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.

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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.


Another Side Effect Of Chemotherapy: 'Chemo Brain'

Dec 28, 2012
Originally published on January 2, 2013 12:00 pm

It's well-known that chemotherapy often comes with side effects like fatigue, hair loss and extreme nausea. What's less well-known is how the cancer treatment affects crucial brain functions, like speech and cognition.

For Yolanda Hunter, a 41-year-old hospice nurse, mother of three and breast cancer patient, these cognitive side effects of chemotherapy were hard to miss.

"I could think of words I wanted to say," Hunter says. "I knew what I wanted to say. ... There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth."

Before getting treated for cancer, Hunter led a busy, active lifestyle. But the effects of chemotherapy on her brain made it difficult for her to do even the most basic things.

"I couldn't even formulate a smile. I had no expression," she says. "I might feel things on the inside, but it didn't translate to the outside. ... It literally felt like you were trying to fight your way through fog."

Some cancer patients call this mental fog "chemo brain." And now researchers are trying to quantify exactly what chemo brain really is.

Oncologist Jame Abraham, a professor at West Virginia University, says about a quarter of patients undergoing chemotherapy have trouble processing numbers, using short-term memory and focusing their attention.

Using positron emission tomography, or PET, scans to measure blood flow and brain activity, Abraham looked at the brains of 128 breast cancer patients before they started chemotherapy and then again, six months later.

On the second brain scan, he found significant decreases in brain activity in regions responsible for memory, attention, planning and prioritizing. Those results were recently presented at the Radiological Society of North America meeting.

Chemotherapy "can cause damage to bone marrow, hair cells, mucosa," Abraham says. "In the same way, it can potentially cause changes in the brain cells, too."

But Max Wintermark, a brain imaging specialist at the University of Virginia, says the findings bring up more questions than answers: Do brain changes occur with all types of chemotherapy or just one type? Do they only happen to breast cancer patients or to all cancer patients?

Wintermark says these are critical questions that warrant further study.

In the meantime, Wintermark says there are some simple ways cancer patients can work around "chemo brain": reminders on sticky notes and detailed grocery lists.

And fortunately, Abraham says chemo brain is almost always temporary. He says patients usually regain their full cognitive abilities within a year or two after chemotherapy treatment ends.

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



This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm David Greene. Let's turn, now, to some research that may help cancer patients understand what they're experiencing during chemotherapy. There's fatigue, nausea and other side effects, including one commonly called "chemo brain." Patients describe feeling as if they're in a mental fog. As NPR's Patti Neighmond reports, researchers say they've now detected physical evidence of chemo brain.

PATTI NEIGHMOND, BYLINE: Yolanda Hunter, 41 years old, is a breast cancer patient. She started chemotherapy about this time last year. Around the third day, she noticed she was having a hard time concentrating.

YOLANDA HUNTER: I couldn't think of words that I wanted to say. I knew what I wanted to say. There was a disconnect from my brain to my mouth. In the beginning, I couldn't even remember which words I wanted to say.

NEIGHMOND: A big change for Hunter, a high-powered hospice nurse who also worked a couple of part-time jobs, went to school and with her husband, cared for her three children. For someone who also loved to laugh and joke, this was hard.

HUNTER: I had a lot of where I couldn't even formulate a smile. I had no expression. I might feel things on the inside, but it didn't translate to the outside. It - literally- felt like you were trying to fight your way through fog.

NEIGHMOND: Oncologist and breast cancer specialist Dr. Jame Abraham is Hunter's doctor. He says about a quarter of breast cancer patients who go through chemotherapy, suffer similar problems.

DR. JAME ABRAHAM: Short-term memory, numbers, attention span; those are the things we - usually, we see impaired by chemotherapy.

NEIGHMOND: So using PET scans to measure blood flow and brain activity, Abraham looked at the brains of 128 breast cancer patients before they started chemotherapy, and then six months later. After chemo, he found significant decreases in brain activity; in regions responsible for memory, attention, planning and prioritizing.

ABRAHAM: Chemotherapy causes damage to the normal tissues, in addition to killing the cancer cells. And it can cause damage to the bone marrow, the hair cells, the mucosa. So in the same way, it can potentially cause changes in the brain cells, too.

NEIGHMOND: Further research needs to confirm the findings, and pinpoint exactly how chemo might cause these changes. Radiologist Max Wintermark is a specialist in brain imaging at the University of Virginia.

DR. MAX WINTERMARK: Is it a matter that the neurons, or the brain cells in some regions of the brain, are more sensitive than others? Is it that there are some receptors on the surface of those cells, that respond to those chemotherapies?

NEIGHMOND: Do brain changes occur with all types of chemotherapy, or just one type? Is it only breast cancer patients, or all cancer patients? In the meantime, he says, patients on chemo can benefit from some of the things study participants did - reminders on sticky notes, lists for groceries.

WINTERMARK: Something simple, like instead of going to the grocery store and trying to remember, on the spot, what you need to buy for the different meals you are going to prepare - but instead, preparing a list; preparing it, perhaps, with your loved one before you go to the grocery store.

NEIGHMOND: And the good news, says oncologist Abraham: Chemo brain is often reversible, a year or two after chemotherapy has ended. For Yolanda Hunter, it's been about nine months.

HUNTER: There are times that I still have to think about what I say before I actually speak it. But for the most part, that has gone away; and I'm able to communicate what I would like to communicate, to the person that I'm speaking to.

NEIGHMOND: Hunter says she's still not back to normal. She has to speak slowly, and think about what she's saying. This could be, she says, her new normal. But her doctor, Jame Abraham, is confident that day by day, month by month, her memory and ability to concentrate will improve.

Patti Neighmond, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.