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.


A Sturdy 'Collection' Of Horror's Goriest Tropes

Nov 29, 2012

For those who had come to dread yet another installment of the Saw series and its ilk — not out of fear, but from boredom at the films' dull repetition of elaborate torture and murder methods — 2009's The Collector was a breath of if not fresh, then at least less stagnant air.

Coming from the creators of the latter Saw installments, and originally intended as a prequel (an idea they thankfully ditched), the film did include some of the same grisly spins on Rube Goldberg-inspired slaying. But they'd been couched within a sly and intermittently effective inversion of Home Alone, with a home invader setting the tripwires and booby traps. The film was still a fairly generic gore fest, but it built enough of a cult following to justify the similarly low-budget sequel that its open end demanded.

For the follow-up, writer-director Marcus Dunstan and co-writer Patrick Melton treat their original as if it were their Alien. The first film left their hero Arkin (Josh Stewart) not unlike Ripley in that series, confined in a small space and heading for points unknown. Only in this case, that space is a footlocker instead of a hibernation chamber, and instead of defeating the villain, Arkin has been trapped in that footlocker by The Collector's answer to the alien: the unnamed "Collector," a diabolical, black-masked psycho with a taste for killing whole families and taking one away alive as his trophy.

Following that template, Arkin returns in The Collection, after escaping at the start of the film, to lead a band of mercenaries to the villain's labyrinthine lair on a rescue mission — again, just as Ripley does in Aliens. Just in case you were in danger of missing the connection, they even include a scene in which Arkin briefs the soldiers on their adversary before maintaining that he's only there for informational purposes, not to take part in the mission, just as in a nearly identical scene in James Cameron's film.

The homage is ham-handed, but the result is surprisingly fun. Just as Aliens was an action companion to the gothic horror of its predecessor, The Collection also effectively blends genres, with this team of commandos getting stuck in the hotel that the Collector uses as his home base-slash-personal museum of macabre oddities fashioned out of spare body parts. They'll need to fight their way out, of course — along with Arkin, who inevitably gets dragged in along with them.

Their objective is Elena (Emma Fitzpatrick), a young woman captured into the collection in the film's opening sequence, which finds the Collector ambitiously doing in an entire underground rave crowd with what amounts to a giant, ceiling-mounted thresher. Yes, it's just as splattery as it sounds.

That underlines an important point: despite its willingness to step back from genre norms and its nicely paced thrills, don't mistake The Collection for a crossover success. If you have an immediate dislike for horror movies that order their stage blood by the barrel, this isn't the film for you.

But genre aficionados are likely to revel in every crunched bone, gratuitous decapitation and slow-motion iron-maiden impaling. The Saw films and their like plod grimly from one kill to the next, but there's an energy to The Collection that enlivens it. It might seem odd to describe anything this ghastly as playful, but one gets the sense that Dunstan recognizes the excesses of the film and is having fun with them. The way he frames the Collector as he bursts into a room at the film's climax — with double doors opening on him, bathed in dramatic light, wielding an assault rifle and flanked by attack dogs — is too self-consciously over-the-top to be anything but an acknowledgement of its own ridiculousness.

It should come as no surprise that the ending leaves things open for yet another sequel. That's normally where the groans come in during the twist of a generic horror's waning moments. But in this case, it may be the movie's strongest moment. Rather than serving up a standard-issue open ending, Dunstan allows The Collection a sense of closure while suggesting an interesting turn in the structure should things continue. If he can continue to churn out enjoyably trashy sequels like this, franchised horror doesn't always have to be such a killjoy.

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