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 Touching, Tragic Look At 'Amour' In Autumn

Dec 18, 2012
Originally published on December 19, 2012 11:22 am

We know from the outset that there's a death coming in Michael Haneke's Amour, a magisterial study of mortality that carried off the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival — and currently tops best-picture lists all over the world. But when we first meet Anne (Emmanuelle Riva) and Georges (Jean-Louis Trintignant), retired Paris music teachers in their 80s, they're in the pink and enjoying a piano recital given by one of Anne's former pupils.

Then, back in their book-lined apartment, as the two gossip amicably over tea about this and that, the feisty Anne drops an observation that's worth filing away.

"You're a monster sometimes," she says, "but very kind."

For a while, Haneke builds for us the well-worn routines that shape this loving couple's long marriage. Then, quickly and quietly, he shatters them. Anne begins to experience incremental fugues that she can't remember afterward, but which freak her husband out. Surgery fails and first Anne's body, then her mind, fails her too, until this accomplished, elegant woman is reduced to an incontinent infant who perks up only when her husband sings "Sur le Pont d'Avignon."

As always in a Haneke film, there's little else you could call a score, which forces us to attend to the intense process going on before us. Fresh routines come and go, along with help and hindrance from nurses of varying degrees of competence, the concierge couple from downstairs, and the couple's distracted daughter Eva (Isabelle Huppert), a musician who lives abroad and sounds the boomer clarion for "more efficient treatment" of her mother's condition.

The accretion of detail, at once pedestrian and terrifying, is what counts in Amour, and it's so telling that when Haneke adds ghoulish symbolic touches — an unexplained break-in, an intrusive pigeon rooting for seeds on the couple's floor — they feel like unnecessary icing on a cake full of horror and devotion.

Amour makes the perfectly fine Julie Christie film Away From Her look like an ad for a swank retirement home, but it will stir your soul. If you've seen someone you love through their dying, it may burn you up — but in an illuminating way. And it's fitting that Georges and Anne are played without flinching by two actors once famous for their sensual Gallic hotness.

For a while Georges bears up with stoic patience. But the strain takes its toll, and as Anne loses all dignity, her husband, despite his early protestation that "we've always coped," seems to shrink until he's little more than a pair of haunted eyes staring out of an exhausted face.

Still, he retains enough spirit not to mince words with any would-be advisers. "Your concern is of no use to me," he tells his increasingly distraught daughter.

That might be the entire Haneke oeuvre talking. The Austrian director has made an unsparing gaze his life's calling. Goosing squeamish liberals is his favorite sport, for better and worse. His fans call him a clear-eyed observer of human depravity; his detractors see a sadist, sniggering behind his hand as he soils our most cherished moral qualms. I for one found his The Piano Teacher a trite radical-feminist treatise on twisted female sexuality, masterfully crafted and nauseating to little purpose.

At his provocative best, though — in his brilliant, gorgeous 2009 film The White Ribbon, a study of the roots of fascism in domestic tyranny, and now in Amour — Haneke implicates us in the full range of human capacity. Is Amour a great love story or is the title ironic? Let's say this: The same person who adds peach juice to a cup of water to cajole a recalcitrant patient into one sip, may also be capable of a shocking act, which in turn may or may not be a higher form of love.

Either way, without leaving this unassuming Paris apartment, the film offers a searing glimpse into old age, when there's no escaping the knowledge that we are moving though time, that time will have its way with us, and still there are choices to be made. (Recommended)

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