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.


A 'Girl' Deconstructed, And Rebuilt To Last

Dec 13, 2012

Using illegal immigration as a frame to explore the slow awakening of a tough-shelled young Texas woman, The Girl is a patient chamber piece about the emotional bruises left by poverty and neglect.

Even before we fully know her circumstances, Ashley (Abbie Cornish) introduces herself as a victim of race and class discrimination. A sullen single mother and minimum-wage drone in a south Texas supermarket, she opens the film with a request for a raise. When denied, she refuses to accept her supervisor's criticism of her attitude.

"Everyone knows you like Mexican girls best — the place is full of them," she snaps back, storming past gossiping Latinas as though she were the foreigner.

In a sense, she is. Pale and blonde and uncomfortable in her own skin, Ashley is a coiled spring of resentment. Following her through a prickly encounter with the foster mother of her 5-year-old son — removed by the state for reasons not immediately revealed — and a tense, unannounced visit from child welfare, we begin to see the extent of her problems.

And when her feckless father, Tommy (a perfect Will Patton), re-enters her life, flourishing wads of cash and the offer of a tequila-filled night in Mexico, her acceptance feels less like a step toward family than a fall off the wagon.

Written and directed by David Riker, who built his 1998 drama La Ciudad around immigrants in New York City, The Girl is stingy with backstory but rich with visual clues. Traveling from the broken-down trailer park where Ashley lives to a busy plaza in Nuevo Laredo, from the banks of the Rio Grande to the tree-lined hills of Oaxaca, Riker and his cinematographer, Martin Boege, give each a distinctive flavor. (Outbreaks of real-world border violence reportedly sent the production crew scrambling often for substitute locations.)

Potholes in the plot — which drives Ashley into a horrific experiment with the coyote business — leave us with questions but don't distract from the film's central observation of a young woman learning to take responsibility. In this, Riker is blessed with not only a fiercely intelligent and understated performance from Cornish, but with a memorable turn from young Maritza Santiago Hernandez as Rosa, the Mexican girl who becomes Ashley's unasked-for moral burden. Hernandez has never acted before, and perhaps because of this, her rough interactions with Cornish have an emotional authenticity that's exceedingly rare.

Less rare is the niggling discomfort some may feel in the film's apparent treatment of brown people as catalysts for white redemption. The impression intensifies in the final moments, as Ashley ruminates on the simple dignity of a small farming community — a privileged seeker of "primitive" wisdom — but I don't think Riker intends that reading.

What he seems to be saying, in an observation underscored by Ashley's desperate economic and familial circumstances, is that deprivation comes in many colors, but exploitation is a one-way street. (Recommended)

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