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 Talking To Their States, Governors Keep An Eye On Washington

Jan 9, 2013
Originally published on January 9, 2013 7:18 pm

From Superstorm Sandy to gun laws to the fiscal cliff, national issues are on the minds and the lips of the nation's governors setting their state agendas this week.

Some want Congress and President Obama to act; others urged state legislators to do what Congress hasn't.

"No one hunts with an assault rifle. No one needs 10 bullets to kill a deer. End the madness now," an impassioned New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday in calling for the state to enact the "toughest assault weapon ban in the nation, period."

"Gun violence has been on a rampage," Cuomo, a Democrat, said in his annual State of the State address in Albany. "We must stop the madness, my friends, and in one word, it's just enough. It has been enough."

In neighboring Connecticut, scene of last month's massacre in the town of Newtown, Democratic Gov. Dannel Malloy pointedly rejected the National Rifle Association's proposal to arm school personnel.

"Freedom is not a handgun on the hip of every teacher," said Malloy, who added that state gun restrictions have limited impact. "This conversation has to take place nationally."

Malloy's comments came Wednesday during his annual new year address to lawmakers.

"As long as weapons continue to travel up and down I-95, what is available for sale in Florida or Virginia can have devastating consequences here in Connecticut," he said.

Also Wednesday, leaders of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C., said a failure to resolve all of the fiscal cliff issues has put handcuffs on the states.

"Our economies are tightly linked to the national economy," Gov. Jack Markell, D-Del., said while giving part of what the NGA called its first "State of the States" speech. "And as a result, our states' prosperity depends, the prosperity of our citizens depend, in no small measure on the ability of our public servants in Washington to come to terms on a path forward."

"One of the largest uncertainties concerns elements of the fiscal cliff that were either postponed or left out" of the New Year's Day deal signed by President Obama, he said. "If the debt limit is not increased soon, there will be disruptions in federal spending, there will be disruptions in capital markets that could greatly impact state operations. And until these issues are resolved, states will not be able to make fully informed financial plans."

Gov. Mary Fallin, R-Okla., who followed Markell, said deficit reduction and dealing with the mandatory across-the-board spending cuts that were postponed for two months should be the focus on Capitol Hill.

"How Washington deals with those issues will ... have an immediate direct effect upon our states and certainly could have grave implications to our states, and especially our budget," she said.

A day after New Jersey's Republican Gov. Chris Christie spent most of his annual address discussing the aftermath of Sandy and calling for more federal assistance, Cuomo of New York also called on Congress to help.

"We need and we deserve federal assistance," said Cuomo. Last week, Congress approved $9.7 billion in funding to the National Flood Insurance Program, and has promised to act soon on $51 billion in other aid. Cuomo said the relief so far is "too little, and it is too late."

Cuomo also proposed raising the state's hourly minimum wage from an "unlivable" $7.25 (which has been the federal minimum wage since 2009) to $8.75; and tougher state greenhouse standards, because "climate change is real."

But the issue of gun control dominated the speech. Cuomo said he owns a gun and noted, "We respect hunters and sportsmen," but called for a ban on high-capacity gun magazines, background checks for the sale of guns from private owners, and a move to "keep guns from people who are mentally ill."

"It is about ending the unnecessary risk of high-capacity assault rifles."

In Washington, Vice President Joe Biden is heading a group studying possible federal responses to curb gun violence, but any significant action on Capitol Hill will face strong opposition from the NRA and its allies.

Cuomo and Christie are potential presidential candidates in 2016. Another possible candidate, outgoing Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell of Virginia, was to deliver his final State of the Commonwealth address Wednesday night, a day after proposing that the state eliminate its 17.5 cent-per-gallon gasoline tax and replace it with a small increase in the state's sales tax to fund transportation projects.

On Tuesday, Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry urged continued spending restraint despite rosy state revenue projections that have some Democrats calling for revisiting recent budget cuts. The 2012 presidential candidate called the state's budget surplus "a chance to put our fiscal house in order for years to come."

And in North Dakota, where an oil and natural gas boom in the western part of the state is fueling one of the nation's most robust economies, Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple proposed new spending on roads projects and housing. He called this "an incredible moment in our state's history."

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