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.

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A Holiday Wish: 2013, The Year Of The Chimpanzee

Dec 20, 2012
Originally published on December 20, 2012 5:50 pm

According to the Chinese zodiac, 2013 will be "The Year of the Snake." I'm hopeful that in the United States it will become "The Year of the Chimpanzee."

On Tuesday came the fabulous news that 113 federally owned chimpanzees, many subjected for years to invasive lab procedures that shattered their bodies and minds, will be moving to Chimp Haven Sanctuary.

As you're reading this post, the U.S. Senate is considering the Great Ape Protection and Cost Savings Act (GAPCSA), which would move about 500 more chimpanzees to sanctuary. On behalf of PETA, the actress and director Anjelica Huston has written a powerful op-ed on why GAPCSA is crucially important.

A board member at the Save the Chimps sanctuary in Florida, Huston says:

[some of the chimpanzees] are just babies and others ... have been locked in laboratories for as long as 50 years. [Via GAPSCA they would] be retired to sanctuaries where they would be able to live out their days in peace, with companions, space to move about, grass to walk on, blankets and other essentials for their mental and physical comfort.

Read Huston's full piece for details on the chimpanzees' treatment in research labs. The awful facts must be aired; we must face them.

They also lead us to ask ourselves, how did it come to this? How is it that we're a nation of people who buy cute, stuffed chimpanzees for our kids, enjoy chimpanzee documentaries on the big and little screen and admire Jane Goodall's conservation efforts, while at the same time being the only industrialized nation with no legislation to protect chimpanzees from invasive research?

But it's the season of hope right now, and I do have genuine hope that we are moving in the right direction.

We need to believe that fighting for lab chimpanzees, including about 300 who are not federally owned, can really turn their lives around in beautiful ways.

We need to believe that working to help vulnerable animals is one place where we can become our own best selves.

To grasp the good we can do, watch this 2-minute video of Rufus's family at Save The Chimps. As this little band of rescued apes explores a new foraging board, a "puzzle problem" offered to stimulate their senses and their smarts, we see their close social ties and their excitable body language. These animals are using their recovering bodies and their recovering minds, enjoying a life free from needles, surgical tables and fear.

As we move toward a New Year, it's in our country's power to ensure that hundreds more chimpanzees will soon live in this same safe and dignified way.


Barbara's next regular Thursday post will be January 10. In the meantime, you can keep up with more of what she is thinking on Twitter: @bjkingape

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