Kabang! Snoutless Filipino hero dog arrives in California for surgery

Plus Indonesian Obama impersonator hopes for a second term

Jack Rodolico By Jack Rodolico

Welcome to the Mishmash – our weekly round-up of some of the weirder stories the global press has to offer. There’s nothing too important here, nothing relevant or timely. We figure you’ve gotten enough of that by this point in the election cycle. Just turn off your brain, and be ready for a couple of surprises.

Snoutless Filipino hero dog arrives in California for surgery

Kabang, a Filipino and international hero, arrived in California this week for surgery on her snout, which was severed by the spokes of a motorcycle when the mutt leapt to save two girls. (Credit: www.careforkabang.com)

Kabang is a star in the Philippines. Last year eyewitnesses say the dog saved two girls from being hit by a motorcycle. But the poor mutt was tangled up in the bike’s spokes, and her upper snout was severed just below her eyes.

When the heroic act made Kabang famous in the Philippines and around the world, a nurse in Buffalo, NY started a website and raised over $20,000 to fly the dog to the U.S. for life-saving surgery. Kabang arrived in California on Monday, reports The Philippine Star.

Kabang was originally destined for a dinner plate. Two years ago the stray’s owner found her abandoned in a swamp. He took the dog home to fatten her and feed the family; eating dogs may be illegal but that doesn’t stop dog meat from being a favorite food for many Filipinos. But the owner’s daughter and niece fell for Kabang and convinced dad to keep her as a pet. Two years later, Kabang saved both girls form being hit by a motorcycle.

Since the accident left Kabang deformed, antibiotics have suppressed life-threatening infections in her open wound. Veterinarians at the University of California Davis plan to operate at least twice in the next few weeks, reports the San Francisco Gate.

“Contrary to some rumors in the media,” the hospital stated, “there are no plans to fit Kabang with a ‘prosthetic snout’ or to replace her jaw.”

Dead pigeon holds WWII secrets, interrogation likely

Pigeons, or “flying rats” to you city-dwellers, have an amazing capacity to find their way home. That’s why they were commonly used to carry covert, coded messages during World War II.

But they don’t always make it home, especially in a war zone. One carrier pigeon released 70 years ago has been found in a chimney in Bletchingley, Surrey in the UK. The bird’s skeletal ankle still carries a tiny red package with a coded message. This particular code is no longer used and no one knows how to read the missive.

Now the Government Communication Headquarters aims to decipher the code, reports The Telegraph:

Historians believe the bird was almost certainly dispatched from Nazi-occupied France on June 6, 1944 – During the D-Day invasions.

Due to Winston Churchill’s radio blackout, homing pigeons were taken on the D-Day invasion and released by Allied Forces to inform military Generals back on English soil how the operation was going.

Colin Hill of the Royal Pigeon Racing Authority says, “I can only presume it became exhausted and attempted to rest on an open chimney – where it valiantly perished.”

Indonesian Obama impersonator may soon be out of work – or will he?

Fame is fickle – one day you’re the world’s closest resemblance to the American president, and the next you’re the world’s closest resemblance to America’s ex-president.

A combination photo shows U.S. president-elect Barack Obama, taken January 17, 2009, and Indonesian lookalike Ilham Anas, taken January 20, 2009 in Jakarta. (Reuters//Enny Nuraheni/Jim Young)

These are the thoughts that keep Ilham Anas awake at night. Anas gained fame four years ago when then-candidate Obama was elected to the highest U.S. office. As Obama’s star rose, so did Anas’s. He starred in TV commercials and became a familiar face on talk shows, then started his own lookalike agency. He doesn’t get much work these days as an Obama ringer.

“If he wins, I’ll get more work, so of course he has my vote,” Anas says.

But Anas cannot vote because he’s not American: he’s Indonesian, which is all the more ironic considering Obama spent a period of his childhood in the world’s most populous Muslim-majority country.

Obama, his mother and his Indonesian step-father moved to Jakarta in 1967. When elected four years ago, many Indonesians rejoiced. But the excitement is tamped down in 2012, according to Al Arabiya News:

Food vendors who named their best dishes and chili sauces after the president are using generic names again, while a bar dedicated to Obama fans in the capital has become a little-visited nightspot.

Even Obama’s former nanny, a transgender named Turdi, whose story of living in hardship in a tiny single room caught the attention of the international media earlier this year, says that interest in his story is not what it was.

Turdi affectionately calls the President “Little Barry.”

Meanwhile Anas is back to work in his former career as a photographer, keeping his fingers crossed for an Obama victory.