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.

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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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Jason Kao Hwang: From The Blues To China And Back

Nov 26, 2012
Originally published on August 21, 2013 2:20 pm

Jazz reflects who we are as a people — democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it; the music reflects the particular background and training that influences how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit throughout his extended composition for eight pieces, Burning Bridge. His parents made the move from China around the end of WWII, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.

There is a Charles Ives-ian dimension to Hwang's Burning Bridge. Ives' music was often about memory, associations and artful distortions. In Hwang's composition, an imperfectly remembered hymn from childhood is a personal touchstone; it turns up in several guises.

Jazz or improvising musicians who compose chamber music can sound a little outside their comfort zone. But Hwang has fielded so many classical commissions, and is so used to wandering between territories, that he's sure-footed even on tricky terrain. Because the violin has no fixed intervals, he can slide easily among different scales and tonalities, from the blues to China and back.

Jason Kao Hwang's octet is a mixed ensemble of jazz, classical and Chinese instruments: there's drums, a brass trio and a quartet of bowed or plucked strings. The Chinese pipa and erhu fit in seamlessly, but then traditional East Asian players incorporate striking textures, expressive vibrato and tremolo and pitch bends — rather like jazz musicians. For all the mixing, Hwang calls Burning Bridge a jazz composition. The improvisers energize, illuminate and personalize the written material.

Hwang has said the way he mediates among his various musical worlds is a mix of conscious and unconscious processes: Some of the music is plotted out and some just floats to the top because of who he is. That natural flow is one of strengths of Burning Bridge; the mixing doesn't feel contrived. To extrapolate a little, this multifaceted music recognizes how we all define ourselves in different ways at different times; our behavior shifts to accommodate coworkers, family, friends or strangers. Which is to say we're all code switchers. Jason Kao Hwang makes us hear what that sounds like.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

Violinist Jason Kao Hwang was one of the mainstays of the downtown New York jazz scene of the 1980s and '90s. He still leads a jazz quartet but since then he's also composed various chamber works including an opera. Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead says his latest work puts it all together.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

KEVIN WHITEHEAD, BYLINE: Jazz reflects who we are as a people - democracy in action and all that. But a jazz tune or solo is also a portrait of the musician who makes it. The music reflects the particular background and training that helps shape how composers compose and improvisers improvise. Jason Kao Hwang makes that autobiographical component explicit on his suite for eight pieces, "Burning Bridge." His parents immigrated from China around the end of World War II, and he grew up attending Presbyterian services in suburban Chicago.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WHITEHEAD: There is a Charles Ives-ian dimension to Jason Kao Hwang's "Burning Bridge." Ives' music was often about memory, associations and artful paraphrase-able melodies. In Hwang's composition, an imperfectly remembered hymn from childhood is a personal touchstone, turning up in several guises.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WHITEHEAD: Jazz or improvising musicians who compose chamber works can sound a little outside their comfort zone. But Jason Kao Hwang has fielded so many classical commissions, and is so used to wandering between territories, he's sure-footed even on tricky terrain. And because the violin has no fixed intervals, he can slide easily among different scales and tonalities - from the blues to China and back.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WHITEHEAD: Jason Kao Hwang's octet is a mixed ensemble of jazz, classical and Chinese instruments. There are drums, a brass trio including Joe Daley's tuba and a quartet of bowed or plucked strings. China's finger-plucked pipa and two string fiddle, the erhu, fit right in, but then traditional East Asian music incorporate striking textures, expressive vibrato and tremolo and pitch bends - rather like jazz.

For all the mixing, Hwang calls "Burning Bridge" a jazz composition. The improvisers energize, illuminate and personalize the written material. And that's Taylor Ho Bynum on flugelhorn.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

WHITEHEAD: Jason Kao Hwang has said the way he mediates among several musical worlds is a mix of conscious and unconscious processes. Some ideas are plotted out and some just float to the top because of who he is. That natural flow is one of strengths of "Burning Bridge." The mixing doesn't feel contrived.

Hwang's multifaceted music recognizes how we all redefine ourselves in different situations - how our behavior shifts to accommodate coworkers, family, friends or strangers. Which is to say we're all code switchers. Jason Kao Hwang makes us hear what that sounds like.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

GROSS: Kevin Whitehead writes for Point of Departure, Downbeat and eMusic and is the author of "Why Jazz?" He reviewed "Burning Bush," the new recording by violinist Jason Kao Hwang. You can download podcasts of our show on our website freshair.npr.org and you can follow us on Twitter at nprfreshair and on Tumblr at nprfreshair.tumblr.com. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.