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.


Obama And Lawmakers' Confidence About Avoiding Cliff Isn't Universal

Nov 17, 2012

As President Obama and congressional leaders started negotiations Friday to find a way to avoid the nation's going over the fiscal cliff, it was fairly plain that even some of those who are wisest in the ways of Washington couldn't agree on whether policymakers would actually be able to prevent the federal government from becoming a cliff diver.

That confusion over what might happen come the end of the year was readily apparent during a lengthy series of panel discussions held at the Newseum in Washington and hosted by the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, of the commission known by their names and whose federal deficit and debt-reduction plan of late 2010 went nowhere, illustrated the split. Bowles called it a "magic moment" with several factors coming together to force the political leaders to compromise.

"A couple of years ago, you were the guy who said we were going to go over the cliff and I said 'no,' " said Simpson, the former U.S. senator from Wyoming, to Bowles. "Now I think they will go over the cliff. Erskine holds out for a 30 percent chance [of going over]."

"I think we can't be stupid enough to do it," said Bowles, who was a Clinton White House chief of staff and later president of the University of North Carolina. "We can resolve this problem now by making some very tough but doable compromises."

A later panel included, among others, Alice Rivlin, a Democrat who was director of the Clinton-era Office of Management and Budget, and Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a Republican who was the head of the Congressional Budget Office. It should be said that both Rivlin and Holtz-Eakin were among those who thought an agreement likely.

For the record, all of the elected leaders at Friday's White House meeting projected optimism after their get-together.

"I believe that we can do this and avert this fiscal cliff," Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said, a comment that reflected the spirit of statements issued by Obama and the other lawmakers.

While the experts at the Newseum forum didn't agree on whether the fiscal cliff could be avoided, they generally agreed that there was not enough time before the end of the year to resolve all the complex tax and spending issues that needed to be dealt with.

The consensus was that while a blueprint could be reached before the deadline, the hard work of ironing out the details of reforming the tax code and entitlements would need to be conducted over ensuing months if not longer.

"It's going to take some time to get the consensus that we all want on spending and on the taxes, but it's not going to be January 2013," said former Federal Reserve Board Chairman Paul Volcker. "It's going to be 2014, 2015 before that gets put in place.

"And it should," Volcker added. "It's not easy to change this tax thing, where you say, 'Let's get rid of some deductions and loopholes and so forth.' All those loopholes and deductions are there because people want them there. We ought to get rid of a lot of them. But that's a big debate."

The realization that it will take time to work out the details — far more than the negotiators have before the large automatic federal spending cuts and tax increases begin going into effect at the start of next year if no agreement is reached — had some policymakers seeking to buy more time.

Ohio Republican Sen. Rob Portman, in an interview with Bloomberg TV, suggested, for instance, that the White House and Congress extend the Bush-era tax cuts — scheduled to lapse at the end of the year — for an additional six months to give negotiators more time to hammer out details.

A Bloomberg News story based on the interview quoted Portman: "Why not say, 'Let's go ahead and reform the tax code, make a commitment now we're going to have additional revenue?' "

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