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.


Let's Rush To Judgment: 'World War Z'

Nov 12, 2012
Originally published on November 14, 2012 8:17 am

It takes a significant period of time spent looking at trailers before you notice the most fundamental thing about them: "Is this a good trailer?" is a completely different question from "Does this trailer convince me that this will be a good movie?" Commentary on trailers is often met with the objection that it's impossible to know from a two-plus-minute trailer whether a movie will be good, followed by the counter-objection that when you see a two-plus-minute trailer, you're within your rights to react to it for what it is — a piece of the marketing campaign, but also a piece of work in and of itself. Remember the "Creep" trailer for The Social Network? It would be absurd to deny that it's a creative work beyond the film. The same goes for the early Les Miserables trailer that got accomplished technical singers tut-tutting, but got the conversation under way by being willing to stand on Anne Hathaway's voice, the song that's become the best-known of the show among mass audiences (you can complain about Susan Boyle all you like, but that happened, and just that one version of the YouTube video has been watched 109 million times), and some very simple images.

Certainly, the purpose of a good trailer is to make people want to see the movie, and that's a strategy that continues to work despite the fact that we've all seen trailers that are massively better than the movies they advertise. I don't know that any trailers have ever grabbed me like the ones for Twister, a movie that proceeded to strike me as only OK.

So that is what brings us to the trailer for World War Z, the upcoming zombie epidemic drama originally scheduled to come out this month but now planned for next summer. Based on Max Brooks' 2006 horror novel, the film puts the focus on a U.N. worker, played by Brad Pitt, who joins the fight against the zombies. (Who, quite frankly, you can't exactly tell are zombies here.) The question with any trailer for an action film is this: Can it do better than just assembling its best and biggest and most expensive effects shots and putting them over thumping music?

The thumping music, to be sure, is here. But the first 30 seconds of the trailer chronicle the painful death knell of normalcy and unwind as slowly as a trailer can possibly afford, I think. While what follows does include a lot of helicopters and explosions and shooting, it also includes a few very unsettling zombie-horde images (the one at 2:10 is a real creeper, for me).

This is not my favorite incarnation of Brad Pitt — as I said years ago, I prefer Weird Brad Pitt to all the other Brad Pitts, including Action Brad Pitt. Nevertheless, while I'm not at all sure I will enjoy the film, the trailer is a very well-made, gripping piece, and manages in a short time to be pretty legitimately unsettling.

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