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.

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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.


Kathie Lee Gifford Takes Evangelism To Broadway

Nov 16, 2012
Originally published on November 16, 2012 8:07 pm



Kathie Lee Gifford has had several careers - as a television personality, a singer and an actress. Now, she's added another credit to her resume. Last night, a musical she wrote opened on Broadway. It's called "Scandalous"; and it's about the flamboyant, controversial evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson. Jeff Lunden tells us more.

JEFF LUNDEN, BYLINE: In the 1930s, several years after her ministry was rocked by scandal, Aimee Semple McPherson brought her crusade to Broadway.


AIMEE SEMPLE MCPHERSON: I have come to Broadway - the mecca of sin, the citadel of worldliness.

LUNDEN: In show biz terms, she flopped. McPherson packed it in after only a week. Kathie Lee Gifford certainly hopes her biographical musical about the polarizing preacher, packs them in for a while to come. And she's been using her pulpit - the "Today Show" - to tout it.


KATHIE LEE GIFFORD: We're so grateful to everybody that's come to see us, at "Scandalous." Keep it coming. We need Broad - see every show on Broadway.

LUNDEN: Telling the story of Aimee Semple McPherson has been something of a mission for Kathie Lee Gifford, who first heard about the preacher while she was in college. For the past 12 years, she's been working on the script and lyrics for the musical.

GIFFORD: She was a fierce force of nature in feminine form who was fearless - fearless. And I - I want to be that kind of person.

LUNDEN: McPherson, by all accounts, led a remarkable life. Calling herself Sister Aimee, she barnstormed across the United States in the 1910s, giving revival meetings in tents; and eventually, landed in Los Angeles, where she built a 5,000-seat temple in 1923. According to director David Armstrong...

DAVID ARMSTRONG: She's really the first media superstar. I mean, like Oprah, she had her own magazine, at the time; then, she had her own radio station. When she died, she was already investigating television. And this is in the '40s.


LUNDEN: But while she lived - and after she died - McPherson was a figure of great controversy. With her bleached-blonde hair and Hollywood address, some thought her a huckster. Others were true believers. Gifford, who says she was born again herself, at age 12, falls on the side of true believer.

GIFFORD: Aimee did have a faith experience that was absolutely real. Sadly, in our culture today, we treat people of faith - any faith, across the board - we treat them as one of two things; they're either a fool, or they're a phony. And I think that's really as ugly as homophobia is, or bigotry of any kind.


CAROLEE CARMELLO: (As Aimee Semple McPherson) (Singing) I have a fire, it burns deep within. Whether I am inspired or mired in sin, I...

LUNDEN: Gifford makes no bones about her own identification with her heroine, who got her share of bad press.

GIFFORD: Most people, especially in today's world, would be fascinated by the tabloid story of Aimee. Having been the target of tabloid stories myself, that's the least interesting story for me to tell.

LUNDEN: But according to Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson, who reviewed the show in its pre-Broadway tryout last year, Gifford's approach skirts truly exploring McPherson's darker side.

MISHA BERSON: There's a kind of naivete about it that is, I guess, refreshing to some people, and to maybe some of Kathy Lee Gifford's fans. But on Broadway, it's the sort of thing that could look extremely unsophisticated because it simply presents this story of a very complicated woman with a lot of irony in her life, and presents it irony free.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (Singing) We are on a journey...

CARMELLO: (Singing) He will be my journey...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (Singing) And everywhere we roam...

CARMELLO: (Singing) And everywhere we roam...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (Singing) We're lost without a tent...

CARMELLO: (Singing) I'm lost, I'm tossed...

UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: (Singing) Until he takes us home...

LUNDEN: The most dramatic episode of McPherson's life, takes place offstage. For a period of five weeks in 1926, she disappeared, claiming to have been kidnapped. Others, including the Los Angeles attorney general, accused her of having a tryst with her married lover.

GIFFORD: I don't care where she was. It was about - she got off her path and started believing her press, and started thinking that she was something other than what she was. She let go of the hand of God, and all hell broke loose.

LUNDEN: Carolee Carmello, who plays Sister Aimee, says the show is not about religion.

CARMELLO: It's about a fascinating woman. And it's about what she offered the world, and what we can learn from her choices.

LUNDEN: "Scandalous" opened this week, at the Neil Simon Theatre on Broadway. For NPR News, I'm Jeff Lunden in New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC) Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.