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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Kerry: In The Shadow Of Rice's Firestorm

Nov 30, 2012
Originally published on November 30, 2012 4:19 pm

President Obama has yet to make known his choice to replace Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, but plenty of Republicans have made theirs: John Kerry.

And that puts the Massachusetts senator and former Democratic presidential nominee in a bit of a bind. As chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he'd normally be one of the loudest voices defending U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice against GOP attacks that she mishandled her role in explaining an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. But she's the other top contender for the Cabinet post.

In September, as Republicans homed in on Rice for what she said in television interviews about the consulate attack, Kerry came to her defense, rebuffing calls that she resign and describing her as "a remarkable public servant."

But, two months is a long time in politics, and Kerry seems to be following the approved principle of parsimony for potential nominees — to say no more than is necessary.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday, Maine Sen. Susan Collins joined the chorus of Republicans supporting Kerry, whose selling point seems to be not only his impressive credentials, but also his likely ease of confirmation by the Senate.

"I think John Kerry would be an excellent appointment and would be easily confirmed by his colleagues," Collins said.

It is worth noting amid this developing love fest that having been the Democratic Party's presidential nominee also means that not so many years ago Kerry was the singular foe of the Republican Party. In a demonstration of how tight the collegiality of the Senate can be, Kerry's long and high-profile past is more easily forgiven than is the brief, disputed history of Rice.

Some commentators see an ulterior motive in the GOP support for Kerry: a vacant U.S. Senate seat with Scott Brown's name on it. The Republican was ousted in this month's election by Democrat Elizabeth Warren. But others are quick to point out that if Kerry doesn't get the secretary of state's job, he'll be a top contender for Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta's job when he departs.

Either way, Kerry would leave that Senate seat wide open. Still, that might not be as dangerous a prospect as it sounds for Democrats, says Steven Balla, a political science professor at George Washington University.

"I don't know in this environment whether Republicans could win it," he says. "It was an interesting set of circumstances that led Scott Brown to be elected a few years back, but it strikes me that it would be a long shot for that to happen again."

Kerry may be keeping quiet in public, but behind closed doors is another matter, says James D. King, a professor of political science at the University of Wyoming.

The senator and his staff "are going to be letting the president's key advisers know of their interest and perhaps the president's advisers will be secretly trying out other options," King says.

"No president wants to come out and say, 'This is the person I want' and have that be declined," he says.

Rewind to 1993, when newly elected President Bill Clinton's nomination of Zoe Baird for attorney general went down in flames. Baird's chances were scuttled when it was learned that she'd hired illegal immigrants to work as a nanny and chauffeur.

While the White House has taken pains to defend Rice in what some interpret as a sign she's the one, there's been no official announcement to that effect. In contrast, Baird's nomination was "out there and it was clear that it was the president's choice," says King.

"In this case, we have controversy swirling around a potential nominee in which speculation is coming from everywhere but the White House," he says.

And that creates a problem of its own for President Obama, he says.

"If he delays, it just feeds the speculation about the appointment and whether she's going to get it and what this all might mean," King says. "It's a very odd situation and one that you don't see very often in presidential appointments."

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