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's Feat: Not Just Winning, But How He Won

Nov 9, 2012
Originally published on November 9, 2012 3:50 pm

Maybe it's just math, but it may also be a great political accomplishment.

President Obama has put together a coalition that's not only been a winner for him, but promises to pay dividends to his party for years to come.

A mix of minorities, young people and educated white professionals has now driven him to two majority-vote presidential victories — the first Democrat to pull that off since Franklin D. Roosevelt.

"What historians and political scientists will focus on is that he changed the coalition of the Democratic Party," says Villanova University political scientist Lara Brown. "The new coalition is groups with ascendant demographics — new minorities and young people."

As has been widely noted this week, Obama managed to recapture broad support from groups largely responsible for his 2008 election: African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, single women, and young and highly educated whites.

Mitt Romney won 59 percent of the overall white vote, according to exit polling. With whites shrinking as a share of the electorate — and Republicans struggling to appeal to minorities — it wasn't enough.

To some extent, Obama was building on past party success. Minority groups have traditionally favored Democrats, and women haven't given a majority of their votes to a Republican since 1988.

"It's important to keep in mind that the voting patterns contributing to the president's re-election are not new," says Scott Keeter, a pollster with the Pew Research Center. "The strong support of young people for Democratic candidates is relatively recent, but it predates Obama — young voters were John Kerry's best age group in 2004."

Obama benefited from the growth in the minority share of the electorate. But he was also able to build up the margins among such groups. African-Americans, for instance, gave 88 percent of their vote to Kerry in 2004; Obama won 93 percent of their vote this year and 95 percent in 2008.

A bigger share of Hispanics voted for Obama than for some earlier Democrats, too — and more of them were voting. What's more, they cast votes in strategically important states.

"My own feeling is the Democrats may have dodged a bullet because Republicans did not try to compete with much of Obama's demographic base, especially Hispanics," says William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. "This may have cost them Florida, Nevada, Colorado and possibly Virginia."

2016 And Beyond

But while Obama has clearly marked a path toward success for Democratic candidates, there's no guarantee they'll be able to stay on it.

Obama may have a special appeal for certain minority groups as the nation's first African-American president. And his campaign was especially assiduous about turning out members of demographic groups previously notorious for failing to vote as reliably as whites and senior citizens.

It remains to be seen whether Latino and African-American voters will regularly turn out for Democrats "with someone other than Obama atop the ticket," writes Sean Trende, an elections analyst with Real Clear Politics.

Democrats are feeling pretty optimistic. Not only is Obama a two-time winner, he's won over groups that will continue to grow as a share of the electorate. (Remember that this was the year when minority births in the U.S. outweighed those of whites for the first time.)

Obama, in fact, has given the party its first stable coalition of support that is big enough to win national elections since the New Deal coalition put together by FDR — a solidly Democratic South wedded to farmers, union labor and white ethnics in the North and Midwest.

That coalition began to fray in the late 1960s, when civil rights legislation damaged Democrats politically in the South and liberal activists in the party began to alienate working-class whites in the Midwest and elsewhere.

Just as Republicans today are wondering how they can make inroads with Hispanics, Democrats debated for years whether they needed to work on regaining some appeal in the South. Over the 40 years leading up to Obama's first victory, Democrats managed to win the White House only when they put Southerners at the top of the ticket (Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton).

Electoral College Advantage

Obama has shown the party it can not only win but dominate the Electoral College with very little support in the South, outside states such as Virginia and Florida that are conducive to his coalition.

But there's no guarantee that other Democrats will be able to draw on the same sources of support. African-Americans and young people did not turn out in force in 2010, which was one big reason Republicans enjoyed big victories at the congressional and state levels that year.

"I wouldn't say that other Democrats could automatically count on it," says David Bositis, a senior research associate at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank that studies minority affairs.

But, Bositis notes, there are other prominent Democrats who should be able to appeal to the same sort of constituencies that propelled Obama to victory.

"Obama certainly helped mobilize many of these groups to vote," says Keeter, the Pew pollster. "But there is no reason to think other Democratic candidates wouldn't be able to do well with them in the future."

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