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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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Avis And Zipcar Partnership Could Reshape Rental Business

Jan 2, 2013
Originally published on January 2, 2013 7:51 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

I'm Robert Siegel. And here's a case of an old business colossus buying up a scrappy innovator. Avis, the traditional car rental company, is buying Zipcar for $500 million. Zipcar is the car-sharing company with the slogan: Wheels when you want them. NPR's Jim Zarroli reports the deal illustrates how car sharing is reshaping the rental business and drawing in a new demographic.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: Avis CEO Ron Nelson told analysts today that he had long been skeptical about the car-sharing business. But as this deal suggests, he's come around to the idea.

RON NELSON: Like all businesses, we will need to evolve with changing consumer lifestyles. And Zipcar represents one of the best opportunities to capitalize on that dynamic today.

ZARROLI: Zipcar rents cars by the hour, and customers can pick them up at predetermined locations on the street instead of going to a rental agency. Zipcar has nearly 800,000 customers called zipsters, who pay an annual fee to use the service. It's been popular in big U.S. cities like New York and San Francisco, but in recent years, it's been expanding into Canada and Europe.

(SOUNDBITE OF ZIPCAR AD)

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #1: Zipcar is so easy.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: You sign up online.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN #2: You type in the date and time.

ZARROLI: Until last year, Zipcar lost money almost every year it's been in business, which isn't unusual for a new company, but a lot of people think the Zipcar concept has potential. That's why it's generated a lot of competition. Hertz and Enterprise have started car-sharing subsidiaries, and there are a lot of smaller companies modeled on Zipcar in big cities such as Philadelphia. Steven Spivey is an auto analyst at Frost & Sullivan. He says linking up with a big company like Avis helps Zipcar fend off its rivals.

STEVEN SPIVEY: They're looking at the future and realizing this is going to be, you know, a very competitive marketplace, a very competitive industry, and we need to make sure that we're, you know, strongly positioned in terms of how we're capitalized and, you know, the resources that we have at our disposal to take advantage of the market opportunities that are coming.

ZARROLI: The acquisition will mean cost savings for both companies. For example, Avis tends to rent more vehicles during the week. Zipcar does more business over the weekend. Merging means the companies can share their fleets so their cars won't sit idle as much. More important, Avis is acquiring a car-sharing pioneer with an established brand name, one that's got a foothold with young wired customers. Jade Lewis(ph) is a Zipcar customer in Boston.

JADE LEWIS: And I only recently turned 25, so I wasn't able to rent a car before. So if I needed a car for a couple of hours to go pick up a piece of furniture or go out to IKEA or something like that, it was - so it's really a good deal.

ZARROLI: Still, there are questions about Zipcar's business model. The company has succeeded in big, densely populated cities where people can get by renting cars only occasionally. It's not clear how much of a market there is for the concept in other parts of the country that are more car dependent. But so far, Zipcar has gotten people to rethink their relationship to cars. And with this acquisition, Avis is betting that the Zipcar model has a lot of room to grow.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.