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.


Oscar Nominations: 'Lincoln' Leads The Pack, But Where Is Kathryn Bigelow?

Jan 10, 2013
Originally published on February 20, 2013 3:14 pm

It turns out that if you ask the Academy at large who are the best directors, you get a very different answer from the one you get if you ask the Directors Guild of America (DGA). The DGA nominations a couple of days ago went to Ben Affleck for Argo, Kathryn Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty, Tom Hooper for Les Miserables, Ang Lee for Life Of Pi, and Steven Spielberg for Lincoln.

But when the Oscar nominations came out Thursday morning, of those five, only Lee and Spielberg made the cut. Hooper's failure to be nominated wasn't entirely unexpected, given that not everyone bought his super-close-up-dominated direction of Les Mis, but Bigelow and Affleck were widely considered locks. Included in place of the three who didn't make it were David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, Michael Haneke for Amour, and Ben Zeitlin for Beasts Of The Southern Wild. Silver Linings has long been an Oscar favorite and had a very strong showing across top categories, but Beasts is an offbeat cinematic fantasy from a first-time director, and Amour is a very sad movie in French. Both of those can make for uphill battles.

Nevertheless, Amour and Beasts excelled elsewhere as well: both of their screenplays were nominated, and they contributed both the oldest and youngest actresses ever nominated in the lead category: Amour's Emmanuelle Riva is 85, and Beasts' Quvenzhané Wallis, nominated for her first movie role, is 9 years old now but was 5 when she auditioned.

When the number of Best Picture nominees was expanded to allow up to ten nominees, many expected it might make space for crowd-pleasers or blockbusters that were especially well made. The Dark Knight, at the time, was often mentioned. What seems to have happened instead is a little more room for movies like Beasts and Amour that have narrower releases (Amour has yet to be open in more than three theaters, and Beasts was never open in more than 318, while Lincoln is currently in almost 2300). There was some concern that this year's earlier nominations announcement, which shortened the nominating season, might hurt films that played narrowly, but it certainly doesn't look that way. Alongside Amour and Beasts were Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables, Life Of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and Zero Dark Thirty.

While Lincoln received the greatest number of nominations — 12 — Silver Linings may have received the most impressive endorsement, with eight nominations that included nods in every big category: Picture, Director, Screenplay, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actor, and Supporting Actress (the other was in Film Editing). That kind of a sweep is hard to pull off, and while leads Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence and Supporting Actor Robert De Niro weren't surprises, Jacki Weaver in the Supporting Actress category is a little more of a surprise, edging out folks like Judi Dench in Skyfall and Maggie Smith in Best Exotic Marigold Hotel.

The question coming out of today's nominations, though, will be the decision not to nominate some of the most widely discussed directing jobs of the year — Affleck for Argo or Tarantino for Django or, most especially, Bigelow for Zero Dark Thirty. The film has been bogged down in controversy for its portrayals of the CIA in general and of detainee interrogations in particular, and given how capricious the Oscars can be, it's hard not to wonder whether those arguments hurt Bigelow. They didn't prevent the film from nabbing Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay nominations, or Jessica Chastain from being nominated for Best Actress. But Bigelow is a respected director — she's the only woman who's ever won the Oscar for Best Director, for The Hurt Locker — and while not every alleged snub has a specific explanation, this one is going to inspire a lot of speculation.

The Oscar nominations are, invariably, a mix of the films you could have guessed would make the cut before anybody even saw them — Lincoln, Life Of Pi, Zero Dark Thirty — and ones that you might not have even known to bet on until they got out into the world and started impressing people, in which category Amour and Beasts certainly fall. There aren't any obvious howlers in the list of nine Best Picture contenders; if you saw those nine movies, you'd see a pretty solid group of films that run the gamut from sweeping historical biopics to tense thrillers to semi-comic love stories to a heartbreaking love story in French. And if you look at the complete list of nominations, you'll find fine documentaries like How To Survive A Plague and The Invisible War, too.

Everybody has complaints, but ... it's actually a pretty solid list.

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