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Globe Trotting

For Sunday, October 27, 2013

By Associated Press


Texas memorial to honor war dogs

SAN ANTONIO » The first national monument honoring the war dogs that fought and died with U.S. troops is to be dedicated in San Antonio.

The U.S. Working Dog Teams National Monument will be dedicated Monday at Lackland Air Force Base, where many U.S. military dogs are trained, as well as treated when wounded.

The dedication marks the end of a tour that began in January at the Tournament of Roses in Pasadena, Calif.

The driving force behind the monument is John Burnam, a 65-year-old veteran military dog handler who designed the monument. It depicts the modern military handler and four dogs — a Doberman, German shepherd, Labrador retriever and Belgian Mali­nois, all breeds used in wars.

Mickey speaks in more than squeaks

ORLANDO, Fla. » Mickey Mouse squeaked and whistled his way into pop culture but hasn't said a word to visitors at Walt Disney World.

Until now. After four decades of silence at the theme park, Mickey is talking to guests inside the "Backstage with Mickey Mouse" attraction at the Magic Kingdom. Along with stock phrases such as "Come on in," he also engages visitors in a longer routine: "I've been working on a magic trick. Can you help me out? … Pick a card, any card."

Disney officials would not discuss the technology behind the character, whose eyes blink and whose mouth moves with the recorded phrases.

Most of Disney's costumed cast members are silent, reduced to arm gestures and sideways glances. Only princesses and a few other characters talk to guests.

Talking Mickey has been tested at Disney World and Disneyland in California over three years.

Fare cards to feature Van Gogh art

WASHINGTON » The city's metro system is partnering with The Phillips Collection to offer four commemorative SmarTrip fare cards with artworks by Vincent van Gogh. The limited-edition cards are part of a promotion for the museum's "Van Gogh Repetitions" exhibition, on view through January.

The reusable plastic fare cards are available for $10. That includes $8 in fare value. The cards can be ordered online and will be sold at Metro stations by the end of October.

The cards can also be presented at The Phillips Collection to receive $3 off the $12 admission price and 20 percent off gift shop purchases.

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