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.


From Belgium To Piggly Wiggly: U.S. Beer Fans Snatch Up Elusive Ale

Dec 12, 2012
Originally published on December 12, 2012 6:39 pm

To many beer fans, the arrival of the Westvleteren 12 Trappist ale in American shops today is a chance to try a beer they've only read about on beer-geek blogs and sites — where it's often given a "world class" rating of 100.

But finding the beer can be tricky — it's not available in all states, and some stores sold out of their allotment within hours of opening Wednesday.

As NPR's Teri Schultz reported on Morning Edition today, the beer is being imported by Massachusetts-based Shelton Brothers. And although a relatively large shipment hit U.S. shores, the beer made by Belgium's St. Sixtus Abbey is still not widely available.

Only 15,000 six-packs, priced at $85 each, were sent to the American market. To help would-be customers find out where to buy the beer, the distributor has listed all U.S. retail outlets online. And despite a price that seems stratospheric, the cost is well below what the special release's "brick" gift pack of six beers and two glasses is fetching on eBay, where bids routinely top $200.

A Shelton Brothers representative told Schultz that the company was chosen to handle the U.S. release based on its previous work with another small Trappist brewer, Achel. Consider that Belgian breweries such as Chimay produce about 40 times the amount of beer that Achel or Westvleteren make in a normal year.

And the monks of the St. Sixtus Abbey, whose order requires vows of poverty, set restrictions to make this release very unusual.

For instance, stores have been asked not to reserve the beer or accept orders by phone, and customers are to be limited to a sole six-pack — policies that were in place in at least two beer stores The Salt visited early Wednesday.

The abbey's goal seems to have been to release the beer in a way that offers beer fans a chance to buy Westvleteren — and to limit the secondary market for the beer. The monks have stressed that the special release is meant only to pay for their abbey's recent renovations.

"There also isn't much profit involved here," Shelton Brothers said in a statement posted online, "as most everybody working on this has agreed to either donate back or forgo profits to help maximize the money going to the Abbey. No store that gets this beer is cashing in on it; at least we hope they aren't."

Bolstering that idea, both the bottles and the goblet-shaped glasses that come in the U.S. six-packs of Westvleteren 12 bear a gilded message in Latin: "Ad aedificandam abbatiam adiuvi" — roughly, "I helped to build the abbey."

The approach to the one-time U.S. release echoes the abbey's rules in Belgium, where customers can only use the same phone to place a beer order once in a set period (often, 60 days). When they pick the beer up, they must be in a car that hasn't been used to pick up beer in the same time frame.

To control distribution in the U.S., the Westvleteren beer is being made available mostly through large retail chains to guarantee a single price — shops in Hawaii reportedly received a special dispensation for a higher price to allow for the recovery of shipping charges.

Despite the hefty price tag, demand for the beer seems to be strong. The Total Wine shop in Laurel, Md., sold out of the beers "nearly in the first hour," said a manager. He added that some customers had camped out at the store's strip-mall location ahead of its 8 a.m. opening time. And in Chicago, customers reportedly got in line at 4 a.m.

Still, not everyone is enthusiastic about the new Trappist on the block. Some folks seem to miss the veil of exclusivity that had separated beer connoisseurs from mere dilettantes. And the abbey's requirement of a single sales price means that most of the rare ale went to mainstream retailers, rather than the more fractured market of boutique and specialty stores.

For instance, on Twitter, Bruisin' Ales cited "More Westy nonsense... in Alabama, Westvleteren is being sold by PIGGLY WIGGLY. Good lord. This beer belongs in specialty shops. Period."

Others, including several who commented on Schultz's story this morning, are outraged by the $85 sales price. They say that just because the monks took a vow of poverty, that doesn't mean the rest of us should join them, after buying their beer. Save your money, they say, and grab the venerable Abt 12 made by St. Bernardus.

There are also some beer fanatics who are eager to buy the Westvleteren 12, but they can't find it anywhere near them. Texas, for instance, isn't included in the release, reportedly owing to its laws governing beer imports. For anyone in that situation, the Beer Advocate site has a list of possible substitutes, in its ratings of top quadrupel beers.

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