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.


With Current TV Purchase, Al Jazeera Buys Opportunity For New Viewers

Jan 4, 2013
Originally published on January 7, 2013 2:44 pm



Now, evidence that size really doesn't matter - that is, size of audience. Al Gore sold the cable channel he started, Current TV, to al-Jazeera for $500 million. How many eyeballs does the Qatari-owned news channel get for that money? Well, here's some context. Here are some TV audience numbers. When NBC came in first among the broadcast networks for viewers last week, Neilson estimated they had 7.3 million viewers.

CBS was second with 6.6 million. Among cable channels, the numbers are lower. ESPN was tops that week with 3.5 million viewers. In 25th place, Comedy Central averaged 855,000. So how many viewers watch Current TV in a week? Well, joining us is New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter, who writes the Media Decoder blog.

Brian, what is Current's estimated audience?

BRIAN STELTER: About 40,000 viewers a night.

SIEGEL: 40,000 viewers a night. How does that rank among cable channels?

STELTER: It's so far down the list, it's almost hard to find. Of about 96 cable channels that are publicly rated by the Neilson Company, which is really the only way to get the ratings, 93 of them have higher ratings than Current.

SIEGEL: I gather the Fox Soccer Channel comes in behind. Well, having worked in some local radio stations, I don't look down my nose at small audience numbers, but $500 million for 40,000 households. I mean, you can drive around in a sound truck and reach more people than that. What does al-Jazeera get for all that money?

STELTER: Well, what al-Jazeera is buying is not audience, per se. It's buying the opportunity to get an audience in the future. It's, I guess, providing access to that audience.

SIEGEL: You mean, because Current has space on local cable franchises?

STELTER: Right. It's buying access into the home, although not at all a guarantee that anyone will watch. But for al-Jazeera, that's a big win because for years now it's been trying to figure out how to enter American living rooms and distributors like Direct TV and Comcast and Time Warner Cable have mostly resisted those efforts. So, by buying Current TV, it's found a way in.

SIEGEL: Now, by buying Current, has al-Jazeera bought a guaranteed spot on all those cable systems reaching all those millions of households or could my local cable system decide that Channel 107, where Current is currently sitting largely unseen, would be better used by the Peruvian Chicken Channel?

STELTER: Which would be must-see TV, I'm sure. There are these stringed cable television contracts that govern carry-ance of channels. In most of these cases, the Current TV contracts are still in force so for a couple more years, at least, companies like Comcast and Direct TV will continue to carry it when it becomes al-Jazeera.

But one of the biggest distributors in the country, Time Warner Cable, said, no, it's dropping Current because it had the right to do so when the channel changed owners. And we'll see in the future whether Time Warner Cable decides to pick up this new al-Jazeera Americanized network or not.

SIEGEL: Now, we're talking about the English language, global al-Jazeera that's available in some parts of this country. Is that what's going to be on the channels they're getting by buying Current or are they going to create a new bigger English language service?

STELTER: It seems it'll be a mixture of both. It'll have quite a number of newscasts from Doha, Qatar, where its headquarters are, but it'll also add a lot of newscasts from New York and the rest of the United States. It wants to be an Americanized version of al-Jazeera, maybe because it believes that'll put it into closer competition with the CNNs of the world and the BBCs of the world.

SIEGEL: Are there comps here - that is, can we tell if $500 million squares with any recent sales of cable channels?

STELTER: Some of the recent sales have been private, so we don't know what the comps are. However, the number isn't as crazy as it might sound at first blush because Current was making about $100 million in revenue every year. It had really good contracts with cable operators. It was getting about 10 or 12 cents per subscriber per month. Even though most of those subscribers were never watching the channel, they were still getting a dime per person.

And that added up to a lot of revenue for Current.

SIEGEL: Brian, thank you for talking with us about it.

STELTER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: That's media reporter Brian Stelter of the New York Times. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.