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.


BP Legal Troubles Persist Over Gulf Spill

Nov 19, 2012
Originally published on November 20, 2012 10:38 am



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

BP made headlines last week when it was hit with a record criminal fine over the oil platform Deepwater Horizon that exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. It also pleaded guilty to manslaughter in the deaths of 11 rig workers. But that was hardly the end of the oil company's legal troubles. BP still faces a civil trial that could see it once again fined, this time for each barrel of oil that gushed into Gulf waters for months. NPR's Carrie Johnson reports.

CARRIE JOHNSON, BYLINE: Let's start with the deadline. BP, the Justice Department and five Gulf Coast states have about two months to strike a deal before the huge civil trial starts in New Orleans. Attorney General Eric Holder.

ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER: I'll be very honest. We have been in negotiations with BP. We have not reached a number that I considered satisfactory.

JOHNSON: There are plenty of reasons the oil giant might want to resolve the case - about 21 billion of them. That's the high end of the price tag if the Justice Department can prove BP was grossly negligent under the standards of the Clean Water Act. Tony West is an associate attorney general who's playing a big role in the civil lawsuit.

TONY WEST: You have an $1,100 per barrel penalty, statutory penalties for negligence. That gets up to $4,400 per barrel for gross negligence. And the difference there, of course, the standard in the law, is the difference between violating a duty of care versus wanton and reckless conduct.

JOHNSON: Let's unpack that a bit. If a company behaves with negligence, it's on the hook for fines of about $1,000 per barrel of oil. But if the government can prove the company acted recklessly by disregarding red flags, that fine increases four-fold. California Democrat Henry Waxman, who helped investigate the spill in the U.S. House, says the Gulf disaster could have been avoided - the heart of the federal government's argument.

REPRESENTATIVE HENRY WAXMAN: The blowout was preventable. It happened because BP made a series of reckless decisions.

JOHNSON: For its part, BP has admitted negligence in misreading key tests on the Macondo well hours before the blowout the night of April 20, 2010. But the company is fighting the idea that it acted with gross negligence. And it's also contesting how much oil seeped into the Gulf, the basis for most environmental fines.

Chief executive Bob Dudley says BP is open to resolving the civil case but only on what he called reasonable terms. Jane Barrett is a law professor at the University of Maryland.

JANE BARRETT: I think that it will make it easier for the government to negotiate with BP now that the criminal case is behind them.

JOHNSON: But, Barrett says, there are still some big road blocks, especially the jockeying among five Gulf Coast states to get a piece of the action.

BARRETT: That's not to say it's going to be easy, because everyone, I think, feels like, you know, that their injuries are the worst and is going to want to make sure that they have enough money to make their states whole.

JOHNSON: The states are due to share 80 percent of the fines under the Clean Water Act. But there are three other kinds of claims on the table. First, there are natural resource damages under a separate law called the Oil Pollution Act. Then the costs of responding to the disaster. And finally, economic losses, like cancelled tourist reservations or tax revenues the states couldn't collect because of lost jobs and businesses. Former environmental crimes prosecutor David Uhlmann wonders about the other big players in the civil case.

DAVID UHLMANN: What will happen with Transocean and Halliburton?

JOHNSON: Transocean, the owner of the Deepwater Horizon rig, says it's already set aside $2 billion to cover the civil lawsuit. Halliburton, the company that lined the Macondo well, could be on the hook too. David Uhlmann.

UHLMANN: Trials generally drive settlement talks. So in all likelihood we won't see a civil settlement until we get much closer to the trial date.

JOHNSON: Which may be why Attorney General Holder and BP managers continue to insist they're getting ready for a courtroom standoff in February in New Orleans.

Carrie Johnson, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.