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.


'Guardians' Doesn't Rise To Its Potential

Nov 22, 2012

William Joyce's illustrated books for children are marvels of wit and wonder, rendered in softly shaded colors with an art-deco flair. In books like A Day with Wilbur Robinson and Santa Calls, winsome dinosaurs wear miniature fezzes on their tiny heads; a roly-poly Santa, complete with monocle (the better to read the names of good little boys and girls), looks as if he's just stepped off a '30s Christmas card; and modes of transport include Buck Rogers-style spaceships and locomotives of the sort Superman could stop with his bare hands.

Rise of the Guardians is adapted from Joyce's book series The Guardians of Childhood. But the occasional Joycean touch aside, it bears so little resemblance to the look and feel of its source material that it ought to be considered an entirely different beast.

The story is convoluted and overly complicated: In the opening, we meet Jack Frost (voiced by Chris Pine), a skinny nonmortal with a shock of silvery Rod Stewart hair. Frost has been given a gift by the moon — he can create snow and ice crystals with a wave of his crooked staff — but he's been around for 300 years, and he still doesn't know who he is or where he came from.

Meanwhile, a Santa Claus type known as North (Alec Baldwin) — he's heavily tattooed and speaks with a thick Russian accent — discovers that the Bogeyman, aka Pitch (Jude Law), is alive and well and turning the dreams of children everywhere into nightmares, zapping any sense of wonder right out of the little tykes.

The crazed adventure that follows involves an Easter Bunny (Hugh Jackman) with an Australian accent, a fluttery tooth-fairy princess (Isla Fisher) in an iridescent Rockettes unitard, and a passel of little elf types in conical outfits, skittering here and there underfoot.

"Skittering" may be the operative word here: Rise of the Guardians, made by first-time director Peter Ramsey (who has been working for years as a storyboard artist), is too cluttered and manic to bring real pleasure. There's barely a moment when someone or something isn't flying through the sky, slipping on the ice or hippety-hopping down the bunny trail.

And with a few notable exceptions, the character design leaves much to be desired: Many of them look more like Robert Zemeckis-style concoctions, with semi-human eyes and waxy skin, rather than Joycean creations. That's a shame, because the picture does have its share of marvelous, semi-hallucinatory details, like an army of pastel-colored Easter eggs marching along bumptiously on slender little legs; they have no faces, so they look a little weird, but wonderfully so.

Guardians does feature one character who is pure Joyce: Sandman is a diminutive football-shaped fellow with a button nose and twinkling eyes. Not only is he made entirely of golden, glittery sand, but he flies around in a little Busby Berkeley-style airplane also made of sand; his charm quotient is off the charts. It's notable, though, that Sandman doesn't speak: He's an oasis of calm in an otherwise extremely busy movie. Rise of the Guardians, despite its good intentions, doesn't trust children to sit still for a minute. So much for preserving their sense of wonder.

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