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.


A Relationship Drama That's A Little Too 'Cheerful'

Dec 6, 2012
Originally published on December 7, 2012 10:24 am

Something like deja vu takes hold during the opening shots of Donald Rice's debut feature, Cheerful Weather for the Wedding. With the insistent, urgent push of orchestral strings in the background, he offers up establishing shots of a bucolic English country manor, early 20th-century automobiles, and a bell ringing down in the servants' hall. That feeling of anticipation rising in many viewers' chests may be their hearts readying themselves for the tense post-Victorian drama of the popular TV series Downton Abbey, which is what that opening rather too directly recalls.

What follows seems just as aimed at a shared audience, with its lush period settings, passive-aggressive wit and even Elizabeth McGovern turning up to play, as she does on Downton, the mother of a family seemingly always poised just on the edge of social disaster. (Her daughters, in another Downton echo, possess a remarkable flair for the dramatic.)

The titular wedding is that of older daughter Dolly Thatcham (Felicity Jones), and as the extended family gathers at the house for the happy occasion, she is holed up in her room, being dressed by her ladies' maid, getting drunk on rum and reading Tolstoy's Family Happiness, a title as ironic to her own situation as it was to the author's story.

The primary cause for her anxiety arrives in the form of Joseph (Luke Treadaway), a handsome young professor with whom Dolly had a fling during the preceding summer. But he left town at the end of the season, and Mrs. Thatcham sent Dolly off for a continental vacation, where she met — and quickly became engaged to — family friend Owen. He's sturdy, steadfast and, it's suggested, just a little bit dull. Dolly's heart is with the more romantic Joseph, but he's absent and unreliable; his feeble attempts at emotional sabotage on her wedding day are far too little and way too late.

This poorly timed romance is the drama that drives the film, and yet Joseph and Dolly have but two present-day scenes together. Their summer dalliance is sketched out in dreamy flashbacks, with cinematographer John Lee giving these sequences the golden glow of idealized memory. But with so little interaction during the bulk of the movie, Rice's story, adapted from a 1932 novella by Julia Strachey, ends up spending as much time on the kooky antics of the family before the wedding.

Dolly's sister Kitty (Ellie Kendrick) is starved for attention and looking forward to trying to woo one of two handsome twins expected at the party. Friend Evie (Zoe Tapper) has her eye on an older man, Uncle Bob (Julian Wadham), a religious man with a way with the ladies that doesn't quite match his clerical collar.

The put-upon David Dakin (Mackenzie Crook) and his sniping wife, Nancy (Fenella Woolgar), want to be anywhere other than here, and with anyone other than their fireworks-obsessed terror of a son. (To say nothing of each other.) There's also a deaf old man who constantly misunderstands anything shouted his way; sex-obsessed teen boys; and a stuffy matriarch, Aunt Bella (Barbara Flynn), whose primary purpose (paging Maggie Smith) is to scowl and make catty remarks.

There are two different movies going on here. The circus of the family gathering is an acerbic, chaotic comedy, barreling forward with sarcastic bons mot and the occasional small explosion — not emotional outbursts, mind you, but literal explosions courtesy the Dakins' mischievous spawn. The rest is a wistful romance, with Dolly getting quietly drunk upstairs as Joseph pines for her below.

Rice seems intent on blending the two into a bittersweet romantic comedy, and in one well-executed scene just before Dolly is to leave for the church, he beautifully combines a touch of slapstick with an emotional awkwardness that is both funny and affecting. Unfortunately, for the rest of the film, those forces refuse to mesh.

The comic relief, an attempt to buoy the sinking feeling of Dolly and Joseph's difficulties, steals away the emotional weight of their story. The dominance of the madcap side of the film's split personality lays an airy veneer over Dolly and Joseph's woes, making them seem inconsequential — as unsubstantial as an observation about wedding-day weather.

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