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.


Pterrifying Pterodactyl Meets Sexy Detective

Nov 19, 2012
Originally published on January 2, 2013 7:51 pm

Rosecrans Baldwin's latest book is Paris, I Love You but You're Bringing Me Down.

Most of what you read about contemporary Paris is pretty cliched stuff — baguettes, cigarettes and the cast of Gossip Girl drinking white wine on the Seine.

But if you like your Francophilia with a bit more punch, imagine stepping back into the early 20th century: 1911. It's Paris during the Belle Epoque, the city's golden age. World War I hasn't begun, but the city is being attacked — by a bloodthirsty pterodactyl controlled by a scientist endowed with supernatural powers. Pharmacists, widows and house painters are being murdered. The prime minister is outraged.

And the only person who can save the French capital is a young writer with the brains of Sherlock Holmes, the body of Angelina Jolie and the stoic fortitude of the Marlboro Man. Her name is Adèle Blanc-Sec, and she won't take non for an answer.

Thus begins Volume 1 of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec, recently translated and printed in fine editions by Fantagraphics Books. I'm not much for graphic novels, but this series by the great French comics artist Jacques Tardi has become an infatuation of mine.

The books are part adventure comic, part hardboiled fiction. They're terrific whodunits that conjure up all the precise atmospheric detail of, say, a Georges Simenon novel, but with twice the plot. And the artwork is striking, paneled like a comic but with historical grit. Here is Paris in its authentic beauty: rainy, crowded and bristling with characters who wear their neuroses like carnival masks.

But the star is Adèle. As the mystery unfolds, she's a brooding young woman who drinks, smokes and ruminates her way through gas-lamp Paris, frequently dressed in a man's suit. Her soul is opaque to us: We don't know much about her origins or her motivations, except that she's canny, surly and quick with a gun.

She's one of the good guys, but of a darker, idiosyncratic shade, and in that way, she's a lot more gumshoe than superhero, more Philip Marlowe than Marvel Girl. This is the sort of artful comic that Raymond Chandler might have drawn, with brutal gangsters, vain politicians and a bumbling, power-hungry police officer named Inspector Caponi, who resents a busybody female journalist meddling on his turf.

But the story, for me, takes a back seat to the atmosphere. The sublime value of The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec is exploring Tardi's re-creation of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. We see, for example, the orientalism craze that occupied the city before World War I. Or we trip down the stairs of a secret cult's hideout that has been constructed underneath the Pont-Neuf. This is Paris not only as it existed, but as it might have — the real and the imagined vigorously combined.

My Guilty Pleasure is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman with production assistance from Annalisa Quinn.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



For our series You Must Read This, author Rosecrans Baldwin recommends a comic book by a French artist. His name is Jacques Tardi. And the book is set in a richly imagined Paris.

ROSECRANS BALDWIN: It's 1911, Paris' golden age. World War I hasn't started, but the city is being attacked by a pterodactyl with supernatural powers. And the only person who can save the French capital is a young writer with the brains of Sherlock Holmes, the body of Angelina Jolie and the fortitude of the Marlboro Man. Her name is Adele BlancSec, and she won't take no for an answer.

This is the kind of comic that Raymond Chandler might have created - gangsters, politicians and your typical bumbling, power-hungry police officers.

For me the best part isn't the story, it's exploring Tardi's recreation of Paris at the turn of the 20th century. We see the Orientalism craze that went through the city before World War I. We trip down the stairs of a secret cult's hideout. This is Paris not only as it existed, but as it might have, at least in my fantasy. In the extraordinary adventures of Adele BlancSec, the real and the imagined vigorously combined.

CORNISH: That was Rosecrans Baldwin. His latest book is called "Paris, I Love You But You're Bringing Me Down." Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.