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.


Iraqi Businesses Feel Pinch Of Iran's Economic Woes

Nov 27, 2012
Originally published on November 27, 2012 7:31 am



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm Steve Inskeep.

We've heard about how U.S. and European sanctions on Iran have caused that country's currency to plummet and how Iran is now buying up gold and trying to dump its own currency outside its borders. Well, Iran is part of a regional economy and the falling currency is starting to hurt at least one of Iran's neighbors. NPR's Kelly McEvers sent this report from southern Iraq.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (Foreign language spoken)

KELLY MCEVERS, BYLINE: We're standing in the holy city of Najaf. These are big days for Shiite Muslims. It's the holiday that marks the Battle of Karbala, which is just up the road here. Right now the sounds you hear are prayers, the stories of the Battle of Karbala being told over loudspeakers.

Every year millions of Iraqis come down here for these holidays. But also millions of Iranians usually come to visit these holy sites. Lately though, those Iranians aren't coming in nearly as many numbers as they were before. And the Iraqi economy is really taking a hit.

Everywhere in Najaf you see the signs of the dwindling numbers. Where once there were long lines of massive tour buses crowded with Iranian pilgrims are now nearly empty streets. On one street that approaches a holy shrine, about a third of the shops are closed.

The street used to be thronged with pilgrims buying any kind of trinket that carries the extra blessing of being bought near the shrine, even if that trinket is made in China. Now, though, shop-owner Ahmed Na'amen says merchants are barely hanging on.

AHMED NA'AMEN: (Through translator) See these two shops, they closed. And even see my next neighbor, since the morning until now he has not sold anything.

MCEVERS: Na'amen says even if they do see a few Iranian pilgrims, they usually aren't buying. Or when they do buy, it's very little.

NA'AMEN: (Through translator) Before, they would buy, for instance, 10 pieces. But right now they buy only one piece. So this is the difference. We've got nine pieces difference.

MCEVERS: Iraq's economy is dominated by the oil sector, which is back up to what it was just before the U.S. invaded nearly ten years ago. Increased security is bringing some needed foreign investment, analysts say. And it's encouraging Iraqis to pull the money out from under their mattresses and start projects again.

So up until very recently over the last several years, owning a hotel was an extremely good investment here in Najaf. You could sort of guarantee that, you know, religious pilgrims were going to come to this place. But now, all these hotels are either closed, advertising big discounts, or just going out of business completely. Here in front of this hotel is a totally defunct generator. And the hotel itself is just - inside the glass and brass doors, it's just dark.

Not far from this row of failing hotels is one we visited more than two years ago. Back then it was a shabby place that still did brisk enough business. Lately it was remodeled by a Turkish company.

You have modern furniture here in the lobby. There's a tiger-print table with kind of a shag rug and you've got elaborate light fixtures everywhere. How many people are staying in the hotel right now? How many pilgrims from Iran are staying in the hotel right now?

SA'EB ABU GHONEM: How many? No one.

MCEVERS: No one.

GHONEM: No one.

MCEVERS: That's hotel owner Sa'eb Abu Ghonem, who also heads the hotel association in Najaf.

GHONEM: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: He says the lobby used to be a hive of buzzing workers and guests coming and going. But now he's started calling himself a failure for investing in religious tourism when he could've invested in a mall.

One of the only other people in the lobby is a man named Adnan Nimr Al Sultan. We find him sitting on a couch, looking out at the empty street. He used to manage the staff here at the hotel. He was laid off two months ago. Now he comes to the hotel a few times a week, hoping someone might have a lead on a job.

ADNAN NIMR AL SULTAN: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: Sultan says he used to make about $500 a month. Now he's had to borrow money to pay rent and expenses. He's already $6,000 in debt. He drives a taxi at night to make a few bucks to feed his three kids. We ask him who's to blame for the drop in currency and the drop in tourism here in Najaf.

Do people blame the Americans or do they blame the Iraqi government for this situation?

SULTAN: (Foreign language spoken)

MCEVERS: I blame the Iraqi government, he says.

SULTAN: And you ask why? Because, because.

MCEVERS: We had a socialist system and now we're moving to a capitalist system. But it's too fast. We can have a boom in the religious tourism business and then a bust. There's no safety net, he says. No one cares about us workers.

Kelly McEvers, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.