, or walked the 8km route, which started and finished at Mincing Lane in the City and passed sites such as St Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London.

The money will be used to try to save the lives and preserve the habitat of gorillas, which are an endangered species.

SHOW ME THE WAY TO...

USA: Portland, Maine? Country singer Tim McGraw doesn’t know where it is, and doesn’t want to know, either.

McGraw included a song, ‘Portland, Maine’, on his latest album, Sundown Heaven Town. It is a break-up song in which McGraw laments that his love has left for Portland.

During the chorus, he repeats the phrase “Portland, Maine: I don’t know where that is” and adds “I don’t want to know”.

Jessica Grondin, a spokeswoman for the city, joked that the person who broke his heart “made a good choice in coming to Portland”. She said the mayor will give McGraw a tour of the city if he can find his way to Maine’s largest conurbation.

OLDEST DIPPER

ENGLAND: Work is under way to restore Britain’s oldest rollercoaster at a seaside amusement park site.

Contractors moved in to start reviving the Grade II listed Scenic Railway at the Dreamland fun park in Margate, Kent, last week.

The 94-year-old timber attraction, one of the oldest of its kind left in the world, was seriously damaged in an arson attack in 2008.

It had been shut two years before the fire, which destroyed about 40% of it, but restoration efforts are under way. Campaigners said it was the biggest milestone yet as part of work to reopen Dreamland at a cost of £18m.

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