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

College Football: Pro and Con(servative) Views

Nov 27, 2012
Originally published on November 28, 2012 3:21 pm

What do anti-abortion beliefs, and patronizing Chick-fil-A, and a devotion to college sports have in common? Hmm.

Well, according to Trey Grayson, the former Kentucky secretary of state and U.S. Senate contender who is now the distinguished head of the Harvard Institute of Politics, those are the trio of giveaway markers to suggest that you are conservative.

In the past, whenever sports have been collated with politics, NASCAR has usually been cited as a giveaway conservative identity fan factor. But the idea, expressed most directly by Mr. Grayson, that rabid fans of college sports can be a distinctively different ideological species from the pro variety is taking on a certain currency.

It was revealing last week that when the Big Ten — which has always been sort of the mascot of muscular Midwest America — took in the University of Maryland and Rutgers to attract television viewers in the New York and Washington, D.C.-Baltimore areas, the savvy reaction was, "Doesn't the Big Ten know that the socialistic fans in the European-cozy Northeast don't give a hoot about college sports?"

By contrast, the old Confederacy and that flyover part of the northwestern Louisiana Purchase is crazy for college sports — especially football — and that, of course, is precisely the conservative heartland.

We even have demographic maps made by an associate geography professor named Theodore Goudge at Northwest Missouri State, which show where the Division I football players come from. And you can virtually overlay a presidential election map from this year with professor Goudge's gridiron map and see that college football players per capita equal Republican majority.

But a caveat. The sectional adoration for college sports may have no relationship whatsoever with either political or Chick-fil-A preference.

It may simply be that wherever honest grown-up professional sports abound, attention to second-rate, NCAA shamateur sports gets diminished. The Southeastern Conference, in particular, may be so popular primarily because Dixie possesses so many fewer pro teams compared with the East, West and Midwest.

I was in Oklahoma City the other day, which happens to be the most recent American metropolis to get a major league team, the NBA Thunder. Previously, Oklahoma lived and died for its Sooners. Well, folks, the Thunder is already stealing thunder from the old alma mater.

As somebody in Oklahoma City explained the new consensus to me: "Used to be, when the Sooners lost, we despaired for a week. We still care, you understand. But when the Sooners lose now, we tend to say, 'Well, sure, too bad — but we got a Thunder game Tuesday.' "

Basically, sports is primarily a class thing, and the pros are simply a higher class than the colleges. It's a better product. Yes, yes, I know college games can be entertaining, and there's loyalty and tailgating. But wherever fans are, give them a choice — they'll gravitate toward the best.

So I'm sorry, Mr. Big Ten, but I don't know a soul who's going to watch Rutgers and Maryland play Wisconsin and Illinois, when the Giants and Ravens — and even the Redskins and Jets — are hanging out in the neighborhood.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here in this country we are passionate about all kinds of sports and teams at the pro level, not to mention college athletics. And sports commentator Frank Deford has been thinking about what the teams we cheer for may or may not reveal about us.

FRANK DEFORD, BYLINE: What do anti-abortion beliefs and patronizing Chick-fil-A and a devotion to college sports have in common? Hmm.

Well, according to Trey Grayson, the former Kentucky secretary of state and U.S. Senate contender, who is now the distinguished head of the Harvard Institute of Politics, those are a trio of giveaway markers that he's found on Facebook to suggest that you are conservative.

In the past, whenever sports have been collated with politics, NASCAR has usually been cited as a giveaway conservative identity fan factor. But the idea, expressed most directly by Mr. Grayson, that rabid fans of college sports can be a distinctively different ideological species from the pro variety, is taking on a certain currency.

It was revealing last week that when the Big Ten, which has always been sort of the mascot of muscular Midwest America, when the Big Ten took in the University of Maryland and Rutgers in order to attract television viewers in the New York and Washington/Baltimore areas, the savvy reaction was, doesn't the Big Ten know that the socialistic fans in the European-cozy Northeast don't give a hoot about college sports?

By contrast, the old Confederacy and that flyover part of the northwestern Louisiana Purchase is crazy for college sports, especially football, and that, of course, is precisely the conservative heartland.

But a caveat. The sectional adoration for college sports may have no relationship whatsoever with either political or Chick-fil-A preference. It may simply be that wherever honest grown-up professional sports abound, attention to second rate NCAA shamateur sports gets diminished. The Southeastern Conference in particular may be so popular primarily because Dixie possesses so fewer pro teams compared to the East, West and Midwest.

I was in Oklahoma City the other day, which happens to be the most recent American metropolis to get a major league team, the NBA Thunder. Previously, Oklahoma lived and died for its state university Sooners. Well, folks, the Thunder is already stealing thunder from the old alma mater. As somebody in Oklahoma City explained the new consensus to me: Used to be when the Sooners lost, we despaired for a week. We still care, you understand, but when the Sooners lose now, we tend to say, well, sure, too bad, but we got a Thunder game Tuesday.

Basically, sports is primarily a class thing and the pros simply play in a higher class than the colleges. It's a better product. Yes, yes - I know college games can be entertaining, and there's loyalty and tailgating, but wherever fans are, give them a choice, they'll gravitate toward the best.

So I'm sorry, Mr. Big Ten, but I don't know a soul who's going to watch Rutgers and Maryland play Wisconsin and Illinois when the Giants and Ravens, and even the Redskins and Jets, are hanging out in the neighborhood.

GREENE: And you can hang out with Frank Deford. Our commentator joins us every Wednesday from member station WSHU in Fairfield, Connecticut.

This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm David Greene.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And I'm Renee Montagne. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.