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.


'Playing For Keeps,' But Without Much Panache

Dec 6, 2012

As Hollywood movies increasingly strive for immaculate blankness, they have come to resemble Rorschach ink blots. For example, Playing for Keeps, a new movie about a divorced couple who just might reunite: Is it a heartwarming romantic drama? Or a cynical sex and sports comedy? There is no wrong answer, dear ticket buyer.

Similar questions can be posed about the lead performers, Gerard Butler and Jessica Biel. Does his performance display easygoing charm, or just the laziness of a big-screen sitcom specialist who is also one of the movie's producers? Does her array of indulgent smiles and occasional tears constitute subtlety, or is the two-note characterization just all she could make of Robbie Fox's bland script?

Playing for Keeps relies heavily on the personal appeal of Butler (crinkly eyes, Scottish accent) and Biel (pert nose, perfect teeth), and barely at all on the paper-thin roles they play. Likability is key; characterization superfluous. The movie is less kind, however, to supporting players Uma Thurman, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Dennis Quaid and Judy Greer, all of them overqualified for the caricatures they play.

When the story begins, vaguely roguish former European soccer star George (Butler) has just moved to D.C.'s Virginia suburbs, hoping to re-establish his relationships with ex-wife Stacie (Biel) and their 9-year-old son, Lewis (Noah Lomax). Exactly why the marriage ended is left obscure, since it would be too troublingly human for either ex to have done something bad.

Stacie is about to remarry, but viewers needn't take that plot strand — or her nonentity of a fiance — seriously. The wedding is as unlikely as George's possible move to Connecticut to work for ESPN, or even his planned trip into town with Lewis to see "our beloved D.C. United." Neither suits the movie's story, or its modest budget.

George is broke, but instead of landing a job as a local TV sportscaster, he becomes the coach of Lewis' soccer team. Inevitably, if almost incidentally, he turns the squad into a powerhouse. The new gig allows George to bond with his boy. But it also introduces him to troublesome soccer parents, all farcically overplayed.

Quaid impersonates a rich, manipulative hustler who is prepared to buy his son a slot as goalie. He's a serial adulterer who retains a detective to follow his wife (Thurman) so she can't stray. Of course, she heads straight for George's bed — but that could get crowded, since the coach is also being pursued by two other sexually frustrated suburban housewives, a weepy divorcee (Greer) and an ex-sportscaster (Zeta-Jones) with an intermittent Deep South accent.

These depictions of predatory middle-aged hussies is the most retro thing about the movie, but hardly the only one. Its Northern Virginia (filmed in small-town Louisiana) is decades behind the reality, from the rural two-lane roads to a kids' soccer team without any Latino or Asian players.

Director Gabriele Muccino is an Italian who came to Hollywood's attention when his The Last Kiss was remade in English. He directed two Will Smith vehicles, The Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds, both of which were sappy but had more style than Playing for Keeps.

But style can be a risky thing in a movie like this, which aspires above all to inoffensiveness. Originally titled Playing the Field, which was deemed too racy, this rom-com would have been more aptly renamed Running Out the Clock.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.