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.


DeMint's Replacement Has Had Quick Political Rise

Dec 17, 2012
Originally published on December 17, 2012 7:19 pm



South Carolina is getting a new U.S. senator. Governor Nikki Haley announced today that she is appointing Republican Congressman Tim Scott to fill the seat being vacated by Jim DeMint who's retiring. Scott is a freshman member of the House.

And as NPR's Brian Naylor reports, he will be the first African-American senator from the South since Reconstruction.

BRIAN NAYLOR, BYLINE: Tim Scott was seen as the favored choice to replace DeMint, who is leaving to become president of the Heritage Foundation. A favorite of Tea Party groups, Scott holds strongly conservative views, similar to DeMint on fiscal and social issues. In making her announcement, Haley said no one could fill DeMint's shoes, or as she put it, carry on that torch. But it was, she said, a new day in South Carolina.


GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY: It is very important to me, as a minority female, that Congressman Scott earned this seat. He earned this seat for the person that he is. He earned this seat for the results he has shown. He earned this seat for what I know he's going to do in making South Carolina and making our country proud.

NAYLOR: Scott is 47. He had a hardscrabble childhood, growing up in North Charleston with a divorced mother who worked long days as a nurses' aide. He nearly flunked out of high school and worked several jobs as a teen. He says he was taught by the franchise owner of a Chic-fil-A restaurant the importance of self-discipline and education, which Scott says led him to where he is today.

REPRESENTATIVE TIM SCOTT: When you start out in a single-parent household with a mom who works 16 hours a day, and you're looking at a future that doesn't look as bright, and you're living in North Charleston, South Carolina, you build a strength that comes from having an appreciation and understanding that it's not about you, that it's about your faith, it's about your family.

NAYLOR: Scott's political rise has been quick. He served on the Charleston City Council and a term as a state legislator. He defeated the son of former GOP Senator Strom Thurmond in a primary, before winning election to Congress in 2010. There, Scott was made a liaison of the freshman class to House GOP leadership and was named to a seat on the Rules Committee. That's a sign of the trust GOP leaders placed in him. But he wasn't afraid to buck leadership, voting against last summers deal to raise the federal debt ceiling.

At today's news conference in Columbia, Scott preached the virtues of small government, saying the concerns over the nation's debt would not be answered by higher taxes.


SCOTT: You could take all the revenue, all the revenue from the top 2 percent and you simply could not close the annual deficit. That's a challenge.

NAYLOR: Scott is strong conservative beliefs won his appointment praise today from right-leaning groups, including Americans for Prosperity and the Club for Growth. Scott will be the only black member of the Senate from either party and the first African-American Republican in three decades. At a time when the Republican Party has struggled to appeal to minority voters, this is no small thing.

Clemson University political science Professor David Woodard calls the appointment of Scott a game changer for South Carolina politics.

DAVID WOODARD: I think he represents an opportunity for conservatives to rally behind somebody who could be a national leader. And for South Carolina to be on the stage, the national leadership in the Republican Party is a good thing and I think he'll be a voice for that.

NAYLOR: Scott's appointment is expected to take effect January 3rd. He will presumably run in a special election in 2014 to fill out the remainder of DeMint's term, an election Haley says he'll fly through. Also on the ballot then, will be South Carolinas other Republican Senator Lindsay Graham and Haley herself.

Brian Naylor, NPR News, Washington.



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