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.


Literary-Minded Teen Comedy More Stuck Than 'Struck'

Jan 10, 2013

There isn't much to say about Struck by Lightning, except that it's one of those interchangeable teen movies that lands in theaters in early January, the morgue for films nobody knows what to do with. That it was released at all is likely due to the clout of Chris Colfer, who plays Kurt on Glee and who wrote the screenplay, along with a companion young adult novel, as a vehicle for what appears to be his own blossoming savior complex.

Colfer stars as Carson Phillips, a high-school senior itching for a grand literary future despite being stuck in a backwater campus from which all ambition has fled. At this particular Anywhere High, even the careers counselor (The Office's Angela Kinsey, who's much funnier than her daft role deserves) has never heard of Northwestern University.

The short synopsis, because you don't really need a long one, is that Carson dies of extreme weather as the film opens, and again at the end. In between and against all odds, he grows extreme leadership qualities and discovers that living your dream can take many forms, to the benefit of all around him.

True, the redemption is accomplished with a Glee-ish vibe, meaning that Carson's messianism comes packaged in a varnish of jovial corruption and acerbic self-deprecation. At tediously repetitive length, Carson and his hapless sidekick, Malerie (Rebel Wilson, hold that thought), blackmail their underachieving fellow students into contributing to the school literary magazine.

Yet for someone who yearns to write for The New Yorker, young Carson seems unsuitably addicted to brittle Us magazine one-liners calibrated to the alleged cynicism of the Youth of Today. As one whose home is currently a way station for packs of smart-mouthed teens, I have yet to meet one who would come out with a line like "I hate you more than I hate the Holocaust." Who talks like that?

Despite its knowing veneer, there's an old-school TV movie (capably directed by Brian Dannelly) lurking just beneath the surface of Struck by Lightning, albeit one with little love or compassion for adults. These kids are decidedly not all right because their parents are all wrong — starting with Carson's mother (Allison Janney), an embittered wreck so obsessed with her past marriage to the feckless Neal (Dermot Mulroney), who's now engaged to pregnant April (Mad Men's Christina Hendricks), that she can't focus on her son's future except to try to derail it. Neal and April aren't much better.

Indeed, of all the satellites orbiting around Carson, only one amounts to more than a foil for his soaring visions. And that's only because she's played by Rebel Wilson. The Australian actress (she has siblings named Ryot, Liberty and Annachi, which ought to be enough prep for any career in standup) burst upon Hollywood as Kristen Wiig's bonkers roommate in Bridesmaids, and her brand of jolly-hostile outrage has brought glory to women's comedy ever since, culminating in this year's adorable Pitch Perfect.

As funny girls go, Wilson isn't just pleasantly plump, like Lena Dunham. She's flat-out fat, and her appeal isn't just that she seems serenely comfortable with her bulk. She uses it to seize attention, sure, but also to subvert mediocrity. The character of Malerie, a lonely stooge who hangs upon Carson's lips and is ludicrously ecstatic to be declared his friend, makes poor use of Wilson's prodigious gifts. But with just a few weird hand movements and a strategic roll of the eyes, Wilson wrestles Malerie away from Carson's condescending magnanimity, and waltzes away with the movie.

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