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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True Originals: Biographies That Defy Expectations

Dec 17, 2012
Originally published on December 28, 2012 6:26 pm

It's probably not true that truth is stranger than fiction, but in the hands of a great biographer, it can be just as compelling. Novelists can create unique and unforgettable characters — there's never been anyone quite like Jane Eyre or Ignatius J. Reilly — but there's no shortage of fascinating literary protagonists who just happened to exist in real life.

This year brought us some brilliant biographies of world-famous leaders like Lyndon B. Johnson, Dwight Eisenhower and Winston Churchill, but this list focuses on books that chronicle the lives of some true originals from many different walks of life. From a spy turned chef to the highest-ranking black military leader in European history, the subjects of these biographies spent most of their lives well off the beaten path and gained fame for their stubborn refusal to conform to other people's expectations. You could say the same thing about the biographers. These books are written with extraordinary style and originality, by masters of the craft who can spin a tale as adroitly and memorably as any novelist out there.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

NPR's book critics have been compiling their lists of best books of the year. Reviewer Michael Schaub has put together of his favorite biographies, and it includes books about President Obama, Julia Child and Lillian Hellman. But Schaub's favorite is the story of the man with this distinctive voice.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, I'M YOUR MAN")

LEONARD COHEN: (singing) If you want a lover, I'll do anything you ask me to.

MICHAEL SCHAUB, BYLINE: That's singer/songwriter Leonard Cohen. In Sylvie Simmons' new biography, "I'm Your Man: The Life of Leonard Cohen," she does a wonderful job explaining how a small charismatic kid from Montreal became the world's unofficial poet laureate of, as Simmons writes, survival, sex, God and depression. "I'm Your Man" is one of the best biographies of the year in large part because Simmons shares Cohen's wry sense of humor and love for the unexpected.

She tells the story of the first time Rufus Wainwright met Cohen. Leonard was in his underwear chewing a boiled hot dog into tiny little bits and spitting it out and putting it on a toothpick and feeding this little bird that had fallen from a nest.

Cohen is known for his often depressing lyrics, and his life has been far from easy, but as Simmons points out, his darkest moments made him who he is now, or as Cohen himself once sang: Forget your perfect offering, there's a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANTHEM")

COHEN: (Singing) There is a crack, a crack in everything. That's how the light gets in.

CORNISH: The biography of Leonard Cohen is called "I'm Your Man," and the man who recommended it is Michael Schaub.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ANTHEM")

COHEN: (Singing) We asked for signs. The signs were sent. The birth betrayed the marriage spent... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.