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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:

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Mice watching Orson Welles movies may help scientists explain human consciousness.

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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.

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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.

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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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A Literary Sex Education In Mumbai

Jan 7, 2013
Originally published on January 7, 2013 9:14 am

Manil Suri is the author of the forthcoming novel The City of Devi.

Through the 1960s and '70s and well into the present century, Harold Robbins' name has stood out in India as someone who has perhaps educated the entire repressed subcontinent (or at least its English-speaking population) about sex.

Reading him is still a rite of passage, with old dog-eared editions haggled over daily on the pavements of Mumbai, the city where I grew up. My mother would rent her copies from Warden Book House, the pay-per-read circulating library down the street. "It's very dirty," she'd say while reading one of his books, then scrunch her face and shudder, before diving back in. She always read in bed — sometimes while puffing on a cigarette, which she hastily put out if there was a knock on the door. Smoking was still considered scandalous for women, so she didn't want our neighbors to know.

But she was completely open and liberal with me, her precocious only child, so when, at 13, I declared I was ready for Harold Robbins, she even accompanied me to Warden Book House. The proprietor raised an eyebrow when I asked for The Adventurers, which, I remembered, had a cover that featured an interlocked couple superimposed on a map of North and South America. But his instinct for commerce quickly overtook any judiciousness, and, besides, my mother was with me. He even said I could keep the book an extra week for the same fee, since it was so much longer than anything I'd rented before.

Thus was I plunged into the tumultuous world of the novel's hero, Dax, first seen as a 6-year-old violently avenging the murder of his mother and sister (definitely not a Hardy Boys plot). The novel chronicles his life as an international stud who rises to the top of a fictional South American country, with breaks for sexual interludes scheduled like clockwork.

There was Dax, breaking his adversary's bones with his bare hands, then passionately tending to not one but two paramours by the boathouse. "Men loved him and feared him, women trembled at the power in his loins," the prologue had warned, and in my fevered, 13-year-old mind, I could no longer be sure to which category I belonged.

Afterward, my mother had me announce my accomplishment to everyone: 781 pages was 781 pages — it didn't matter whether by Harold Robbins or William Shakespeare. Aunts and uncles beamed at me proudly; even the neighbor might have patted me on the head. I had crossed the threshold into the world of adult readers — one where The Adventurers seemed a common point of reference.

But all those pious-looking women at the Book House, checking out Harold Robbins without self-consciousness — did they shudder for Dax's touch as well? Had I unearthed a vast network of longing that seethed under their sari-draped exteriors, just as I had in myself?

It would be a few years before I discovered a name for my longing in Robbins' homoerotic Dreams Die First. For now, the Book House proprietor looked at me thoughtfully, like a doctor trying to decide what to prescribe next.

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