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.


A Mental Breakdown With Many 'Silver Linings'

Nov 15, 2012

If David O. Russell pulls anything off in Silver Linings Playbook -- an almost-comedy about a bipolar high-school teacher who goes off the deep end and isn't sure how to climb back — it's this: He refuses to make mental illness adorable.

When Bradley Cooper's Pat, recently sprung from eight months in a mental hospital, walks into his doctor's office and hears the strains of the song that accompanied his breakdown — it happens to be Stevie Wonder's "My Cherie Amour" — his impossibly blue eyes seem to spiral into tiny pin dots, like those of a tortured bull. He barks at the receptionist: "Is that song really playing?" And for a moment, we don't know if we're hearing it for sure, either, or if it's simply an imagined sound that's been filtered through the exhausted coffee grounds of his brain.

Moments like that work beautifully in Silver Linings Playbook; in fact, it's more a movie of moments than a story with anything resembling a narrative drive. (Russell also wrote the screenplay, adapting it from Matthew Quick's novel of the same name.)

As the movie opens, Pat is being sprung from the hospital a little early, thanks to the intercession of his cautiously supportive mother (Jacki Weaver) and seemingly against the better judgment of his less-supportive dad (Robert De Niro).

He's feeling better, or so he thinks, and he's eager to get back to real life, although his hopes for that life are stupendously unrealistic. He believes he can rebuild his marriage, even though his estranged wife has taken out a restraining order against him. (His discovery of her extramarital affair instigated the act of violence that got him put away in the first place.)

Pat can't be swayed from his mission to get his wife back, not even when he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the tough-cookie sister-in-law of one of his closest friends. (In a stroke of cockeyed genius, Russell has cast Julia Stiles and Lawrence as siblings, and with their moon-shaped faces and alert, inquisitive eyes, they're like a pair of take-no-prisoners cherubim.)

But Tiffany only looks tough: Her husband, a cop, has recently died, and in her extreme grief she's turned to sex — lots of it — as a coping mechanism. Pat takes one look at her adorably curvy figure, kitted out in semi-Goth clothes, and falls hard. Though of course, he doesn't know it yet.

That setup is easy enough to buy. But in the movie's last half, the plotting begins to make less sense: Pat's wife re-enters the scene in a wholly unbelievable way, and one particular element of Pat's recovery hinges on a ridiculous sports-related bet — that's where the title's "playbook" angle figures in, and it's not a particularly convincing fit.

But even when you can't fully believe in the plot of Silver Linings Playbook, or in its occasionally self-helpy dialogue, it's easy enough to believe in the actors' faces. De Niro plays your stock disapproving dad, but with an OCD twist. He may not bear much physical resemblance to Cooper's Pat, but his nervous mannerisms suggest that the apple hasn't fallen so far from the tree.

Pat is a royal pain in the neck, to his family and to almost everyone else: Even his mother, played marvelously by Weaver, struggles with the task of loving him unconditionally. Her face bears the strain of all that forced cheerfulness — she's like an anxious forest-animal mom straight out of Beatrix Potter, all bright eyes and wriggly nose, hoping against hope for the best.

Lawrence plays Tiffany with the right proportions of ironclad determination and self-protectiveness: This isn't a character given to self-pity, but that doesn't mean she doesn't feel pain, and her refusal to accept Pat's little-boy-lost excuses for his bad behavior is bracing.

And Cooper's performance meets Lawrence's, beautifully, halfway. The affected swagger of so many of his performances — the very thing that generally makes him so unbearable as an actor — has dissolved away here. We can see that this is a guy trapped on his own internal hamster wheel; the zig-zaggy logic of his speech makes sense, obliquely, and yet it's hardly conducive to peaceful living.

Pat is no fun to be around. But then it's no fun being him, either. And this is where Cooper's coolness as an actor comes into play: As corrosive and damaging as Pat is to those around him, all of his sharpest edges are on the inside. Cooper keeps every razor blade out of sight.

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