When the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union last month, the seaside town of Port Talbot in Wales eagerly went along with the move. Brexit was approved by some 57 percent of the town's residents.

Now some of them are wondering if they made the wrong decision.

The June 23 Brexit vote has raised questions about the fate of the troubled Port Talbot Works, Britain's largest surviving steel plant — a huge, steam-belching facility that has long been the town's biggest employer.

Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Cairo, completing the penultimate leg of its attempt to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

The trip over the Mediterranean included a breathtaking flyover of the Pyramids. Check it out:

President Obama is challenging Americans to have an honest and open-hearted conversation about race and law enforcement. But even as he sits down at the White House with police and civil rights activists, Obama is mindful of the limits of that approach.

"I've seen how inadequate words can be in bringing about lasting change," the president said Tuesday at a memorial service for five law officers killed last week in Dallas. "I've seen how inadequate my own words have been."

Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

At least that's one premise of the Allen Brain Observatory, which launched Wednesday and lets anyone with an Internet connection study a mouse brain as it responds to visual information.

The FBI says it is giving up on the D.B. Cooper investigation, 45 years after the mysterious hijacker parachuted into the night with $200,000 in a briefcase, becoming an instant folk figure.

"Following one of the longest and most exhaustive investigations in our history," the FBI's Ayn Dietrich-Williams said in a statement, "the FBI redirected resources allocated to the D.B. Cooper case in order to focus on other investigative priorities."

This is the first in a series of essays concerning our collective future. The goal is to bring forth some of the main issues humanity faces today, as we move forward to uncertain times. In an effort to be as thorough as possible, we will consider two kinds of threats: those due to natural disasters and those that are man-made. The idea is to expose some of the dangers and possible mechanisms that have been proposed to deal with these issues. My intention is not to offer a detailed analysis for each threat — but to invite reflection and, hopefully, action.

Alabama authorities say a home burglary suspect has died after police used a stun gun on the man.  Birmingham police say he resisted officers who found him in a house wrapped in what looked like material from the air conditioner duct work.  The Lewisburg Road homeowner called police Tuesday about glass breaking and someone yelling and growling in his basement.  Police reportedly entered the dwelling and used a stun gun several times on a white suspect before handcuffing him.  Investigators say the man was "extremely irritated" throughout and didn't obey verbal commands.

It can be hard to distinguish among the men wearing grey suits and regulation haircuts on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington. But David Margolis always brought a splash of color.

It wasn't his lovably disheveled wardrobe, or his Elvis ring, but something else: the force of his flamboyant personality. Margolis, a graduate of Harvard Law School, didn't want to fit in with the crowd. He wanted to stand out.

Montgomery Education Foundation's Brain Forest Summer Learning Academy was spotlighted Wednesday at Carver High School.  The academic-enrichment program is for rising 4th, 5th, and 6th graders in the Montgomery Public School system.  Community Program Director Dillion Nettles, says the program aims to prevent learning loss during summer months.  To find out how your child can participate in next summer's program visit Montgomery-ed.org

A police officer is free on bond after being arrested following a rash of road-sign thefts in southeast Alabama.  Brantley Police Chief Titus Averett says officer Jeremy Ray Walker of Glenwood is on paid leave following his arrest in Pike County.  The 30-year-old Walker is charged with receiving stolen property.  Lt. Troy Johnson of the Pike County Sheriff's Office says an investigation began after someone reported that Walker was selling road signs from Crenshaw County.  Investigators contacted the county engineer and learned signs had been reported stolen from several roads.


'This Is 40': Ambling Into Midlife

Dec 20, 2012

Consider the premises of writer-director Judd Apatow's first three comedies:

* A lonely tech salesman (Steve Carell) seeks to end a lifelong romantic drought in The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
* A mismatched couple (Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl) gets pregnant after a regrettable one-night stand in Knocked Up.
* A popular but self-centered comedian (Adam Sandler) finds perspective after a grim cancer diagnosis in Funny People.

What do all these films have in common? Plenty of things, but on the most basic level of plotting, they're about characters embarking on a clearly defined journey — to lose their virginity, to get through the nine months to delivery, to either die or recover from cancer.

Now consider the premise of Apatow's new film, This Is 40: A married couple with kids reaches middle age. That's not a journey, that's an existential crisis, and it gets Apatow into trouble this time.

Despite his background in episodic television like Freaks and Geeks and Undeclared, Apatow's films have a loose, shambling quality that accommodates his actors and makes room for observational humor and scads of improvisation. (The shortest among them runs a full two hours.) In the past, sending his characters on a journey, however conventional it might be, has enforced a structure and discipline on Apatow's work that he's by nature reluctant to apply.

This Is 40, by contrast, has nowhere in particular to go: It's an outpouring of raw material, an inventory of domestic hassles, marital spats and random insights and silliness that inches forward while running in place.

Apatow's strengths and weaknesses are tied to the same impulse to put as much of himself into the film as possible — small, specific moments coexist with broad comic setpieces and emotional meltdowns that wouldn't be out of place in a John Cassavetes movie. Calling it a mess would be both accurate and pointless, because a tidier comedy would squeeze the life out of this vital, generous blob of a film.

Lifting the characters of Pete (Paul Rudd) and Debbie (Leslie Mann) from Knocked Up, Apatow builds his comedy around a screen family composed of three-quarters of his own, casting Rudd as his alter ego and Mann, his wife, playing mother to their real-life daughters, Maude and Iris, who star as 13-year-old Sadie and 8-year-old Charlotte, respectively.

As Pete and Debbie approach the big 4-0, they're forced to take stock of their marriage, their careers and their parenting, and they find a host of problems in all three areas. After leaving a lucrative job at Sony to start his own record label, Pete has signed an ancient rock band for a 30-year reunion album no one wants. Debbie's boutique shop seems to be performing better, but it turns out one of her employees (Megan Fox and Charlyne Yi) has been skimming thousands of dollars from the till.

And that's just for starters: Paul gets guilted into sending money to his put-upon father (Albert Brooks); Debbie's biological father (John Lithgow) is no better despite his absence from her life; both nurse not-so-secret vices (Debbie for smoking, Paul for cupcakes); neither has any clue how to handle a tech-savvy adolescent without invading her privacy; and they cannot keep their hostilities from forming a toxic cloud that hangs over the whole family. A romantic getaway helps briefly, but the moment they pull back into the driveway, the old battles recommence.

For parents of a like age, This Is 40 might seem at times like the year's most disturbing documentary, so acute are Apatow's insights about everything from the stress points of family life to minor matters like Pete slipping away to the bathroom (with his iPad) for a moment's peace.

But he just as often inserts scenes or characters that are tangential at best, superfluous at worst, including a brilliant bit with Bridesmaids star Melissa McCarthy as the profane mother of a boy harassing Paul and Debbie's daughter. (Be sure to stay for the closing-credit outtakes, which are even funnier.) And of course there's a part for Jason Segel as Debbie's lusty personal trainer; like the rest, it feels shoehorned into place.

With This Is 40, Apatow turns his audience into fitfully chuckling therapists, dealing with a raft of problems that aren't entirely sorted out. Hollywood usually demands an orderliness that Apatow, to his great credit, isn't interested in imposing on his film. This can get enormously frustrating in the wearying stretches where the comedy can't relieve the psychodrama, but it isn't often that material so nakedly personal can fly under the studio banner. His candor should be encouraged.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.