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 Does 'Right-To-Work Affect Unions?

Dec 15, 2012
Originally published on December 17, 2012 3:15 pm



The right-to-work legislation that was passed, and signed into law, in Michigan this week has been called a staggering blow to organized labor. Such laws allow workers to refuse to join a union and pay union dues, even if they're employed in a unionized workplace. Twenty-four states now have similar laws but Michigan, as the home of the U.S. auto industry, is considered one of the foundries of the American labor movement.

We're joined now, from the studios of member station WUOM in Ann Arbor, by Bob King, president of the United Auto Workers. Mr. King, thanks for being with us.

BOB KING: Scott, thank you for having me on.

SIMON: If the union's doing a good job for its members, do you have anything to worry about?

KING: You know, it's more about the symbolic effect of this right-to-work law in Michigan. So practically or pragmatically, do I think we'll lose a lot of members? No, I don't.

SIMON: As we noted, though, Mr. King, Michigan now becomes the 24th state to have a right-to-work law. So what's wrong with companies not requiring workers to join a union, as a condition of employment?

KING: Under federal law, no worker's required to join a union. There's a long - many, many years ago, there was a Supreme Court decision that interpreted federal law that way, and we've all lived with it. And matter of fact, in the UAW, we don't want people to belong that don't - belong. We have, in our own constitution, provisions that members - that workers don't have to be members. Now, they have to pay - like any citizen of any community, they've got to pay their fair share of representation.

SIMON: Well, I'm going to try the question again, though. So what's wrong with not requiring workers to join a union, as a condition of employment - if it works out as happily as you say?

KING: There's nothing wrong. What is wrong, is saying that workers are going to get the benefit of representation - benefit of grievance procedure, contract, health care - all those things that we administer in a contract - and they don't have to pay their fair share for the cost of that representation. That's wrong.

SIMON: Why do you think foreign car manufacturers have built new plants - which after all, employ thousands of auto workers - in Tennessee and Alabama, and not Michigan?

KING: Well, I think when they originally were setting them up 25 or 30 years ago, they were concerned about lack of flexibility in UAW contracts with GM, Ford and Chrysler. But today, the reasons they did it are less and less pertinent. UAW contracts are more flexible. UAW workers make the highest-quality products. So things have - pretty dramatically - shifted.

SIMON: As I don't have to tell you, Mr. King, the latest figures show that a little under 12 percent of American workers belong to unions. And it was about 20 percent, 30 years ago. And I wonder if, say - if there's something generational involved here because with respect for what unions have achieved in America, you have these big, successful new companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft, who - not unionized. So are unions, with the glorious history - occasionally tainted by corruption - an artifact of the past?

KING: I definitely don't think so. The majority of workers in America would like to be in a union, if they could be. What is true, in America, is that really, workers have lost the full democratic right to decide if they want to be in unions or not. There are studies by human rights organizations that have documented that one of the countries that really suppresses workers' rights to join unions - more than any other developed nation - is the United States. And so there isn't really the full democratic right to join unions, in America. That's - I would say - the single biggest reason.

SIMON: So you believe that we have a much smaller percentage of American workers who are labor union members today because of - I'm trying to finish that sentence for you - because you believe...

KING: Because the law is slanted against workers. This country does not give workers a full democratic right to join unions.

SIMON: Bob King, who's president of the United Auto Workers; speaking with us from WUOM in Ann Arbor. Thanks so much, Mr. King.

KING: Thank you, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.