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.

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After Upset Win, House Freshman Looks To Make A Name For Himself

Jan 3, 2013
Originally published on January 3, 2013 6:27 am

A 32-year-old Bay Area prosecutor will be sworn in to Congress on Thursday after ousting a 40-year incumbent.

California Democrat Eric Swalwell — who will be the second-youngest member of Congress — capitalized on his opponent's gaffes and used old-fashioned door-knocking and high-tech mobile phone outreach to win votes.

His first challenge in Washington might be getting people to pronounce his name correctly. Even senior members of California's congressional delegation have gotten it wrong, saying "Stallwell" instead of "Swalwell."

"It takes everyone time," he says.

Swalwell has lived in Washington, D.C., once before, as a summer intern. The job was unpaid, so he worked mornings at a gym and evenings at a Tex-Mex restaurant.

"Many times members of Congress would come in and, you know, I would give them their meals," Swalwell says. "And I tried to memorize their faces in the congressional facebook, which was a kind of printed directory that they used to hand out."

Swalwell wasn't planning to run for Congress. He was on a weekend vacation in Maryland with two childhood friends and made an appointment with Rep. Pete Stark, D-Calif., to talk local business. At the last minute, Stark changed what was supposed to be a face-to-face meeting into a quick phone date.

The episode disappointed Swalwell and led him to view the 81-year-old incumbent as someone who had served honorably in the past but who "I just didn't see as being up for it anymore."

Swalwell made a spur-of-the-moment decision to run against Stark for the House seat. Everyone from Democratic Party gatekeepers to his own parents told him he was throwing away his career.

He says they told him: "This is the biggest mistake, you know, of your life because you're going to lose. And ... anything you want to do in the future, you can just write that off. You know, it's not going to happen."

Richard Schlackman, a political consultant in San Francisco, says he didn't think Swalwell "had a chance in the world."

"Incumbent Democrats don't usually lose in the Bay Area," Schlackman says.

He says Stark, the incumbent, helped Swalwell build name recognition by refusing to debate him and falsely accusing him of taking bribes.

"Pete Stark was doing a great campaign against himself," Schlackman says, "and it's a classic example, more importantly, of a candidate who hasn't had a real race in years."

Because California has open primaries, the top two vote-getters face off in the general election. In the showdown between the two Democrats, Sen. Dianne Feinstein and other big names endorsed incumbent Stark, as is the custom. Swalwell relied on local politicians and local money for support, yet he won by a comfortable margin of about 4.5 percentage points.

David McCuan, a political science professor at Sonoma State University, says to keep his seat, Swalwell will have to distinguish himself on policy matters.

"Swalwell is a bit more fiscally conservative," McCuan says. "He's not a Bluedog Democrat. So the degree to which Swalwell as a newcomer, as a freshman, can position himself in the middle — and the middle is pretty squishy — is going to be also an important test for him."

Swalwell, whose hometown is Dublin, Calif., plans to live in his district four days a week, to stay in touch with his constituency. And he wants to secure federal research money for his district's largest employer, the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

He says it needs that money "because too often, the capital is so great that no private organization or startup is going to be able to make those types of upfront investments."

Senior lawmakers say it'll be hard for the freshman Swalwell to raise cash — perhaps just a little bit harder than getting Capitol Hill to say his name right.

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