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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President And Congress Extend FISA Wiretapping Act To 2017 [Updated]

Dec 28, 2012
Originally published on December 31, 2012 6:16 pm

The FISA Amendments Act has been approved for another five years, as the Senate voted to renew the law that grants the government wide surveillance authority. President Obama has said he intends to sign the measure, which senators approved by a 73-23 margin Friday morning. It had already won approval in the House.

Update at 6:10 p.m. Dec. 31: Obama signs FISA extension.

The president signed the FISA extension Sunday. Our original post continues:

The controversial bill, which allows federal agencies to eavesdrop on communications and review email without following an open and public warrant process, has long been a target for privacy and rights groups such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the American Civil Liberties Union, which is involved in a Supreme Court case over FISA.

The original Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act dates back to 1978; it was expanded during the Bush administration in 2008, to allow both foreign and domestic surveillance without a warrant, as long as the intent is to gather foreign intelligence.

When it was amended in 2008, FISA also provided "retroactive immunity to the telecom companies that assisted the Bush administration in its warrantless wiretapping program," as Open Congress notes in its summary.

Before Friday's vote, the 2012 FISA extension faced several attempts to amend it, including one made by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who sought to require the director of national intelligence to share information about telephone and email surveillance — how many Americans have been monitored, for instance, or whether communications between Americans is reviewed.

The Wyden amendment was rejected by a 52-43 vote, an indication of the contentiousness surrounding the bill's granting of intelligence-gathering powers. The amendment had bipartisan support that included Democratic Sens. Al Franken and Patty Murray and Republican Sens. Dean Heller and Pat Toomey, among others.

But the measure also faced bipartisan opposition. Sens. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), the ranking members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, spoke against the Wyden amendment, with Feinstein saying it would expose "information about a very effective intelligence collection program that is currently classified." She added that the Senate Intelligence and Judiciary Committees already review all of the material.

A similar measure, introduced by Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), sought to require the Attorney General to disclose some of the decisions and orders issued by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose records are generally not available to the public. The Merkley measure failed by a 54-37 margin.

Another amendment, offered by Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), sought "to ensure adequate protection of the rights under the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States" — the portion of the Bill of Rights that protects citizens from unreasonable search and seizure. Paul's amendment was defeated, 79-12.

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