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:

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"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.

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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.

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Layoffs Have Slowed, Hiring Has Picked Up, But Jobless Claims Are Higher

Jan 3, 2013
Originally published on January 3, 2013 8:46 am

Update at 8:40 a.m. ET. Jobless Claims Went Up; So Two Out Of Three Reports Were Positive:

There were 372,000 first-time claims for unemployment insurance last week, up by 10,000 from the week before, the Employment and Training Administration says. What's more, that previous week's total was revised up from the previous estimate of 350,000.

The relatively negative news about jobless claims means that two out of this morning's three employment-related reporters were positive. As we reported earlier, the ADP National Employment Report showed a much larger than expected gain of 215,000 jobs in private sector payrolls last month. Also, the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas reported that the number of layoffs announced in 2012 was the lowest for any year since 1997.

Friday morning, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is due to release the week's big employment report. It will tell us what the unemployment rate was in December and how many jobs were added to payrolls last month.

According to Bloomberg News, economists expect to hear that there were 150,000 jobs added to public and private payrolls in December — about the same as the 146,000 added in November. They also expect to hear that the nation's unemployment rate stated at 7.7 percent.

Update at 8:20 a.m. ET. Hiring Picked Up In December:

The morning's second employment-related report also brings at least modestly good news.

"Private sector employment increased by 215,000 jobs from November to December," according to the latest ADP National Employment Report. That's well above what economists expected to hear: a gain of about 130,000.

And ADP revised up its figure on growth in November, to a gain of 148,000 jobs — vs. its original estimate of 118,000.

The ADP report, a private survey done by that company and Moody's Analytics, is sometimes a sign of what the Bureau of Labor Statistics will say when it releases its figures on monthly job growth. As we said earlier, BLS is due to release its December data on Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET.

We'll update this post again when we see the figures on last week's claims for unemployment benefits. They're due at 8:30 a.m. ET.

Our original post:

There's some good news this morning about the labor market.

The number of layoffs announced by U.S. companies plunged in December, a new report signals. Also, the number of layoffs announced in 2012 was the lowest for any year since 1997.

That news from the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas is the first of three jobs-related reports due this morning. In the next hour, we're due to get the ADP National Employment Report about hiring at private companies last month and the Employment and Training Administration's latest figures on first-time claims for unemployment benefits. We'll update with highlights from those reports.

According to Challenger, Gray & Christmas:

-- "After three consecutive months of increased layoff activity, the number of planned job cuts announced in December plunged to 32,556, the second lowest monthly total of 2012" and down from 57,081 in November.

-- "Due in large part to the slow pace of downsizing in the third quarter, annual job cuts totaled 523,362, which is the lowest year-end total since 1997, when employers announced 434,350 job cuts during the year. The 2012 total was 14 percent lower than the 606,082 job cuts announced in 2011."

-- " 'We have not seen this [lower] level of job cutting since before the dot.com collapse and subsequent 2001 recession,' said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas."

Friday at 8:30 a.m. ET, the Bureau of Labor Statistics is due to report on the December unemployment rate and job growth that month.

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