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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Kickstarter Pledges Topped $320 Million In 2012; Site Names Year's Top Projects

Jan 9, 2013
Originally published on January 9, 2013 3:54 pm

Kickstarter, the crowd-funding site that pairs indie-minded inventors and entrepreneurs with online investors, fully funded more than 18,000 projects in 2012, according to its end-of-year analysis. The site says that in total, more than 2.2 million people pledged a total of nearly $320 million. For the year, 17 projects raised more than $1 million.

Those numbers come from Kickstarter's look back at 2012 — a year in which the site raised $606.76 every minute. The two most popular categories were music, which had the most projects funded, at 5,067, and games, which attracted the most money, at $83 million.

Here are some of the Web service's favorite or most successful projects of the year (you can also click through the selections at Kickstarter):

  • FUBAR — Graphic novel about World War II-era zombies hit best-seller lists.
  • MaKey MaKey — An invention kit that combines low-fi with high-tech. One project: make a piano out of bananas.
  • Chattanooga — The city has its own font, which is used on bike lanes, street signs, etc.
  • PongSat — A plan to send "1000 Student Projects to the Edge of Space" came to fruition and is going strong. The projects fit inside ping-pong balls.
  • Dark Sky — An app that predicts weather "down to the minute," with stylish radar.
  • Amanda Palmer — The Boston musician raised nearly $1.2 million to record an album, promising deluxe extras for those pledging $25 and more.
  • Cards Against Humanity — A party game for adults; think of it as (Bad) Apples to (Rotten) Apples — did well on Amazon.
  • Air Quality Egg — The small device gives local readings for carbon monoxide and nitrous oxide.
  • Baghdad Hackerspaces — The project aims to open collaborative workshops in an area that was once a cradle of scientific and artistic thought, says founder Bilal Ghalib, of Beirut.
  • Squirrel Census — In Atlanta, organizers sought ways of "visualizing squirrel data and stories," using an urban wildlife count.

Kickstarter says money was pledged by people in 177 countries. And some investors were return customers, with around 50,000 people investing in 10 or more projects. Some 570,000 people backed two or more projects, according to the site's breakdown of its investors.

The funding website also dealt with some growing pains in 2012, when it adjusted its policies on the kinds of disclosures entrepreneurs needed to make when asking for money on the site.

It also sought to clarify the question of whether project backers should see themselves as donors or as investors, in a blog post titled "Kickstarter Is Not a Store." That clarification came soon after an NPR story that looked at what happens when a Kickstarter campaign fails.

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