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.


'Lincoln': A Great Emancipator, But Not Quite A Saint

Nov 8, 2012
Originally published on November 9, 2012 11:54 am

This election season, pundits have been fond of pointing out the near-50/50 split of the electorate and talking about how the American people are as deeply divided as at any other time in our history. The opening moments of Lincoln put those hyperbolic claims in perspective, as Steven Spielberg — with his usual flair for highlighting how truly ugly war really is — shows a nation so divided that its opposing factions are killing one another in numbers so extreme that the bodies are literally piling up on top of one another.

There's also a lot of talk today about the incivility of the discourse between our elected representatives. But Spielberg's depiction of the state of affairs on the floor of Congress during debates over the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery, is another shot of cold water to the face.

The conflicts here between the congressional Democrats (who oppose the amendment) and the Republicans (who were themselves fostering a shaky alliance between opposed internal camps) are only barely more civil than the soldiers on the battlefields. Not even wartime and daily national tragedy is enough to keep these politicians from sniping at one another so viciously that it makes the most heated modern exchanges feel like a legislative love-in.

Presiding over all of this, with a reputation for nobly rising above the fray, is Abraham Lincoln, here portrayed by Daniel Day-Lewis in a performance so effortless and invisible that it's easy to forget this is an actor playing Lincoln and not the man himself.

Day-Lewis' Lincoln is soft-spoken and folksy, with a gentle, reedy voice unlike that of many of the actors who have played the man before, but truer to historical accounts of what he sounded like. That voice, as thin and willowy as the man himself, seems almost incongruous for a man of such charisma and presence — even more so when it becomes clear that Spielberg, along with screenwriter Tony Kushner, has put together a portrait of Lincoln that is as averse to pulling punches as are his battle sequences.

Working from Doris Kearns Goodwin's Lincoln biography, Team of Rivals, Kushner's script looks at just the few months leading up to the end of the war — and, more importantly, to the difficult passage of that 13th Amendment. As the movie begins, Lincoln is far short of the needed votes, and even his Cabinet is fighting his commitment to its passage, which it views as a distraction from and impediment to the coming end of the war.

What follows is a campaign of graft, bribery and carefully orchestrated manipulation that is ethically dubious at best, impeachable at worst. A team of men, led by the slimy W.N. Bilbo (James Spader) is tasked by Secretary of State William Seward (David Strathairn) with essentially buying the votes of lame-duck Democrats, while abolitionist firebrand Rep. Thaddeus Stevens (Tommy Lee Jones, in a performance just as central and Oscar-worthy as Day-Lewis') coordinates backroom deals within his own party.

Spielberg's Lincoln is a man of undeniably noble intentions, but one not afraid of getting his hands dirty in pursuit of those goals. The true genius of Day-Lewis' performance is in how he allows just a glimpse at the passion, rage and Machiavellian drive beneath the surface of a man given to telling wry, folksy parables to get his points across.

Even with the narrow focus, the film sometimes bites off just a little more than it can handle. A subplot about Lincoln's oldest son's (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) determination to serve in the Army feels like a superfluous distraction, while attempts to address the president's complex relationship with his wife, Mary (Sally Field), never quite approach the thoughtful depth and detail of the political maneuvering.

In fact, the human drama of Lincoln is often less compelling than its political plot — which, even given its on-the-record outcome, becomes a gripping political thriller at its peak. Spielberg occasionally slips into the sort of maudlin sentimentality that sank last year's War Horse, viewing Lincoln with a gauzy, deifying reverence that threatens to undercut the surprising toughness of the rest of the movie.

But such moments are thankfully few and far between, allowing for a more genuine admiration of the man: This Lincoln isn't an abstracted, infallible ideal, but rather a deeply conflicted, often lonely leader simply trying to do the right thing — even if that means a few wrong things along the way.

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