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.

Pages

Bigwigs Out At Microsoft And Apple. Now What?

Nov 13, 2012
Originally published on November 14, 2012 8:58 am

In less than a month, two instrumental figures at two of the world's biggest tech companies have left their positions. Now industry watchers wonder whether the departures at Microsoft and Apple will mean dramatic changes of direction for the tech giants.

On Monday, Microsoft announced that Steven Sinofsky, an employee at the company for the last 23 years, and head of the Windows unit since 2006, was leaving. The news came just two weeks after Microsoft launched Windows 8, the company's boldest release in decades, whose development Sinofsky oversaw.

It also comes just a few weeks after Scott Forstall, the head of Apple's iOS for the past several years, was fired, along with retail chief John Browett.

And though there is more than one commonality between these executives — both were controversial characters considered CEOs-in-waiting — experts including Wired senior writer Steven Levy caution against drawing too many comparisons between two people whose companies, and whose respective roles there, were different.

And yet these departures both raise essential questions about Apple and Microsoft — especially since they come at such integral moments in their histories.

For Microsoft, the question is what implications Sinofsky's departure has for the company's big gambles — Windows 8 and Surface, a series of tablet computers. Reviews are mixed for the two products and it remains to be seen how successful they will be in the long term.

"You don't know what's going to happen. These products are done and delivered. There's a latency period where you find out what losing Sinofsky means for Microsoft," Levy says.

Both products are an attempt at renewed relevance for Microsoft, whose influence has slipped in an age in which mobile of tablet devices are increasingly dominant. With Sinofsky and his contribution accounted for, Business Insider's Jay Yarow says, the effort must continue to ensure Microsoft's comeback.

"These new executives are going to have to come up with a vision for Microsoft to compete with iOS and Android. And when once they've done that, they're going to have to execute against that vision. That means delivering strong software on time, something Sinofsky did over and over again," he writes.

Forstall's departure, meanwhile, comes on the heels of Apple's first major shortcoming, the new Maps program, for which Forstall was considered "directly responsible." According to reports, Forstall declined to sign a letter of apology about the failure.

"Maybe he's a fall guy for the Apple Maps thing but [the firing] is not something that happens because of one error," Levy says.

Indeed, Forstall was a divisive character at Apple. And The New York Times reports that his removal was partly an effort to create more harmony among Apple's top executives.

But Forstall was perhaps as brilliant as he was unpopular. Former Apple engineer Michael Lopp described Forstall as "the best approximation of Steve Jobs that Apple had left" and said there was chatter among Apple employees that Forstall was "the only legit successor to Jobs."

For Apple, there is now room for someone else to take on the mantle of visionary.

"I guess now we know it's not Scott. It's still an open question whether [Jonathan Ive, Apple's vice president of industrial design] comes in or some of the other people, or whether in five years there could be someone else." Levy says.

Ive's role has now expanded to encompass the design of Apple's "human interfaces." Essentially, he'll now be in charge of both software and hardware.

Adam Lashinsky, senior editor-at-large for Fortune, says the move "solidifies a change in direction. Already the trend for years was that Mac software predicted what happened with the user experience. That's been flipped on its head. Mobile software is dictating user experience across the company including on the Mac. That's one half of the development. If they succeed, you'll have a seamless experience on any Apple product whether it's a mobile product or a desktop product."

In addition to Ive, Lashinsky says, there's no shortage of emerging talent at Apple to help shape that future. The same goes for Microsoft.

"Both of these companies have deep management benches. People forget that because we don't know the names of the people below the famous people," Lashinsky says.

And as for the recently departed, Sinofsky, for one says, that he'll "seek new opportunities that build on these experiences" at Microsoft. Levy says he imagines that Forstall could move on to make similar contributions. Meanwhile, he says, the companies they left will forge on.

"I don't really think in five years looking back we'll be saying, 'What would have happened with Sinofsky or Forstall?' On the other hand, one or both of those guys could start a startup that will make profound changes to our lives," Levy says.

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