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.

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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.


Obama Starts His Second Term By Bringing Tougher Talk

Dec 4, 2012
Originally published on December 4, 2012 12:37 pm

Throughout his first term, some of President Obama's critics said he wasn't a tough enough negotiator. They felt he caved to Republicans too early, too often. Since his re-election, Obama has subtly changed his approach. He's bringing a more aggressive style — but some critics say it's not the best way to find common ground.

Obama spent a lot of time in his first term on a fruitless hunt for that common ground. Now he sounds a lot tougher on issues from the "fiscal cliff" of tax increases and spending cuts set for the end of the year, to the possibility of nominating his embattled U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice to be the next secretary of state.

In a recent news conference, he defended Rice with a challenge to her biggest critics in Congress, calling the attacks on her outrageous.

"If Sen. [John] McCain and Sen. [Lindsey] Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me," he said.

That spirited defense of Rice reveals a lot about Obama, says Ken Duberstein, who was White House chief of staff in President Reagan's second term.

"It talks about the president's loyalty to people he has lots of confidence in," Duberstein says. "The president knows that, in the second term especially, you have a limited number of chips, and he may want to place them elsewhere."

Obama also has to determine whether Rice would get the votes she needs to be confirmed, and in the Senate that means winning over at least five Republicans. After Rice's visit to Capitol Hill last week, it's not clear if those votes are there.

Brookings Institution analyst Michael O'Hanlon says although the president would have a setback in the short run if he ended up nominating someone other than Rice, "on the other hand, what seems like a big hot debate within Washington can be pretty quickly forgotten.

"The bottom line here is that if Susan Rice doesn't become secretary of state," O'Hanlon continues, "she probably will become national security adviser or ambassador to one of our top allies abroad. In other words, she's not going away."

'Campaign' Vs. 'Govern'

The stakes in the Susan Rice standoff are relatively small, but they are very large in the bigger tug of war between the president and the Republicans over the fiscal cliff. Get those negotiations wrong, and the economy could be hurt along with the president's ability to work with Congress on anything else.

So Obama is trying out a new negotiating approach. Back during the debates on the stimulus, health care and the debt ceiling, he tried to find common ground by making concessions to the Republicans upfront.

This time, Obama is trying a new tack. He opened the fiscal cliff negotiations with a maximalist bid — and a public campaign to voters outside Washington.

Duberstein echoes the complaints of many Republicans who think this isn't the way to get a deal.

"The president has decided to continue to campaign rather than govern," he says. "When you campaign, you demonize your opponent. That seems to still be happening. And if you're looking for votes and an agreement across the aisle, sometimes you have to be willing to swallow a little to get a lot."

But John Podesta, who was President Clinton's chief of staff during his second term, says campaigning is exactly what the president should be doing — as in explaining himself clearly to the American people.

Making A Clear Case

"What I think the White House suffered from in the summer of 2011 was the public couldn't exactly figure out what was really on the table and why it was there," Podesta says.

But unlike the talks over the debt ceiling last summer, now, in the fiscal cliff negotiations, Podesta says Obama is making his case clear in public and in private.

"He's learned a lesson from the summer of 2011 when backroom deal-making didn't work for him. And I think he comes into the negotiation with strength, and he's going to press what he said he would do in the campaign and what he promised the American people, which is a balanced approach with revenue coming from the top end of the income structure," Podesta says.

It's not clear yet whether Obama's new style will work in the end. But on Monday, it seemed to have forced the Republicans to do one thing Obama wanted: put a proposal on the table. It's far away from the president's bid, but it's a start.

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