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.


Strange Fruit And Stranger Dreams In The Deep South

Nov 26, 2012

Steve Stern's most recent book is called The Book of Mischief.

I'm about to make insane claims for a book, so the skeptics among you can stop reading now. It's called The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You — an outrageous title, I know. Plus, it's an epic poem, over 500 almost entirely unpunctuated pages in its original edition. Are you still with me? Then trust me, it's like no other book in our literature.

Its author, Frank Stanford, has been celebrated in song and story since his death in 1978. His life was a legend he was not above exploiting: He was abandoned as a baby and educated by monks ("When the rest of you / were being children / I became a monk / to my own listing imagination."); he was devilishly handsome; adored by women; and dead by his own hand before he was 30. In his short life, he distilled the reckless energies of his childhood into an immense, wonderstruck mythology; he poured his vision into countless poems and especially into the colossal cauldron of The Battlefield, where it overflowed.

Francis, the book's adolescent narrator, is clairvoyant and fearless: "I will open my mouth in parables," he boasts. "I will utter things kept secret from the foundation of the world." But the boasts, somewhere between Beowulf's and Davy Crockett's, are as tongue-in-cheek as they are in earnest. By the same token, his quest for justice, vengeance and love is as farcical in the daylight world as it is heroic in the realm of his dreams. It's a young man's book, and as his friend poet C.D. Wright says, "If you're not young and crazy, it may be too late."

Francis' exploits are wild, hilarious and sublime, mixing picaresque antics with an otherworldly music. In one episode, he's bound by horse thieves in a boat full of snakes and rescued by a lunatic cousin of Ernest Hemingway's old fisherman; in another he's seduced by a bereaved mother who performs cunning tricks with an electric toothbrush.

Stanford spent his childhood summers in river camps along the levees that his adoptive father was building, and The Battlefield's cast of characters — with names like Tickle Willey, Baby Gauge and Born-in-the-Camp-With-Six-Toes — is largely inspired by his black friends of those days. The book's dialect, like its conscience, is derived from Francis' identification with the Southern black experience.

A land surveyor by trade, Frank Stanford never bothered to distinguish between the haunted landscape of his mind and the one he ranged about on Earth. When Francis travels with Freedom Riders through the civil rights-era South — through clouds of dirt dobbers and snake doctors, under trees still hung with strange fruit — the bus he rides is also a ship of death upon which he's stowed away.

The logic of the book is a kind of dream logic, cockeyed and ecstatic, and its narrator is on the kind of journey from which no traveler returns. "All of this is magic against death," declares Francis, which is as good a definition of the book's intent as any. Savagely beautiful, The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You is like a great Southern gothic fun house illuminated by lightning. Exploring its mysteries makes you feel not only intensely alive but compelled to for God's sake do something about it.

You Must Read This is produced and edited by Ellen Silva and Rose Friedman with production assistance from Annalisa Quinn.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.