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.


'Fitzgerald Family' Does Dysfunction A Disservice

Dec 6, 2012

There's nothing particularly special about Edward Burns' wry family drama The Fitzgerald Family Christmas –-- but that makes it something of a relief amid the avalanche of overlong, big-ticket prestige films that comes tumbling into theaters this time of year.

You've probably seen some version of this story before: A crotchety and unreliable old man, long estranged from most of his family, attempts desperately to reconnect with them on Christmas Day. It's urgent, because he's harboring a Secret with a capital S.

But the familiar plot framework is really just an excuse for Burns to grapple with the complicated, often acrimonious family dynamics among his characters. Particularly for those who come from large, sprawling families, plenty of it is likely to ring true.

Burns himself plays Gerry, one of seven kids in the Irish Catholic working-class Fitzgerald family, and the only one who has never left home. He runs the family business, a well-kept pub with a glossy bar, and serves as the family organizer and peacemaker, which is a harder job than it may sound.

His crisis du jour? He's been contacted by his father (Ed Lauter), who skipped out on the family some 20 years earlier, leaving his wife (Anita Gillette) with those seven children, the youngest of them still in diapers. Dad really wants to be allowed to attend the family's upcoming Christmas gathering; Mom wants nothing to do with Dad, for understandable reasons.

It's left to Gerry to apply salve to all the unhealed wounds, not just between his parents but also among his numerous siblings. The Fitzgeralds all seem to love each other well enough, but they can tolerate being in the same room with one another only in various permutations.

One of the youngest (Kerry Bishe) doesn't really have anything against one of her much older brothers (Michael McGlone); she simply feels he doesn't know her, thanks in part to their age difference, and at one point she challenges him to name the high school she attended. (He gets it wrong.)

The youngest Fitzgerald (Tom Guiry) is a surly lad just out of rehab; he resents his absentee father more than anyone else in the clan does. The snobby one (Heather Burns) doesn't want to have much to do with anybody. And the two remaining sisters — played by Caitlin Fitzgerald and Marsha Dietlein — are having various marital problems, which only intensify tensions within the family.

Meanwhile, between his mounting familial responsibilities, Gerry is trying to spark a romance with an elderly neighbor's caretaker (Connie Britton). If that sounds like too many complications to cram into one 99-minute movie — well, it is. And Burns, who also wrote the script, lets some of these plot threads get away from him.

But The Fitzgerald Family Christmas is extremely perceptive about certain angles on life in a big family. Burns understands, for example, the way very large families are often two or three families jammed uncomfortably into one: Older siblings are sometimes foreigners to younger ones, with completely different cultural references. One child or another may hold a grudge against a parent, dictated largely by the year he arrived in the family lineup; a kid born during a particularly stressful time may not get as much parental attention as his siblings did.

But no matter what, every child eventually needs to acknowledge the parental units as flawed human beings. Burns, whose last picture was the 2011 comedy Newlyweds, may have overstuffed the Christmas goose, but his casting at least is spot-on. Lauter, as the patriarch who brings disgrace and distrust upon himself, doesn't play his character as a lovable, misunderstood old coot. Instead, he's grouchy and unyielding; he's earned the kind of mug that's not easy to forgive. As they try to welcome him back into the fold, the Fitzgeralds have their work cut out for them. Christmas may be a holiday, but it's hardly a day of rest.

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