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.


Reliving An 'Impossible' Catastrophe

Dec 20, 2012

Starring flying debris and surging walls of water, The Impossible takes the template of the old-timey disaster movie, strips it to the bone and pumps what's left up to 11.

Decades ago, perched in front of Earthquake and The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno, audiences were rewarded with thrills that depended on fleshed-out characters (Steve McQueen as a fire chief!) and multiple interconnected storylines. How pampered we were.

Because this based-on-true-life tale of a Spanish family trapped in Thailand by the 2004 tsunami is much worse than a disaster: It's an ordeal. As punishing to watch as it must have been to film — especially for Naomi Watts, who absorbs most of the abuse — this sledgehammer of a picture never lets up. From start to finish, Watts' pale, slender body is pummeled, gored, pierced and raked over what looks like acres of saw grass and jagged detritus. Like James Franco in 127 Hours (an ordeal movie if ever there was one), Watts isn't so much battling the elements as battling the frailties of her own flesh.

Cycling through the late-night talk shows, Watts and her co-star, Ewan McGregor, have been extolling a slavish devotion to accuracy on the part of the film's Spanish director, Juan Antonio Bayona, and his screenwriter, Sergio G. Sanchez. It bears mentioning, however, that this precision has a very narrow focus, encouraging us to care only about a single (white, wealthy) family among the hundreds of thousands of (mostly poor, mostly brown) locals killed and maimed. For all the energy and ingenuity lavished on the project — the first to revolve around this century's greatest natural tragedy — you'd think there would have been room to explore the wider suffering.

This microscopic approach may be economical, but it casts a pall of selfishness over events that might have read differently had the filmmakers exhibited a more universal compassion. (Those early disaster movies knew it was more humane, not just smarter filmmaking, to offer us a variety of victims.) So when businessman Henry Bennett (McGregor) dumps his two youngest sons with strangers while he hunts for his wife, Maria (Watts), and their oldest son, Lucas (a remarkable Tom Holland), he seems less the worried patriarch than a man accustomed to offloading inconveniences.

As it turns out, Henry is pretty much peripheral to the action anyway. From the moment the family, hours after arriving at a luxury beach resort, is separated by the mountainous tidal wave, he barely registers. Stuck on the fringes of the movie and squinting through a bad case of pinkeye, Henry and his quest are completely obliterated by the mother-son drama unfolding at its center.

And as Maria and Lucas make their slow, bloody way across a devastated landscape, her wide-open wounds are captured with almost sickening authenticity. Audience members have reportedly fainted during screenings, and it's not hard to see why; this isn't a film you want to experience after a heavy lunch.

Visually stunning but manipulative in the extreme — try not to roll your eyes as the various family members miss one another by inches — The Impossible nevertheless contains two of the year's best performances. Though presented as nothing more than a survival machine, Watts snags our sympathy through subtle shifts in expression and tone.

And young Holland (just 13 when he joined the production in 2009) is a marvel: When Lucas, after losing his mother in the chaos of a crowded hospital, finds her being prepped for emergency surgery, his angry relief is the film's most touching moment.

Unfortunately it's followed by one of the funniest. "Think of something nice," advises a nurse as she places an anesthesia mask over Maria's face. Like maybe a beach vacation?

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