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.


Big Gator Head Premieres At Miami Art Fair

Dec 6, 2012
Originally published on December 6, 2012 10:23 am



Now to a hundred-foot-long alligator in Miami. Art Basel Miami Beach, one of the nation's largest art fairs, opens today. It's a citywide event that has spawned dozens of satellite shows and art happenings that have transformed the area with gigantic installations, including, as NPR's Greg Allen tells us, a very big alligator.

GREG ALLEN, BYLINE: Actually, it's just a mechanical alligator head mounted on a barge. But when the body is added, the entire artwork will measure nearly 300 feet, snout to tail. It's a huge project involving more than 100 people, from publicists to steel workers, and it began with one man's vision.

LLOYD GORADESKY: My name is Lloyd Goradesky. I'm the artist for "Gator in the Bay."

ALLEN: Goradesky is a photographer and artist who says he's never done anything approaching this size before.

GORADESKY: This is a large alligator to celebrate an artist, Christo, who used the power of rockets to help us clean up Biscayne Bay.

ALLEN: It was 30 years ago that Christo surrounded 11 islands in the Biscayne Bay with pink polypropylene fabric. Goradesky, now 54, was in junior high at the time, and it made an impression. He says it also helped jumpstart the cleanup of Biscayne Bay. Goradesky has modeled much of his project after Christo's work.

"Gator in the Bay," he says, is intended to raise awareness about the Everglades. It's also environmentally conscious. Almost all of the materials are used or recycled, beginning with the gator's skin, which is made from recycled, plastic fabric.

GORADESKY: The teeth are roofing material, and the steel is all used metal. If you step back and you check out the eyes, the frame of the eye is made from a spool. And so we really had a lot of fun assembling the materials and making the piece.

ALLEN: Inside the gator's mouth last week, workers were putting last-minute welds on the intricate steel frame. "Gator in the Bay" is not just an art project. It's also a serious piece of engineering and steel construction.

VERN NIX: I'm Vern Nix, the owner of V&M Erectors. We're a steel-erecting company, primarily on bridges. Anything that has to do with steel is what we do.

ALLEN: Nix's crew took time off from building bridges to make the frame for the nearly 100-foot-long gator head. The top of the gator's mouth is attached to the arm of a Caterpillar excavator, which is part of the barge. As the gator head sails around Biscayne Bay, its mouth - controlled by the excavator - will open and close. But this is just the first phase of the project.

Next May, on the actual anniversary of Christo's surrounded island work, comes phase two, when Goradesky, Nix and others with the project add the gator's 200-foot-long body and tail.

NIX: The tail will be floating on four-foot-by-eight-foot Styrofoam panels that's got all these images on them that really looks like the skin of a gator. It's got, like, 6,400 photographic images that Lloyd took and came up with the procedure, I guess, of knowing how to put these in a color scheme of sequences so when you look at it from a distance, it all looks like alligator skin.

ALLEN: But that comes next year. Over the weekend, after workers put finishing touches on the gator head, the crew stood by while the mouth was opened for the first time.

NIX: Ready? Power's on.


ALLEN: Warren Fronte is the owner and operator of the barge that's now topped by the steel and fabric gator head. Fronte's another important partner in an art and media project that he compares to an orchestra.

WARREN FRONTE: You have a conductor, and you have all your musicians. So look at this, you have an artist who's doing what he's doing, and then you've got a good ol' boy network who's doing what we're all doing.

ALLEN: "Gator in the Bay" is expected to make a splash at Art Basel beginning tonight, when it has its official premiere with a party at a Miami marina. Greg Allen, NPR News, Miami. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.