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.

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Shedding Grim Light On A 'Dark' Story

Dec 18, 2012
Originally published on December 19, 2012 5:43 pm

With the screen pitch-black at the start of Zero Dark Thirty, we hear the confusion and alarm of Sept. 11, 2001: News reports that a plane has hit the World Trade Center, then the voices of a 911 operator reassuring a frightened trade center worker that she'll be OK, though she won't.

When the screen finally brightens, it's for a grim "black site" interrogation half a world away — a nephew of Osama bin Laden (Reda Kateb) strung up from the ceiling, bruised and bloodied, finally cut down only so that he can be waterboarded and stuffed into a tiny crate.

Witnessing all this is a fresh-off-the-plane CIA tracker, Maya, played with fierceness and virtually no back story by Jessica Chastain. This first interrogation leaves her outwardly shaken, but once she settles in, she exhibits single-mindedness and inner resolve enough to weather all the investigative blind alleys ahead.

"You don't think she's a little young for the hard stuff?" the interrogator (Jason Clarke) asks their boss (Kyle Chandler).

"Washington," he replies flatly, "says she's a killer."

That proves literally true, though not for years yet. Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal, director and writer of The Hurt Locker, will first send their heroine through a bureaucratic and ethical minefield — one where a colleague's misstep proves fatal, the investigative terrain changes daily, and her superiors all have blind spots, even as to the wisdom of going after bin Laden.

That she will prevail, we know going in. But the hows and whys make Zero Dark Thirty a riveting investigative procedural for its first two hours, with a host of secondary players — particularly Jennifer Ehle as a more experienced tracker who strikes up a friendship with Maya — making brief but indelible impressions.

And the payoff coming in the final 40 minutes, after Navy SEALs plunge in stealth helicopters through a mountain range in inky blackness toward Abbottabad, is almost more startling than anything that went before.

Every action movie you've ever seen has prepared you for a rush through doors and up stairs when they get to the bin Laden compound. But that's not what happened in real life. So, shooting in night-vision greens and blacks, Bigelow shows us what did happen — a careful, painstaking, methodical assault, that's made cinematically pulse-quickening not by Hollywood flash, but by the operation's very slowness and discipline in the face of a gathering, angry crowd.

No one who saw The Hurt Locker would expect these filmmakers to turn the hunt for the world's most notorious terrorist into a rah-rah, get-the-bad-guy thriller. But the degree of complexity they bring to their story, starting with that opening, terrorist violence meets cruel interrogations juxtaposition, and extending to the killings in Abbottabad, has to be counted a surprise in a major Hollywood film.

Was the death of Osama bin Laden worth the moral price, the compromised ideals? The filmmakers could hardly avoid raising those questions, but they pointedly leave them for the audience to answer. This is not a triumphant story in their telling, but it is one uncommonly freighted with the weight of history. (Recommended)

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