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.


From A Rom-Com Director, A Subtle Kung Fu Flick

Nov 29, 2012

The latest movie from versatile Hong Kong director Peter Ho-Sun Chan has been given not one but two generic titles: In China, it's Wu Xia, which means "martial hero" and is the overall term for kung fu films; in this country, it's called Dragon, which has similar connotations.

The joke is that Chan doesn't really make action flicks, even when working within the genre. He's so known for romantic comedies that he got to direct one for producer Steven Spielberg, a 1999 misfire called The Love Letter. Dragon has a lot more hand-to-hand combat than that Kate Capshaw vehicle — and probably had more before it was cut by 18 minutes for U.S. release. But it's still primarily a mood piece, not a brawler.

The movie opens gently, with the morning routine at the humble mountain-village home of paper-worker Liu Jinxi (Donnie Yen, who also choreographed the fight scenes). Jinxi is married to pretty Ayu (Lust, Caution's Tang Wei) and is the doting father of two boys, the older from Ayu's first marriage.

Jinxi happens to be in the local general store when two thugs demand the elderly shopkeeper's cash. The merchant and his gray-haired wife fight the robbers, but Jinxi holds back. We already know he's a vegetarian; perhaps he's a pacifist, too. Or simply a coward.

Nope. Jinxi eventually joins the melee and reveals why he hesitated. His handling of the two hoodlums shows he's an experienced fighter.

In the first version we see, the showdown is a nasty, believably sloppy scuffle. But then detective Xu Baijiu (Taiwanese-Japanese actor Takeshi Kaneshiro) arrives and insists that Jinxi recount what happened. This cues a flashback in which Jinxi fights the bandits again, this time with more command. As the three men struggle, Baijiu walks through the flashback, observing precisely.

The detective is an existential type, possessed of extraordinary detachment. He's also versed in Chinese medicine and the latest — it's 1917 — in Western physiological knowledge. He can't throw a punch, but he can bring down an enemy with a perfectly placed acupuncture needle.

Baijiu correctly surmises that Jinxi is a former criminal, whose modest new life is in fact a refuge from justice. Jinxi offers a confession, but says he's served his time. Baijiu doesn't buy the admission, and so makes plans to arrest the man. But it turns out that Jinxi is a defector from a fierce criminal gang, the 72 Demons, whose martial-arts skills are uncanny. When the Demons arrive to bring the renegade back to the clan, Baijiu and Jinxi have little choice but to become allies.

Dragon is partly an homage to One Armed Swordsman, a 1967 kung fu classic whose star, Jimmy Wang Yu, plays the new movie's arch-villain. But there's much Western influence: Jinxi's plight recalls David Cronenberg's A History of Violence, and Baijiu's cerebral and flashy style of detection — complete with animated glimpses of victims' innards — suggests Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes series. Dragon is also one of several recent Chinese crime movies that borrow from CSI-style TV dramas.

The story becomes less distinctive as the two protagonists' wary, believably human relationship is overshadowed by the grandiose supernatural threat of the 72 Demons. But the widescreen cinematography and mountain rain-forest locations retain their interest, as does the deftly incongruous score, which ranges from samba to hard rock. And the best of the action set pieces are dynamic enough to demonstrate that Chan can make a wu xia movie if he really feels like it.

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