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.


How To Decide If Space Tourists Are Fit To Fly

Dec 13, 2012
Originally published on December 14, 2012 5:49 pm

Childhood dreams of being an astronaut are easy. Actually blasting off is a little harder.

But now people who have longed to go into space can buy a ticket, if they've got the cash. Are they healthy enough to make the voyage, though?

That's becoming a pressing question as the options for leaving Earth multiply.

A company called Space Adventures has been sending tourists to the International Space Station since 2001. Virgin Galactic has already signed up more than 500 people to take trips to the edge of space. They'll start blasting off next year. And startup Golden Spike said earlier this month it plans to start sending people to the moon, perhaps as soon as 2020.

"If space tourism starts, everyone who can afford to will be able to fly," says S. Marlene Grenon, a vascular surgeon at the University of California, San Francisco. "That raises the question of how we can make it possible for anyone to fly into space if that's their dream."

With costs ranging from $200,000 to $750 million per flyer, space isn't likely to rival Disneyland for tourists anytime soon. But thousands of people could soon be headed up into space.

NASA's corps of astronauts are pretty fit to begin with. They're put through rigorous medical testing and can be disqualified for conditions ranging from kidney stones to cardiovascular problems. Space tourists and workers could be a less healthy lot.

"All that's required by the FAA is informed consent," Grenon says. "It's up to the operators to decide" who's fit to fly.

Depending on the rules that those operators institute, physicians could be faced with clearing their patients for flight. So Grenon gathered a group of aerospace medical professionals, including astronaut Millie Hughes-Fulford, to provide some advice. Their paper appears in the British Medical Journal.

Space travel, Grenon notes, is very different from life on earth. "Your body doesn't feel gravity," she says, and "the blood volume goes more towards the chest and the face. That's why astronauts have bird legs and puffy faces." Within a few days, space travelers could be experiencing motion sickness, nausea, sinus congestion or dizziness.

Back on the ground, they may suffer bone and muscle loss or kidney stones. They may have a weakened immune system and have a greater risk of infection.

Those risks are all known from extensive studies of the 500 or so people who have gone into space since Russian Yuri Gagarin orbited the planet in 1961. But people with all sorts of pre-existing conditions could soon be following Gagarin's path.

That doesn't mean, however, that any old medical condition should bar someone from space, Grenon and her colleagues say. Instead, a physician might help a patient with coronary artery disease to stabilize his blood pressure and heart rhythm . A pregnant woman would be advised to postpone her trip until after she gives birth.

Grenon recommends that doctors "optimize their medical treatment and make sure the risks are discussed and document those discussions."

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