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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A 'Green' Gold Rush? Calif. Firm Turns Trash To Gas

Nov 14, 2012
Originally published on November 14, 2012 8:17 pm

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1

California starts the ball rolling Wednesday on a controversial scheme to keep the planet from overheating. Businesses will have to get a permit if they emit greenhouse gases.

Some permits will be auctioned today; the rest are free. The big idea here is the state is putting a ceiling on emissions.

It's a gamble. And for this top-down climate plan to work, it has to usher in a greener, more efficient economy.

Dan Kammen, an energy expert at the University of California, Berkeley, helped write the climate law. He says it will require businesses to be more energy-efficient and that will entail some pain.

"The way we say it," Kammen explains, "we've squeezed the lemon a little bit. And we're going to need to squeeze efficiency very strongly; we're going to have to really ratchet down. But at the same time, the global stock of low-power electronics and boilers and generators is actually ramping up."

Many of those low-energy products are made abroad. But the state hopes to use money from its auction to lure green-business entrepreneurs to California.

That includes people like Mike Hart.

Hart has set up shop in a big warehouse at a mothballed Air Force base near Sacramento. His company, Sierra Energy, is testing a reactor that makes fuel. He shows me a row of buckets filled with the stuff he makes the fuel from.

"This is garbage we're talking about here," he says as he picks up a handful of junk. "Bottle caps, broken glass, copper pieces, mixed plastics. Walnut shells is an example of biomass. Different sorts of shredded metal that can be recovered and melted."

Engineers pour this trash into a black, steel reactor vessel about the size of a telephone booth. They add some oxygen and steam, and the trash undergoes a chemical reaction. What comes out is synthetic gas, or syngas. It can then be turned into a low-carbon diesel fuel, or burned to make electricity, or even converted to hydrogen for fuel cells. It's low carbon and it also makes use of trash that eventually would decompose and emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Hart reckons the climate law will drive people to his doorstep — people in search of clean energy and who don't want to buy more permits from the state. "In the future," he says, the law "should have a tremendous impact for us because we offset greenhouse gases, because we offset CO2. It's not quite a gold rush yet, but if the prices turn out to be good, it will become one."

Hart is referring to the price for permits. If they're high enough at today's auction, then businesses might buy his gasifiers, or the fuel from them, to lower their carbon footprint.

Getting carbon out of energy will cost more, although ever since the law was passed, economists have dueled over how much, as well as how many, new green jobs might be created. The California Chamber of Commerce supports the law but opposes the auction, which it has sued to invalidate.

The Chamber's Loren Kaye says it's just a hidden tax. "The auction merely transfers wealth from the folks that are producing in the economy to the government," he says, "which is then going to use the proceeds for whatever the politicians and the regulators deem as best."

Even the law's authors, like Kammen, aren't sure how it all will work out.

"What I'm most worried about is: Where are our partners? Because this process needs to expand out so that industry is seeing this as a push to innovation and not just to be a penalty to be based in California," he says. "We've got to get other states, other municipalities partnering in."

California is gambling that green entrepreneurs will have to come to California. Several have come through the office of Tony Brunello, who studies green markets at a consulting firm, California Strategies, in Sacramento.

"It's an exciting time," he says. "I don't think all the businesses will make it here. But it's nice to see that with them coming in, I sort of see us again as the center of innovation for these low-carbon technologies and opportunities."

With California ranked as the eighth largest economy in the world, it's going to be the largest climate experiment undertaken in the U.S.

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

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Today, California begins its effort to help slow down the warming of the Earth. Businesses have to get a permit, from now on, if they emit greenhouse gases. Some of those permits will be auctioned off today.

Businesses can use those permits or sell them to other businesses that need them. Pollution is capped and you can trade the right to pollute - cap and trade. Though this cap and trade concept, the state is putting a price on polluting and it's a gamble.

For the plan to work, a greener economy needs to take hold. NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on California's climate experiment.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: Dan Kammen, an energy expert at the University of California at Berkeley, helped write the climate law. He says it will require businesses to be more energy-efficient and that will entail some pain.

DAN KAMMEN: The way we say it, we've squeezed the lemon a little bit. And we're going to need to squeeze efficiency very strongly. We're going to have to really ratchet down. But at the same time, the global stock of low-power electronics and boilers and generators, is actually ramping up.

JOYCE: Many of those low-energy products are made abroad. But the state hopes to use money from its auction to lure green-business entrepreneurs to California. People like Mike Hart. Hart has set up shop in a big warehouse at a mothballed Air Force base near Sacramento. His company, Sierra Energy, is testing a reactor that makes fuel. He shows me a row of buckets filled with the stuff he makes the fuel from.

MIKE HART: This is garbage we're talking about here. Bottle caps, broken glass, copper pieces, mixed plastics. Walnut shells is an example of biomass. Different sorts of shredded metal that can be recovered and melted.

JOYCE: Engineers pour this trash into a black, steel reactor vessel about the size of a telephone booth. They add some oxygen and steam, and the trash undergoes a chemical reaction. What comes out is synthetic gas, or syngas. It can then be turned into a low-carbon diesel fuel, or burned to make electricity, or even converted to hydrogen for fuel cells. It's low carbon and it also makes use of trash that eventually would decompose and emit methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Hart reckons the climate law will drive people to his doorstep, people in search of clean energy who don't want to buy more permits from the state.

HART: In the future, it's going to have a tremendous impact for us because we offset greenhouse gases, because we offset CO2. It's not quite a gold rush yet, but if the prices turn out to be good, it will become one.

JOYCE: The price for permits, that is. If they're high enough at today's auction, then businesses might buy his gasifiers, or the fuel from them, to lower their carbon footprint. Getting carbon out of energy will cost more, though ever since the law was passed, economists have dueled over how much, as well as how many new green jobs might be created. The California Chamber of Commerce supports the law, but opposes the auction and has sued to invalidate it.

The Chamber's Loren Kaye says it's just a hidden tax.

LOREN KAYE: The auction merely transfers wealth from the folks that are producing in the economy to the government, which is then going to use the proceeds for, you know, whatever the politicians and the regulators deem as best.

JOYCE: Even the law's authors, like Dan Kammen, aren't sure how it all will work out.

KAMMEN: What I'm most worried about is, where are our partners? Because this process needs to expand out so that industry is seeing this as a push to innovation and not just to be a penalty to be based in California. We've got to get other states, other municipalities, partnering in.

JOYCE: California is gambling that green entrepreneurs will have to come to California. Several have come through the office of Tony Brunello. He studies green markets at a consulting firm, California Strategies, in Sacramento.

TONY BRUNELLO: It's an exciting time. I don't think all the businesses will make it here. But it's nice to see that with them coming in, I sort of see us, again, as the center of innovation for these low-carbon technologies and opportunities.

JOYCE: With California ranked as the eighth largest economy in the world, it's going to be the largest climate experiment undertaken in the U.S. Christopher Joyce, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.