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.


Daughter Of The Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

Jan 13, 2013

Roya Hakakian's most recent book is Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial law was in effect. Tehran was burning, bleeding.

A popular American belief holds that the act of writing can somehow save the writer. But having written a couple of books and countless essays, I disagree. What saved me was not writing, but reading.

The belief that writing can bring one back from the brink existed in Iran, too. I avidly kept a diary, and wrote poetry. Eventually, a painter took me seriously and introduced me to a literary critic: a dour, lanky man with a Che Guevara mustache, a dramatic head of salt-and-pepper curls and a memorably hoarse voice. In his kitchen — immaculate enough to conduct surgery in — he proceeded to do exactly that to the dozen poems I read him. A minor grunt here, a sigh of boredom there, each to emphasize an imperfection in what I'd composed. In the end, he only said: "You must read. You must do nothing but read. Read the great modern poets. Above all, read Ahmad Shamlou."

I dedicated that summer to Shamlou. But I might as well have embarked on quantum theory. With the exception of a few poems from a particular collection called Fresh Air, which the poet had later disowned, his writing eluded me. My father, who wrote classical poetry, took this as his moment for literary proselytizing and aired his litany against modern poetry as artless and merely confounding. Mocking the title of the tiny collection I was wrestling with, he threw a rusty knife on a plastic plate and demanded: "You call this beautiful?"

The book was called The Dagger on the Tray.

My father's objection to modern poetry made the case for having to understand it even more pressing. Now it was my selfhood at stake, as was the adolescent instinct to be unafraid in breaking from tradition on behalf of a higher calling. The nation's preoccupations with notions such as truth, belonging and sovereignty had become mine. I was, after all, the awkward girl who could not find her place in the old spaces she knew.

From the distance of years, it seems as though I spent a season splayed on bed, suffering through Shamlou. One August afternoon, vowing that it would be for the last time, I reread the lines I found most mystifying. Here is my translation of them:

The ignorant are harmonious
Only the storm spawns disparate off-springs
The harmonious are shadowlike
Wary in the penumbra of the sun
But those others are the fearless
The guardians of the flames
Mortals who walk shoulder to shoulder with death
-- ahead of death.

A mild earthquake shook Tehran that afternoon, but a far more intense one had registered inside me. Suddenly, I knew who I was — the daughter of the storm — and my inharmonious experience as an awkward teenager was virtue. I now knew where I belonged in the world — to the luminous and unafraid. All of this was told to me by a father, who, unlike my own, was bold and rebellious. If childhood is one of several skins one wears throughout a lifetime, then I shed mine that day. In the subsequent weeks, I memorized several of his books to become a teenage troubadour, a literary jukebox among adults who welcomed me into their midst.

As I left Iran and moved from country to country, home has always been but one place: where my shelf of Shamlou poetry is.

(Editor's Note: Translations of Shamlou's work into English are rare, but you can find several of them here.)

PG-13 is produced and edited by the team at NPR Books.

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