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.


Can Shellfish Adapt to More Acidic Water?

Nov 23, 2012
Originally published on November 23, 2012 1:53 pm



The shellfish industry on the West Coast has had a bumpy few years and increasingly, it is pointing to climate change as the cause. Scientists believe the oceans are becoming more acidic as they absorb the increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in the air, and they are not sure if oysters and other shellfish will be able to adapt to this change. Lauren Sommer, from member station KQED, has this report.

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: Terry Sawyer does a brisk business in oysters.

TERRY SAWYER: I take the shucking knife and I'll go into the hinge. You see there's no meat on the top shell?

SOMMER: His farm, Hog Island Oyster Company, is about an hour north of San Francisco and today, his workers are sorting two kinds of oysters, Kumamotos...

SAWYER: Nutty, creamy flavor...

SOMMER: And Sweetwaters.

SAWYER: Some people do describe it as sweeter.

SOMMER: The oysters grow up in big mesh bags that sit in the cold waters of the Pacific. Sawyer gets the oysters from hatcheries in Oregon and Washington, but a few years ago, he started getting calls from his suppliers. They couldn't fill the orders.

SAWYER: They would have tens of thousands of gallons of tanks that were absolutely full of larvae and they'd had the entire system die.

SOMMER: Their intake pipes were pulling in the same sea water, but now it was more acidic, which makes it harder for oysters to build their shells. The ocean is basically a giant sponge for carbon dioxide and scientists say sea water has become 30 percent more acidic since the start of the Industrial Revolution. Sawyer's growing his own oyster larvae now so he'll have a more predictable supply, but he says there's no question that climate change is affecting his bottom line.

SAWYER: We don't know if we're going to be able to survive the very real trending that is going on out there.

SOMMER: It's a trend that doesn't just affect oysters. On a rocky point farther point, about two hours from San Francisco, oceanographer Tessa Hill of the University of California, Davis shows me tide pools packed with California mussels. These mussels and other shelled animals like sea urchins and tiny marine snails are crucial to the marine food web, she says.

TESSA HILL: Probably most people like the fact that we have things like whales and salmon along our coast and those organisms are likely to be impacted because their food source will be impacted.

SOMMER: In 100 years, oceans could be more than twice as acidic. So, Hill says, they're trying to find out if marine life can adapt. The mussels and sea urchins here could help answer that, since they're already part of a naturally occurring experiment.

HILL: They're facing the most acidic water that you'd see in the ocean today.

SOMMER: Marine life on the West Coast is blasted with acidic water from the deep ocean during seasonal upwelling in the spring and summer. So maybe they've developed ways to handle it.

HILL: SB would be Santa Barbara; MB is Monterey Bay...

SOMMER: Inside their lab, Hill shows me jars full of young mussels almost too small to see. Each jar is from a different part of the West Coast, from central Oregon to southern California. Scientists are growing them in more acidic water to see if they have key genetic differences.

STEVE PALUMBI: We found they have lucky genes.

SOMMER: Steve Palumbi is a biology professor at Stanford University who is also working on the project. He found that some West Coast sea urchins have around 100 genes that make them better adapted to more acidic water. That makes them more likely to survive and reproduce.

PALUMBI: This is good news because these organisms have the capacity to deal with more acidification. But it's not good news forever, because all it does is give us a little breathing room.

SOMMER: And not much breathing at that, says Palumbi. The ocean is acidifying faster than it ever has before. Organisms will evolve, he says, but probably not fast enough to keep up. That means the shellfish industry could face even bigger challenges down the road. For NPR News, I'm Lauren Sommer in San Francisco. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.