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.

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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.


BP Settles Criminal Suit Over Gulf Oil Spill

Nov 16, 2012
Originally published on November 16, 2012 6:05 am



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning. Let's talk next about what's being described as the largest criminal fine in U.S. history. BP will pay nearly $1.3 billion for crimes associated with its 2010 drilling rig accident and oil spill, in the Gulf of Mexico. On top of that, the company will pay more than $3 billion to settle claims from the Department of Justice and the Securities and Exchange Commission. NPR's Jeff Brady reports.

JEFF BRADY, BYLINE: It's been more than two and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon accident and oil spill. That disaster launched a massive clean-up, and a series of investigations. Yesterday, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder stood before microphones in New Orleans, to announce the latest effort at delivering justice to those affected.

ERIC HOLDER: BP has agreed to plead guilty to all 14 criminal charges; including responsibility for the deaths of 11 people, and the events that led to an unprecedented environmental catastrophe.

BRADY: BP is pleading guilty to felony manslaughter, and admits to obstructing a congressional investigation. Three managers at the company also will face criminal charges. BP declined a request for a recorded interview. In a written statement, the oil giant's chief executive, Bob Dudley, said the deal reached with the government demonstrates that BP has accepted responsibility for its actions. He also said the company deeply regrets the tragic loss of life caused by the accident.

Twenty-eight-year-old Gordon Jones was among the crewmen killed. While the criminal charges are some comfort, there's another issue his brother, Chris Jones, can't get out of his mind. He says BP never apologized to his family. Speaking by cellphone, Jones says the company had opportunities to do that.

CHRIS JONES: When we testified before Congress, when a representative of the BP was two seats down from us; to look us in the eye and say, "I'm sorry for your loss" - that has never happened.

BRADY: In the company's statement released yesterday, BP executive Bob Dudley did apologize for his company's role in the Deepwater Horizon accident. But that's clearly, not enough for Jones.

JONES: I've read their press release, and I don't think that they're truly sorry for what happened. I think they're sorry that they lost a lot of money.

BRADY: BP estimates this agreement will increase its total spill costs to almost $42 billion. Under this settlement, the Securities and Exchange Commission will receive about $500 million. The SEC accused BP of low-balling the amount of oil that spilled into the gulf.

The National Academy of Sciences will receive $350 million, under the agreement; and a group called the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation will get nearly $2.4 billion. Speaking just after the agreement was made public, Louisiana Senator Mary Landrieu said that last announcement surprised her.

SENATOR MARY LANDRIEU: I've been doing a lot of studying up, the last couple of hours, and happy to see that they enjoy a good reputation. I was a little shocked that only one person on their entire, 30-person board is from the Gulf Coast. Most everybody's from Connecticut and Washington and Illinois and Wyoming. That was a little disconcerting.

BRADY: Landrieu says she's impressed with the foundation's track record, and she hopes board members understand the needs of her region.

This is not the end of the BP case. A trial to determine civil penalties, is still scheduled for February. Jackie Savitz, with the group Oceana, estimates under the Clean Water Act, BP is liable for $20 billion in fines, and up to 30 billion under the Oil Pollution Act.

JACKIE SAVITZ: And so when you start adding those up, there's still tens of billions of dollars on the table that BP owes the public; that we hope the Department of Justice will continue to pursue and eventually, get.

BRADY: Attorney General Holder says there have been negotiations with BP on civil penalties, but no agreement yet.

Jeff Brady, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.