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.


'Life Of Pi' Life-Changing For Young Star

Nov 26, 2012
Originally published on November 26, 2012 1:37 pm

The new film Life of Pi tells the story of a teenage Indian boy who survives a shipwreck, only to find himself in another ordeal: stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The movie is based on the best-selling novel of the same name, and is being mentioned as an Oscar contender by many critics.

Pi is the son of zookeepers from India. When the family sells their zoo, they take the animals with them aboard a ship bound for Canada, where they plan to start a new life. But after a terrible storm sinks the ship, Pi is the sole human survivor. He barely scrambles onto a lifeboat with a tiger and other animals. There are many moments when Pi is in danger of losing his life — and his mind.

An Accidental Star

Thousands of young men from India auditioned for the lead role, and Sharma won it without any acting experience; as a matter of fact, he won it without really trying. In an interview with Tell Me More host Michel Martin, Sharma says that he went to the audition to support his brother, not to audition himself.

"The casting director in my city was also my brother's drama theater teacher, and he knew my family. I was sitting on the couch waiting for my brother to get done, and he comes up to me and he said, 'You know what, Suraj? You're like a teenage Indian boy. You should try as well.' And I said, 'Fine, yeah. I might as well.' And I did."

Sink Or Swim

Critics say that the film's shipwreck scene rivals the spectacle and terror of the 1997 blockbuster Titanic. "We were on this huge multiton vessel on this huge metallic, like mechanical hand, being thrown around," says Sharma. "Yeah, it was pretty scary."

Surviving the scene could have been a challenge for Sharma — as well as his character — because before the movie, he'd never learned to swim. "I had never been in the ocean before that either," he says. "The max I had ever done was, you know, get my feet into the surf right at the end of the, you know, at the beach."

Eye Of The Tiger

Most of the film shows Pi trapped on a lifeboat with a vicious tiger named Richard Parker. Sharma was never in the boat with a real tiger — special effects were used to create that illusion. But there were four real tigers used for the production, so Sharma spent hours and hours watching the animals being trained to ensure that his fear would look genuine.

"Sometimes you look at them and you think, 'Aww that's just a big furry kitty cat.' Then there are other times when you just look at them and you realize these guys are powerful, strong, like really unpredictable creatures."

Eventually, Sharma says, his time watching tigers paid off, and his character's fear on the boat became real for him. "Richard Parker was there, you know. In my head, he just was on the boat. I didn't have to do much to imagine him there."

'Not The Most Disciplined Kid'

Director Ang Lee has raved about Sharma's performance and natural gifts as an actor. But the Oscar-winning filmmaker had some doubts about him at first, saying recently that Sharma was "not the most disciplined kid in India." Sharma admits that he was a bit of a troublemaker in the early days on set, especially after he found a scooter.

"When everybody was working and, you know, they were hard at work and extremely busy, I didn't have anything to do, so I used to go around on this little scooter and basically mess with people. So I was quite a nuisance!"

A Life-Changing Experience

The young actor says he spent 10 months doing things he never did before — things he never imagined he could do. He said he never worked so hard — or wanted to work so hard in his life — and he had never been exposed to so many amazing people.

"The intensity of a set is incredible, you know. And imagine things like this: You're coming from a little house, and you're in Taiwan. You don't know what's happening. And you go from the first day to the production office and they tell you, 'Oh, yeah, we took over an airport. And now that's our office. And the terminals are production thingy — production office. And we're gonna cut up the runway and build a tank.' It's just — it's really alien! You just don't imagine things like that! Just learning so much, you just get — your eyes get open to something," he says.

Sharma is attending college and hopes to continue on to film school. He says he might act or direct; he's not sure yet, but he just wants to tell stories.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.