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.


Evan S. Connell: A Master Of Fact And Fiction

Jan 12, 2013

Mrs. Bridge and Gen. Custer: one an invented character, the other a historical figure. You know their names, you can see their faces, even hear their voices as they move across the landscapes in your mind. One in a dining room, in a house in a Kansas City neighborhood, the other riding across the rolling plains of Montana. Mrs. India Bridge and Gen. Custer are some of the most memorable creations of Evan S. Connell, who died this week at the age of 88. They suggest the broad reach of his talent — his genius for both inventing memorable characters out of his own experience and observation, and reimagining historical figures based on his dogged research and chiseled prose.

Oddly, these great strengths made for a weakness. For most of his career, Connell had two reading publics: those folks who admired his fiction and those who admired his nonfiction. The first group scarcely kept him in supplies. Connell began writing after a stint as a Navy pilot during the Second World War, and then a return to Kansas to finish his undergraduate degree. But he always had a day job — first working as a clerk in San Francisco, and later reading utility meters in Santa Cruz. Only after the huge success of his Custer book, Son of the Morning Star: Custer and the Little Bighorn, did he have some money to put away for old age.

Connell was one of my early writing heroes. I met him at a signing for my first novel, some 30 years ago in a San Francisco bookstore called Minerva's Owl. He walked in, introduced himself to me, and bought three books that he asked me to sign. One for him, and the others for family members back in Kansas City. I never forgot that gesture of his — who could? The writer's writer, doffing his cap to a new young fiction novice. What a thrilling moment! Over the years we met a few times, over coffee or a drink, and once at what he called his favorite breakfast place in Marin County — which turned out to be a McDonald's in Mill Valley.

Eventually, he left crowded Marin County for a more isolated New Mexico to enhance his solitude, the solitude he apparently required for doing his best work. In his last published book, a 2008 story collection titled Lost in Uttar Pradesh, a Midwesterner whom he calls by the initials J.D. travels the world far and wide, sending reports back to his boyhood friends still in Kansas. "He had tales of the Casbah in Tangiers," we hear, "and he had souvenirs from the ruins of Carthage. On his keychain was a fragment of polished stone ... that he had picked up from the hillside just beyond Tunis." Connell has now gone on to further wandering, but we still have these souvenirs — from the Casbah, from the ruins of Carthage — fragments of beautifully polished stone.

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