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.

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Giving Wing To A Story Of Climate Change

Nov 8, 2012
Originally published on May 31, 2013 9:43 am

The mercury hit 100 for ten consecutive days in some places last summer, and the drought of 2012 may be a preview of what climate change will bring: amber waves of extremely short corn. In Barbara Kingsolver's seventh novel Flight Behavior, climate change delivers antithetical weather to eastern Tennessee — such that "the neighbors' tomato crop had melted to liquid stench on the vine under the summer's nonstop rains, and their orchard grew a gray, fungal caul that was smothering the fruit and trees together." The novel is set in a year in the near future in which "the very snapping turtles had dragged themselves from silted ponds and roamed the soggy land looking for higher ground." That verb "roam" tempted this reader to picture the turtles on horseback, but that is a minor infelicity in a novel of great scope.

The book's central premise is that millions of monarch butterflies appear on a mountainside in eastern Tennessee. They have been displaced from their historic wintering site in Mexico by environmental degradation and climate change. But they are unlikely to survive Appalachian snow — catastrophic population loss is certain, and extinction likely. Tourists, entomologists, and activists congregate nearby.

The butterflies are discovered by a married mother-of-two named Dellarobia Turnbow, who is en route to a tryst with a young man. She is not fully aware at the beginning of the book why she is so dissatisfied with her marriage; she is simply ready to wreck it. The butterflies disrupt her plans, and subsequently she mingles with well-heeled butterfly newcomers, navigates the established treacheries of Feathertown, and tentatively probes the reasons for her own discontent. Dellarobia's domestic gloom and gradual enlightenment make a beguiling tale, with some exquisite set pieces such as a marital meltdown in the dollar store, and the sublimely subversive idea of decorating a Christmas tree with money.

The butterflies, on the other hand, like the unrelenting summer rain, do not quite square with life as we know it now. Terrible things are happening ecologically in this new drought-addled world. Forty-one percent of amphibians are currently facing extinction, Sudden oak death is devastating whole ecosystems, and nobody is sure why bee colonies keep suddenly collapsing. Monarch butterflies have symbolic sentimental value as emblems of fragile beauty, but they also make Flight Behavior somewhat speculative, hypothetical – with a suggestion that ecological catastrophe is still around the corner somewhere. Fiction needn't subscribe to a hierarchy of urgency, but this book does, and the butterflies are mildly unconvincing.

Flight Behavior will be published on Election Day after a presidential campaign in which climate change was noticeably absent. In this and throughout the book, Kingsolver is deft with a pointed hint.

Brian Kimberling is the author of Snapper.

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

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Nature is a consistent theme in the writing of Barbara Kingsolver, and it takes center stage in her newest novel. It's called "Flight Behavior," and it takes on climate change. But our reviewer, Brian Kimberling, says this novel is not one of Kingsolver's best.

BRIAN KIMBERLING: The book is set in the close future. It's a year of strange weather in Eastern Tennessee, so strange that Kingsolver writes: The neighbor's tomato crop had melted to liquid stench on the vine under the summer's nonstop rains. It's a year when she says the snapping turtles roamed the soggy land looking for higher ground. The word roam made me picture turtles on horseback, but it doesn't matter. It's a slight bit of inelegance in a novel that really has great scope. Kingsolver's premise is that millions of monarch butterflies have appeared on a mountainside in Eastern Tennessee. They're supposed to be spending the winter in Mexico, but they're not, and they probably won't survive the Appalachian snow.

The butterflies are discovered by a married mother of two named Dellarobbia Turnbow, who is on her way to a tryst with a young man when she sees what she thinks is orange fire. The butterflies disrupt her plans, and she spends the rest of the book mingling with newcomers, tourists, scientists and activists. She also navigates the treacheries of her hometown and explores the reasons for her own unhappiness. This domestic gloom and eventual enlightenment are the strongest parts of the book. And Kingsolver puts in some great set pieces here too, like a marital meltdown in a dollar store and a Christmas tree decorated with money.

But the monarch butterflies don't exactly square up with life as we know it. They're supposed to signal fragile beauty, but they also make "Flight Behavior" feel pat and sentimental. Terrible things really are happening in the world we live in. Amphibians, oak trees and bee colonies are dying everywhere. In the face of all that, the butterflies are mildly unconvincing. I would have liked a less hypothetical scenario. In this book, Kingsolver is trying to tell us that ecological catastrophe is just around the corner, but in the end, while the drama is entertaining, the urgency falls just short of credible.

SIEGEL: The new novel from Barbara Kingsolver is called "Flight Behavior." Reviewer Brian Kimberling is finishing his first novel called "Snapper," and you can comment on his review at nprbooks.org. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.