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.


In Sandy's Wake, A Reshaped Coastline

Nov 15, 2012
Originally published on November 16, 2012 11:55 am

New Jersey's most affluent community, Mantoloking, sits on a narrow barrier island 30 miles north of Long Beach. As Sandy approached, most of the residents fled inland. But Edwin C. O'Malley and his father, Edwin J. O'Malley Jr., hunkered down in their 130-year-old house.

They tied a boat to their porch and then watched the storm surge break over the dunes and flood the streets.

"Overnight that night, lying in bed, I could actually hear waves hitting the side of the house — which obviously made it more difficult to get to sleep," the younger O'Malley says.

The ocean entered the O'Malleys' living room and rose to the height of their couch cushions. It crept higher than the water level during the 1992 nor'easter, higher than the 1938 hurricane, higher than any storm in either man's memory. When the water retreated, the O'Malleys had escaped with minimal damage. Other homes weren't so lucky.

"When the weather finally cleared, looking out of the east side of the house towards the ocean, where we would normally see houses or trees blocking our view, we could see breaking ocean waves," O'Malley says. "At that point we knew houses were gone."

And Sandy didn't just completely flatten several of Mantoloking's multimillion-dollar beach-side houses — it reshaped the beach itself.

"Those dunes were 100 percent gone," O'Malley says. "Some of that sand, of course, got sucked out into the ocean, but a lot of it got pushed into town. There were sand dunes on the streets in some places that were a couple of feet thick. And my father and I walked the dogs through the center of town over huge piles of sand right in front of the post office and police station."

It was a bizarre scene repeated in communities up and down the Atlantic coast — a testament to the reach of the storm.

"For my career this was the largest storm I've ever witnessed," says Cheryl Hapke, a scientist at the United States Geological Survey. "[It's] the most coastal change I've seen from a single event."

Hapke is a part of team trying to measure Sandy's coastal impact. Before and after the storm, team members followed the coastline in a low-flying plane, collecting a series of photos and topographical data.

The images show entire islands sliced into pieces, destroyed harbors full of scattered boats, and the remains of an amusement park.

And everywhere, the coastline has receded. The ocean moved inland, pushing the dunes in front of it. It will take a few weeks to figure out just how much sand has been moved, but the USGS has some early measurements from Fire Island, N.Y., a narrow strip of land between Long Island and the Atlantic.

Two days before Sandy hit, Hapke visited Fire Island to survey the dunes. Once the storm had passed, she returned by boat with a few National Park Service rangers.

"We got out there not knowing what to expect," Hapke says. "And it was just, again — I use words like amazing and astounding how much change had occurred."

At the height of the storm, nearly half of Fire Island was underwater. Some dunes lost 10 feet of elevation, and the change in the coastline was dramatic.

"The whole of the island on average, it moved back 72 feet, which is huge," Hapke says. "I mean if your house is there, it's gone."

Hapke says that beaches farther south have probably experienced even greater changes, but she adds that nature's healing process has already begun. The sand that was pushed inland will naturally regenerate dunes in their new location.

But Hapke says that can cause problems. People don't want dunes in their street — they want to rebuild the beach back where it once was.

"But basically [the beach] doesn't want to be there — it wants to move as sea level rises," Hapke says. "So the more we put it back, the more likely it is to experience this kind of impact in another severe storm."

That raises a question that's sure to be debated as the East Coast recovers from Sandy: Should everything be rebuilt just as it was before?

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