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.


CES Vendors Want To Hook Up Your Home

Jan 11, 2013
Originally published on January 11, 2013 8:35 am



That big consumer electronics show in Las Vegas ends today. And while big tech firms like Google and Apple did not attend, an increasingly diverse range of companies took their place. With more and more devices connecting to the Internet, many companies are flocking to this festival of gadgets, hoping to bring all the appliances in your home online. NPR's Steve Henn reports.

STEVE HENN, BYLINE: The Internet isn't just for people anymore. What began as a way for human beings to communicate using computers, smartphones or tablets has evolved into a network that's connecting more and more machines to each other. And the machines have a lot to say. Meet Ivee.



HENN: That's Jonathon Nostrant, the founder and CEO of the company that makes Ivee.

NOSTRANT: What's the weather in London on Saturday?

IVEE: Saturday in London, the temperature will be 34 degrees. You can expect partly cloudy skies mid-morning.

HENN: Ivee is a next generation alarm clock.

NOSTRANT: So we started making voice-activated talking alarm clocks. And basically what we found is that people like to talk to devices. The biggest benefit with our products today is that they can set the time of the alarm, but tomorrow they're going to be able to do so much more.

HENN: Say you're chilly. Just tell Ivee to turn up the heat.

IVEE: OK. I've set your thermostat to 73.

HENN: Sensors that can connect to the Net are already embedded in some thermostats, scales, door locks, light switches, windows, and even some sprinkler systems. This is supposed to be the future, right? The smart connected home.

NOSTRANT: Typically people see the phone and the tablet as being the only interface to interact with the smart home.

HENN: But Nostrant thought, why not just talk to it? I mean do you really want to use your iPhone to turn on and off the lights?

NOSTRANT: Instead of taking your phone out of your pocket, sliding over the bar, hitting the app to get in the app, going to the button, selecting the lights on and off, why not just say, hello, Ivee, turn the lights on?

HENN: The thing is, Ivee is just one of dozens of different companies which are competing to get the smart home to actually work. There are crowd-funded start-ups like Smart Things. There are security companies, like ADT and Alarm.com. Even giant telecoms like Verizon - all want to sell you something to help you connect every little appliance you own to the Net. There's even one very big hardware store getting into this act: Lowe's.

KEVIN MARR: My name's Kevin Marr and my title VP of Smart Home for Lowe's.

HENN: When did Lowe's decide that it needed a VP for Smart Home? How long have you had this job?

MARR: Exactly a year - just a little over a year, but...

HENN: Marr has been building connected gadgets for so-called smart homes for more than a decade.

MARR: You walk out to your car and frankly everything in your car works, interacts with each other. You've got central locking, electric windows. The door locks when you turn the ignition on. You know, there's a logic to the way all these things work.

HENN: In the home, Marr says, these same kinds of technologies could help save energy and water. They can make your home safer. They could even send you a text if an elderly parent doesn't get up and fire up the coffee maker at the usual time.

MARR: Everything but everything is going to be connected to the Internet.

HENN: And a lot of good could come of that, so Lowe's created a simple control system called Iris you can install yourself, that can talk to almost any connected appliance Lowe's sells. In the past, companies built different kinds of sensors into products and all these little gizmos couldn't talk to each other.

MARR: And that's the advantage we have at Lowe's. We sell this stuff and we can talk with our vendors and we can say, look, guys, I want you to make it so that when it connects, it connects this way.

HENN: And if you're an executive at, say, Pella Windows or Whirlpool, when Lowe's calls, you take the call. So if you've been waiting years for a smart fridge to go with your smartphone, that wait could possibly be coming to an end. Steve Henn, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.