Wall goes up around America at miniature world in Germany

BERLIN — A wall has appeared around the United States at a popular miniature world attraction in the German city of Hamburg.

Operators of the Miniatur Wunderland erected the wall complete with barbed wire last week, separating the U.S. display from the rest of the world.

The site is one of Hamburg's most popular tourist attractions, featuring a vast indoor model railway stretching across two floors.

Co-founder Gerrit Braun said Thursday the idea for the wall arose after staff discussed whether the U.S. display needed changing to reflect "current developments."

Pooh, a stray cat who lost his back legs in a car accident, plays with a toy in Sofia, Bulgaria.
Pooh, a stray cat who lost his back legs in a car accident, plays with a toy in Sofia, Bulgaria. (Associated Press)

Braun said the wall wasn't meant to represent U.S. President Donald Trump's promised concrete barrier along the border with Mexico. Instead, it was intended to encourage visitors to think about what happens "when we build ideological walls around our countries."

Pooh the cat gets a pair of bionic legs in Bulgaria

SOFIA, Bulgaria — A cat named Pooh has been given a new lease on life in Bulgaria, becoming the country's first "bionic cat" with a pair of prosthetic hind legs.

Veterinary surgeon Vladislav Zlatinov carried out the operation that in Europe has only previously been done in Britain. He was aiming to give the fluffy, black-and-white cat who was probably hit by a train a chance at the sort of independence that the traditional solution — a set of wheels — would never have offered.


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Zlatinov relied on a few publications in scientific journals. With no commercial implants available, the parts had to be custom-built.

At the end of the complex surgery, Pooh had a pair of titanium legs implanted into his body. They are connected to external prostheses that can be changed like shoes.

Pooh had to recover for six weeks before he could test out his new limbs. Now, he is getting used to them, Zlatinov said, adding that Pooh notices the prostheses and tries to keep them clean.

Since the surgery on Pooh, Zlatinov has operated on three more cats, and more are on the waiting list.

Associated Press