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.

Pages

Making Sense Of The NFL Playoffs

Jan 12, 2013
Originally published on January 12, 2013 12:08 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. Hey, it's time for sports.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

SIMON: In the NFL playoffs this weekend, will the Falcons, Seahawks and Ravens soar? Will the Broncos buck, the 49ers strike gold, the Patriots run up the flag, the Texans remember, and the Packers pack up and go home? How many ridiculous phrases can I work into a sentence?

NPR's Tom Goldman joins us now to help us make sense of all of 'em. Tom, thanks for being with us.

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: Well, there's another ridiculous phrase, that I can make sense of it all.

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: Very quick, my friend. Excellent. Yeah.

GOLDMAN: Thank you very much. Actually, today Scott, I think I can because it is the playoffs, where some basic truths hold forth. The best experienced quarterbacks win, strong defense wins. I think you're going to see that with these games this weekend. So where do you want to start?

SIMON: Well, in no particular order. The Seattle Seahawks are a slight three point favorites over the Atlanta Falcons - and the Seahawks do seem to be soaring of late.

GOLDMAN: Yeah, another truth: hot teams win the Super Bowl, and none is hotter than Seattle. Rookie quarterback Russell Wilson picked 75th in the draft. He's making a mockery of the word rookie. He is so calm and efficient, combined with bruising runner Marshawn Lynch and a great defense. But, but, Scott...

SIMON: Yeah? Yeah?

GOLDMAN: Atlanta quarterback Matt Ryan has emerged this season. He has tons of weapons on offense, a major chip on the shoulder because he's never won a playoff game. This game is at home and the Falcons play better in their dome. The suspect area is defense. Their best past rusher may be limited by a recent ankle injury, but if the defense steps up I actually like Atlanta here.

SIMON: Hmm. The Pack, slightly favored over the San Francisco.

GOLDMAN: Yes. Because of that quarterback-defense formula, largely. Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers is one of the elites. His accuracy, especially when he gets forced out of the pocket, is just fantastic. The Packers' defense is healthy. San Francisco has been dominant at times this year, but don't forget, the Packers just two years ago won the Super Bowl. This team knows what to do. I am going Packers' cheese over San Francisco white wine.

SIMON: Boy...

(LAUGHTER)

SIMON: By the way, interesting sideline. Aaron Rodgers, of course, is from Chico, California, grew up a 49er fan, and Colin Kaepernick, the 49er quarterback was born in Milwaukee. And is a Packers fan.

GOLDMAN: Go figure.

SIMON: Yeah. Right. Peyton Manning and the Denver Broncos versus the Baltimore Ravens. Peyton Manning is on the verge of leading one of the great comebacks since a New Yorker told somebody who wanted to get to Carnegie Hall, practice, practice.

(LAUGHTER)

GOLDMAN: Peyton, Peyton, what a comeback year. What a comeback year after sitting out due to multiple next surgeries, sitting out all last season. Even if the Broncs didn't have a great defense, I'd pick them. Winners of 11 straight, but they do have a great defense. So watch out this weekend and beyond.

SIMON: Mmm. Tom Brady and the New England Patriots versus the Houston Texans, who are hoping it won't be deja vu all over again.

GOLDMAN: It will. It probably won't be another 42 to 14 drubbing that New England layed on Houston in week 14 of the regular season. But you've got Tom Brady. You've got the best type in tandem maybe ever...

SIMON: Yeah.

GOLDMAN: ...in Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez. You've got a bona fide running game with Stevan Ridley. A statistically poor but seasoned defense that will do enough to keep Houston from getting more points than the superduper New England offense. Pats win, Scott.

SIMON: Yeah. We have to note, while you and I and millions of people are getting all excited about the playoffs, just another dark shadow over football this week. A report released from a team at the National Institute of Health scientists, who found that Junior Seau, who committed suicide last year, former linebacker, did in fact suffer from brain disease likely caused by hits to the head. Where does this latest finding take the issue?

GOLDMAN: Well, not into a new realm. It fuels the conversation that's been going on for several years. The NFL has made rules, changes and tweaks to try to make the game safer; hard to do with an inherently unsafe game. It will be interesting to see if the changes come through the courts. Right now, a massive lawsuit involving more than 4,000 former players, who are suing the NFL and helmet manufacturers over the head injury issue. It's in the preliminary stages. If these complaints go to trial, most likely it won't happen until 2014. And one of the goals of the lawsuit is to affect some sort of change going forward so the risk from head injury is reduced for future retirees.

SIMON: And this week, Bernie Kosar, former quarterback for the Cleveland Browns, who suffered I guess at least a dozen concussions, has come out and said that he's found a treatment that's helped reverse some of the effects. And I gather you talked to neurologists who are skeptical.

GOLDMAN: Yeah. The doctor reportedly has been treating Kosar to improve blood flow in the brain. Treatments include intravenous therapies and dietary supplements. Dr. Robert Cantu, one of the country's most prominent concussion experts, is skeptical. He says these things have not been proven, there have been no double-blind studies to say that blood flow plays a role in symptoms. Dr. Cantu cautions against lots of people lining up for what he calls unproven therapies.

SIMON: NPR's Tom Goldman. Thanks so much.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.