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 Vengeful Virgin In 'The Testament Of Mary'

Nov 14, 2012

In the Gospels, the Virgin Mary is the alabaster embodiment of grace and suffering, the mater dolorosa — but also largely voiceless. We know little about her except for her virginity and her grief.

In the grim and lovely Testament of Mary, Colm Toibin gives voice to the mother of Jesus. Elderly and isolated in Ephesus, menaced by the persecutors of her dead son as well as by his followers, Mary narrates her memories of the Crucifixion in cold, vivid detail.

At first, she is bored by her son's followers, "unshaven brutes and twitchers," and then she is unnerved. She watches Jesus address them, "his voice all false, and his tone all stilted," and feels uneasy. As Jesus' fame grows and he gathers more and more followers, he becomes a stranger to her. She realizes with mounting horror that her son is doomed, and she does not share his conviction that he will rise again.

Now, years after the Crucifixion, two of Jesus' followers — seemingly St. John and St. Paul, though, like so much else in this novella, their identities are left ambiguous — visit Mary. Cunning and cruel, they intimidate her, wanting her to confirm the story of Jesus' divinity. But Mary refuses, knowing that the scribe has "written of things that neither he saw nor I saw."

The work is pointedly not called a gospel — good news — but a testament — a giving witness to, an attestation. "I was there," she says. And, having seen the Crucifixion, the Mother of God tells the apostles: "I can tell you now, when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it."

Much of the elegance of this novella comes from its language, which is poetic but spare, much like cryptic music of the Gospels. And, as in the Gospels, understatement and implication are used to great effect. Most expressively, the name "Jesus" is never used — not once. Neither is Christ. Instead, Mary calls him "my son" or "him" or even "the one who was here." Part of this is her pain — she cannot bear to say the name — but part of it is also a refusal to contribute to the narrative of the man named Jesus Christ.

Toibin leaves the most important questions unanswered: Did he cure the sick? Raise the dead? Turn water into wine? Mary only hears stories.

Toibin neither confirms nor denies the revival of Lazarus, but makes it clear that if he was raised, it was not a blessing but a curse. He can barely walk and suffers excruciating pain: "If he had come back to life, it was merely to say a last farewell to it." In Mary's view, not only was it a bad idea — it was also a violation: "No one should tamper with the fullness that is death," she says. Of course, that is exactly what the Gospel writers attempt — to change the death of Jesus into a rebirth. And Mary resists all the way, though she knows that their version will triumph: "They will thrive and prevail and I will die."

Lovely, understated and powerfully sad, The Testament of Mary finally gives the mother of Jesus a chance to speak. And, given that chance, she throws aside the blue veil of the Madonna to become wholly, gloriously human.

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