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.


An Aging 'Quartet,' Still Polishing Their Legends

Dec 4, 2012

"Wrinklies," a widely accepted British term for elderly people, is by a generous margin more affectionate fun than the anodyne euphemisms we use here in the United States, where many of us fear crow's-feet almost as much as we do death. It's no accident that Americans have no equivalent term of endearment beyond the horribly neutered "senior citizen." Or that Hollywood movies mostly ignore the old — or consign them to the demeaning Siberia of crazy old coots (Jack Nicholson) or wacky broads (Jane Fonda, Betty White and so many more).

Which is not to say that the Brits are above showing their soft centers when it comes to exportable chronicles from the sunset years. They just don't beat about the bush regarding the indignities of bodily decay, and they deliver the schmaltz with a characteristically pert leavening of cheek and vaudeville raunch.

This year, two wrinkly vehicles are competing for awards attention, both sweetly sentimental and both heavily reliant on the usual crackerjack roster of thespian dames and sirs. On the heels of the successful The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel — in which a band of the newly retired re-up by outsourcing themselves to India — comes Quartet, a big-hearted and veddy English chamber piece, never mind that it was directed — respectfully and with love — by famous Yank Dustin Hoffman.

Adapted by Ronald Harwood from his 1999 stage play, Quartet is set in a bucolic retirement community for former opera musicians, who are readying themselves for a gala benefit to fund the renovation of their buildings. This alone implies a strategic refinement of most wrinklies' options: With its plush brocades, manicured grounds and plentiful supply of attentive round-the-clock staff, Beecham House is, to put it mildly, not the kind of retirement home that's on general offer through the National Health Service. If you have to grow old and infirm, this is the place to do it, presuming you've the bucks to pay for it.

That discrepancy, however, would take us into riskier Ken Loach or Mike Leigh territory. The mostly comfy Quartet is built around the uncontroversial observation that most of us deal with old age pretty much as we approach the rest of our lives. At its center are three old friends and partners in Verdi interpretation: Wilf (Billy Connolly), a genial old gent as randy as he is kind, who keeps himself spry by coming on to the help; buttoned-up Reggie (Tom Courtenay), who claims to want nothing more than a "dignified senility"; and Cissy (Pauline Collins), a sweet soul in the early stages of dementia.

Together the three soldier on in resigned harmony that's rudely interrupted by the arrival of Jean (Maggie Smith), a testy diva who was once the group's solo star and who, we soon learn, was briefly married to Reggie. Age cannot wither Jean's robust ego, which means she still rallies for standing ovations but otherwise spreads gloom and defeatism wherever she goes. Early hostilities with Reggie are quickly smoothed over, which means there is much worse to come, and as the concert draws near, Jean's epic temper threatens to derail the festivities, to say nothing of the group's plan to sing their famed quartet from Rigoletto.

Personally, I'd show up for Maggie Smith's top-drawer basilisk stare if she were guesting on Sesame Street. And though, through no fault of her own, the actress isn't doing much here that she didn't do as the embittered retired nanny in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, she still bottles the helpless rage with which so many aging people mask the existential terror of their diminishing powers and approaching demise.

She must be tamed and bettered, of course, so that Quartet may take you sweetly more or less where you expect it to go, pausing for rueful contemplation of the inevitable along the way. It's worth taking the ride just for the movie's perfectly synchronized veteran cast. Watching this graying band of great actors — in a way, these movies are a pre-retirement home for the cream of Anglo-talent — you can treat yourself to a further nostalgic trip though the history of British arts both high and low.

Maggie Smith in The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie; Tom Courtenay, the Long Distance Runner of mid-20th-century working-class neorealist cinema classics; Pauline Collins, forever Shirley Valentine; Billy Connolly, known to American audiences as the royal equerry from Mrs. Brown, but to us wrinklies-in-waiting as the 1970s Glasgow stand-up comedian whose scabrous patter made our toes curl. And as the director of festivities, Michael Gambon, who, while making my teenage daughter squeal "Dumbledore!," to me will always be the flayed hero of that other Potter's television masterpiece, The Singing Detective.

Stay the course, and Hoffman offers a bonus treat. Discreetly tucked around this heavenly troupe is a distinguished roster of wrinklies from the real-life world of the arts, both high and low. They get their due in a lovely tribute at the end, and I'm not ashamed to say I cried on demand.

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