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.


Likely Suspects: Guessing Obama's Second-Term Cabinet

Nov 8, 2012
Originally published on November 9, 2012 6:18 pm

Every second-term president has to rebuild some or all of his Cabinet as high-profile members often time their resignations with the end of the president's first term. President Obama already is expected to receive a number of resignations, which he will have to fill.

With the guessing game under way, here's a look at some of the people who may emerge from a second-term Cabinet shakeup:

Secretary of state: While Hillary Clinton may resign as early as January, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland appeared to indicate Clinton would stay until her replacement is confirmed.

"She intends to see through the transition of a successor," Nuland said on Wednesday. "Then she will go back to private life and enjoy some rest, and think and write."

Possible replacements include Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, National Security Adviser Tom Donilon and U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice.

Although Democrats hold a majority in the Senate their margin of control isn't so large that Obama can expect to choose anyone he likes without considering that person's political baggage for Senate confirmation.

Ambassador Rice, for example, received criticism from Republicans for comments she made immediately following the attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, calling it "a spontaneous reaction" to protests in other countries over an anti-Muslim film. Intelligence reports later described the assault, which killed four Americans, as a terrorist attack.

As NPR's Michele Kelemen explained earlier this week on All Things Considered:

"[Rice has] been hammered by Republicans for the way she described the attack that killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other Americans. Many accused her of misleading the public about that. So getting confirmed is going to be a problem for her."

Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, who is chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, is also considered to be in the running. In the past few weeks, he had plenty of one-on-one time with Obama, impersonating GOP challenger Mitt Romney during the president's debate-prep sessions.

Defense secretary: It's widely expected that Defense Secretary Leon Panetta will step down at some point during Obama's second term.

"As far as who would replace Panetta, the name you hear most often is Michele Flournoy. She is a top policy official in the Pentagon, and she has worked on such issues as shifting a greater focus on Asia. And she would be the first woman secretary of defense," says NPR's Pentagon reporter, Tom Bowman.

Other potential replacements for the top position include former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel and John Hamre, who served as the Pentagon's comptroller under former President Bill Clinton.

Treasury secretary: One of the first positions President Obama may need to fill in his second term is treasury secretary. Timothy Geithner has previously said he would step down following Obama's first term.

Potential replacements include Erskine Bowles, who along with former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson was appointed by President Obama in 2010 to chair a bipartisan deficit-reduction commission.

"[Bowles is] popular with Republicans and with Wall Street," says NPR's John Ydstie. "But he's criticized President Obama's budget publically while praising Rep. Paul Ryan's."

During the first presidential debate, Bowles' name resurfaced after the Simpson-Bowles commission was mentioned eight times by Obama and Romney. With the so-called fiscal cliff looming as a major issue in Congress, the commission's recommendations remain a frequent topic of discussion. Just this week, Bowles and Simpson announced the launch of a nationwide effort to reduce the national debt, called "Campaign to Fix the Debt."

Yet, Ydstie says, a more likely choice may be Obama's current chief of staff, Jack Lew.

"Lew has the budget expertise to tackle the big issues that are on the treasury's plate: the fiscal cliff, the debt ceiling and a grand bargain on deficit reduction," Ydstie says.

Attorney general: Attorney General Eric Holder appears to still be weighing whether to stay on during Obama's second term.

"[I have to] really ask myself the question about, do I think there are things that I still want to do? Do I have gas left in the tank? It's been an interesting and tough four years, so I really just don't know," Holder said in response to a question from law students at the University of Baltimore on Thursday.

NPR's Justice Correspondent Carrie Johnson says, "Eric Holder has changed his mind a little bit about when and whether he wants to go. He seems to be indicating at this point he doesn't want to stay much more than six months or a year into the new term."

People who could replace Holder if he decides to step down include Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, who served as a Justice Department official under former President Bill Clinton.

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