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.


The Big Apple's Mayor Makes A Very Scary Video

Nov 17, 2012
Originally published on November 17, 2012 10:15 am

I didn't know what to make of this when I saw it. I live in Manhattan, in a city where people bike, take buses, subways, trains, live and work in towers where they share elevators, share water, share electricity. I thought my town is setting the example for energy-efficient, communal living. And then, the guy who runs the place, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, releases a study — including (see below) a shocking videothat says, you think New York is great on energy? You think that? Well, check this out...

The mayor has an Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability (that includes Jonathan Dickinson and Andrea Tenorio and staff) and they decided to measure how much carbon dioxide escapes into the New York air. To make the data more visual, they assumed every day in New York is a nice day, where the temperature is 59 degrees Fahrenheit, and where, under standard pressure, a ton of CO2 gas would fill a lovely blue bubble 33 feet across like the ones you see down there, rising from the traffic.

Then they asked, "if we took all the CO2 coming from vehicles, buildings, power plants across the city and gathered them in a clump, at one spot right next the Empire State Building, how much CO2 is emitted in a single hour? This is what they found.

That's one hour. How about a day? How much CO2 does New York City produce in a day?

This isn't looking so good, especially if you believe accumulating greenhouse gases may increase the ferocity of storms coming in off the Atlantic. So let's take a deep breath and ask how much CO2 does New York City create in a year?

"Oy," as some New Yorkers like to say. This is a whole lot of gas, several tons per person. This is not what I was expecting.

So what are we to think? This graphic is just a snapshot of New York. It says nothing about how the city compares to Ft. Worth, Texas, or Bar Harbor, Maine, or Shanghai. Just because it looks horrible, doesn't mean, it is horrible, though these images leave me with the unmistakable sense that New York is being strangled under a mountain of its own waste.

Is it? (And why, by the way, is the Mayor's staff creating pictures like this? He wrote the forward to their report, so he wants us to see these pictures. What's up with that?)

For some answers, I called up a climate scientist who lives and works in my neighborhood, Pushker Kharecha of Columbia University's Earth Institute. He, like me, wakes up every day to what are often blue skies. I assume he takes deep breaths. I asked him, "Is this as bad as it looks?" And he said. "It's grim, yes," but there are, he thinks, a few silver linings.

Like what? I asked.

For one thing, he says, as I suspected, New York isn't as bad as other places. If you compare cities to suburbs and rural areas, cities are often more energy efficient. People who live in detached houses, who drive everywhere, whose power comes from coal and gas, often have much higher CO2 emissions per capita.

Yes, New York's Dirty, But Check The Suburbs...

A recent study compared 12 large (and mostly rich) cities around the world with the average emissions of their respective countries and the cities did nicely. New York City's per capita emissions are about a third the U.S. average.

So we're dirty, but we're three times more efficient than typical Americans. The same goes for residents of Toronto and Barcelona, they're three times better than their countrymen. Tokyo, London and Seoul are about twice as efficient.

Cities, even rich ones, perform differently. In this list of 12, starting with the dirtiest, New York comes in fifth. These are greenhouse gas emissions per person (What's with Washington?)

  1. Washington, D.C., U.S. — 19.7 tons of CO2 equivalent
  2. Glasgow, UK — 8.4 tons
  3. Toronto, Canada — 8.2 tons
  4. Shanghai, China — 8.1 tons
  5. New York City, U.S. — 7.1 tons
  6. Beijing, China — 6.9 tons
  7. London, U.K. — 6.2 tons
  8. Tokyo, Japan — 4.8 tons
  9. Seoul, South Korea — 3.8 tons
  10. Barcelona, Spain — 3.4 tons
  11. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — 2.3 tons
  12. Sao Paulo, Brazil — 1.5 tons

Cities differ because some have lots of factories, some don't. Some have more refrigerators, air conditioners, fancy appliances than others. Some have more modern, tighter buildings, more office towers, more public transit. (Washington is warmer, often stifling, is that why it's such an emitter? Can we blame air conditioning?) But whatever the differences, that pile of bubbles still gets to me.

If whenever people gather — and that's what we do, we gather — we produce this much waste or worse, what am I to think? Mayor Bloomberg's video images feel like a dark prophecy, a prediction of doom.

"Grim," says Pushker Kharecha, but doom? Nah. He says there are two challenges here: we must eventually wean ourselves from coal, gas and carbon-rich fuels, but in the meantime, we can cut down on the bubble-making by redesigning cars, putting more people in buses, subways, creating tighter, ever-more-efficient buildings, adjusting our values; those are real, achievable goals."Combating climate change is one of the great challenges of our age," Mayor Bloomberg says in his forward. His video was meant to warn us, not to scare us.

Well, here it is. Take a look, and you decide. Are you scared or are you pumped?

Me? I'm a little bit of both.

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