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.


Black, Latino Groups: It's Our Turn, Mr. President

Dec 7, 2012

After African-American and Latino voters turned out in record numbers to reelect President Obama, leaders for both groups are turning up the pressure on him to return the favor.

They say that minorities, who put aside their disappointments with Obama's first term to support him again, now expect the president to spend his political capital on policies that will help their communities begin to recover from the recession. In the post-election euphoria, some leaders claim, certain voters are saying, "It's our turn."

"I hear that everywhere I go," says Rep. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., outgoing chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus. "You're hearing it from African-Americans and Latinos, including Latinos [in Congress] here on the Hill. ... I'm already trying to figure out how to respond to that — 'Well, we're the ones who pulled him over the top in Ohio, we're the ones who pulled him over in Florida. You owe us.' "

On Monday, nearly 60 black leaders held a closed-door meeting in Washington to begin crafting an agenda to be delivered to the White House and Congress early next year. The leaders said the policies will be culled from five areas: economic inequality, education, health care, criminal justice and voting rights.

"Against the backdrop of high unemployment, a difficult set of economic challenges, a great deal of hope and promise that we have in our president's second term, we felt it was important for us to come together," Marc Morial, president of the National Urban League, told reporters after the meeting.

Morial's organization, along with the NAACP, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation and the National Action Network, convened the event.

As the economy has slowly improved, the fortunes of many blacks and Latinos remain stalled. The nation's unemployment rate dropped in November to 7.7 percent, but remained at 10 percent for Hispanics and fell a percentage point, to 13.2 percent, for blacks.

A Mandate To Serve All

Obama's economic policies have been criticized from all quarters. But as the nation's first black president, he has faced lingering questions about his commitment to address the needs of minorities, especially through the use of targeted measures.

Responding to those concerns, Obama told Black Enterprise magazine: "I'm not the president of black America. I'm the president of the United States of America."

Obama has favored broader programs designed to address economic conditions for all Americans.

However, he has taken political risks on behalf of other core supporters, such as gays and lesbians. He ordered the Justice Department to stop defending the constitutionality of the Defense of Marriage Act. He ended the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, which banned gays and lesbians from serving openly, and he announced his support for same-sex marriage. The moves energized the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

This summer he solidified his support with Latinos by halting the deportations of young illegal immigrants.

Blacks, having invested great stock in the re-election of one of their own, now hope he will turn to more of their concerns.

"I do think there are heightened expectations. But I think people will figure out very quickly if that expectation is real or not, based on how he behaves," says Emory University political scientist Andra Gillespie, author of the book, The New Black Politician: Cory Booker, Newark, and Post-Racial America. "I think everybody is kind of waiting with baited breath to see how he responds to the lack of a re-election imperative. This is where we may see what President Obama is made of."

Spending 'Political Capital'

For Latinos, the November election has sparked momentum for their top issue, immigration. Congressional Republicans have since embraced immigration reform as a priority. Bipartisan talks are under way in the House on legislation that could be introduced early next year.

Obama has said Congress should "seize the moment," yet Latino leaders insist that voters have given the president a mandate to lead the effort. Some Latino leaders believe Obama should have fought more aggressively to push the DREAM Act through Congress in 2010. (The bill would have established a path to citizenship for young people brought to the United States as children who attend college or serve in the military.)

Latinos also criticized the Obama administration, before it changed its policy, for deporting a record 1.1 million people in three years.

"Not only the president but others have said in the past, 'How much political capital do we need to spend on this issue?' Everybody understands now that you need to spend all of it," says Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill. "With the same vigor and energy that Latino people voted for this president, he should do this."

For African-American groups, it's not so simple as identifying a single priority. Many of them separately advocate for policies that address such issues as disproportionately high unemployment, low student achievement and high incarceration rates.

They also have differed about publicly criticizing Obama and whether doing so provides fodder for conservatives and weakens the president politically.

Cleaver and other black politicians acknowledge tamping down their criticisms this year to avoid endangering the president's re-election chances.

Scholar and activist Cornel West, a former Obama supporter, is one of the few prominent blacks who have remained outspoken critics. Shortly after the election, West said he was "glad there was not a right-wing takeover, but we end up with a Republican, a Rockefeller Republican in blackface, with Barack Obama, so that our struggle with regard to poverty intensifies."

In response to criticism, the White House has more aggressively promoted the positive impact that Obama's policies have had on blacks, such as increased funding for historically black colleges and universities and for Pell Grants for college students, and the Affordable Care Act. (Blacks and Latinos make up an estimated 50 percent of the uninsured.)

But even some Obama supporters say his broad policies must be more narrowly tailored. Ron Busby, president of U.S. Black Chamber Inc., which represents business owners, says most black companies aren't large enough to qualify for many of the loans issued by the Small Business Administration.

Busby, who served on a committee that advised the Obama campaign on business policy, decries the decline under the Obama administration in the number of federal government contracts awarded to black vendors.

"You can say rising tide floats all boats, and that's great to say if we're all in the same boat. But we're not. My boat," Busby says, referring to black businesses, "is sinking."

As a practical matter, there is wide agreement that a "black" or "Latino" agenda from Obama supporters has little chance of passing the Republican-controlled House, particularly if it would increase spending.

One idea discussed at the Monday meeting was the shaping of "race-neutral" programs aimed at communities with sustained high joblessness. Such measures were included in the president's jobs bill that failed in the House last year.

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