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.


Romance, Scandal And 'A Royal Affair' Of The Heart

Nov 8, 2012

The Oscar race for best foreign-language film rarely comes without a helping of muslin-and-bonnet dramas stuffed with misbehaving royals, masked balls and burgeoning job opportunities for food stylists. As heritage cinema goes, however, the year's Academy Award entry from Denmark is a firecracker.

Though it's dressed to kill in regulation brocade and upswept hairdos, this fact-based tale of high-born love and betrayal has a great deal more than Danish pastry on its mind. A Royal Affair is far from the first movie to show how the road to democracy is almost always washed with blood, but its release is especially timely as we witness the savagery accompanying regime change the world over.

The year is 1776, and as the rest of Europe emerges from feudal darkness, Denmark — widely admired today as a model of freedom, tolerance and benign government — remains mired in medieval fundamentalism, its impoverished people ground under the heel of a reactionary politburo whose honchos use their unstable young king, Christian VII, as a rubber stamp for maintaining despotic rule. As played by the terrific theater actor Mikkel Folsgaard, Christian is, to put it charitably, a wild card who hangs out with hookers when he should be performing husbandly duties for a new English wife, Queen Caroline Matilda, whom he calls "Mother."

Played by Swedish actress Alicia Vikander, an insufficiently spirited looker who's more suitably cast as demure Kitty in the upcoming Anna Karenina, the queen languishes, lonely and bored to death. She perks up — as who among us would not — with the arrival of the slow-burning Danish superstar Mads Mikkelson. Best known as the baddie from the Bond movie Casino Royale, Mikkelson plays Struensee, the King's German physician, a devotee of Enlightenment rationalism and a shrewd reader of character who has His Wacky Majesty tamed and eating out of his hand in no time at all.

Mikkelson has a granite jaw, cheekbones that threaten to fly off his face, and a penetrating bedroom stare that quickly proves irresistible to the neglected queen. Soon Struensee and Caroline are trading more than quotes from Rousseau and Voltaire; as if steaming up the satin sheets and devouring forbidden literature weren't risky enough, the lovers form an improbable but potent alliance with Christian to crank out a slew of democratic reforms designed to transform Denmark into a modern nation-state.

Needless to say, the ruling zealots, aided by a scheming dowager (Trine Dyrholm) with her own designs on the throne, aren't about to let all this progress, never mind their fringe benefits, pass without a fight. Their brutal resistance, and the blowback from Struensee's unfettered belief in science and reason, exact a terrible cost in the short run while laying the groundwork for a complete reinvention of Danish society.

While it's lavish and lush in all the expected costume-drama ways, A Royal Affair never bogs down in period detail. What drives the film, along with great acting, is the appetite of director Nikolaj Arcel and his boisterous co-writer Rasmus Heisterberg ("I want a fun queen!" wails Christian) for the queasy workings of political gamesmanship both above and below board.

Wily fixer though he is, Struensee is an idealist whose belief in the persuasive power of sweet reason is both his greatest strength and the Achilles heel that threatens to undo him. With judiciously placed disinformation and a rabble-rousing appeal to the population's dormant xenophobia, even those who stand to benefit most from government reforms can be mobilized to look on and cheer while, one way or another, the agents of change are made to pay for their passions.

In hindsight — and in a hasty postscript to the film — we know that Denmark eventually saw the light. A Royal Affair lays out the carnage and cunning it took to get there, but though Arcel never winks at the audience or belabors parallels with the present, in a weird way his retelling of a story every Dane knows holds out a small hope that someday soon, the brutal struggles for freedom from autocracy we see all over the world might also bear fruit. (Recommended)

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