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.


Marvel Kills Peter Parker, But Spider-Man Will Live On (Sort Of)

Dec 29, 2012
Originally published on December 30, 2012 8:47 pm

All good things must come to an end, and so it is with Marvel Comics' web-slinging, wise-cracking superhero. Spider-Man is no more. Well, to be more precise, Peter Parker is no more.

In the 700th and final issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, writer Dan Slott's controversial story saw Spider-Man's mind switched with that of his dying arch-foe Dr. Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The twist is that with his final effort, Spidey was able to give all of his memories and morals to his body-stealing enemy.

For all intents and purposes, however, Spider-Man as we know him is dead. Slott explained to Weekend Edition Saturday guest host Linda Wertheimer why Doctor Octopus was the right person to "become" Spider-Man.

"Doc Ock is on some level the shadow Peter Parker," Slott says. "Peter Parker ... was very resentful of all of his peers. [But] it was the ethics and things that Aunt May and Uncle Ben taught Peter that in the end made him a hero."

"With great power comes great responsibility," Uncle Ben famously told Peter, setting him off on his path for justice and duty.

In his formative years, Doctor Octopus was a similarly bespectacled nerd and outcast, much like Peter. Not having those moral guideposts following his own radioactive accident that turned him into an analog of an eight-legged creature, he adopted the path of the villain instead.

Slott's storyline now gives him a second chance. Doctor Octopus, now in the body of Spider-Man but imbued with Parker's "great responsibility," renounces his evil ways and vows to become a better, nay, a "superior Spider-Man!"

"He kind of realizes that he wasted his life on villainy," Slott says.

When word of the story started to spread, Internet Spidey senses began tingling and even prompted death threats against Slott. To Wired Magazine, he joked he was going to have to pull a "Salman Rushdie" when the issue came out.

But Slott says there's also been mix of positive reaction as well.

"There's a lot of people that realize that over 50 years of Spider-Man, that some of the best stories involve loss," he says.

Slott says that when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko created Spider-Man in the 1960s, they created a hero who was like us and who "made mistakes all the time." The loss of Peter Parker, in a way, is just the furthering of the story of Spider-Man's vulnerabilities.

Real loss in comic books is pretty rare, however, and many major characters, including Captain America, Superman and Batman have all been "killed" before, only to return some time later. The comic book death has become a bit of a genre trope.

So if history is any indication, we might not have seen the last of Peter Parker — he just might return as an alien, a robot or perhaps even a version of himself from the future.

Peter might have come to an amazing ending, but Superior Spider-Man goes on sale in January, starring the villain-formerly-known-as-Doctor-Octopus as Spider-Man.

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



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer.


UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Spider-Man, Spider-Man, does whatever a spider can...

WERTHEIMER: The 700th issue of "The Amazing Spider-Man" hit the shelves this week. Dan Slott is the comic book's writer. And for this long-awaited installment, he did the unthinkable. Now, turn your radio down if you don't want to hear this spoiler because it is big.


WERTHEIMER: He killed off Peter Parker - the handsome, virtuous teenager behind the famous red mask. Dan Slott joins me now. Good morning, Dan.

DAN SLOTT: Morning, Linda.

WERTHEIMER: So, how exactly does Peter's death play out in this installment?

SLOTT: Spider-Man, Peter Parker's - one of his longest and greatest enemies, the evil Otto Octavius, also known as Doctor Octopus, back in issue 600 found out he was dying. And since then he's been going on the super-villain equivalent of a bucket list, doing one evil scheme after another before he runs out the clock. And his greatest and final act of vengeance was he found a way to switch minds with Peter so that he would be in the body of Spider-Man and Spider-Man would be in the destroyed and diseased body of Doctor Octopus with hours left to live.

WERTHEIMER: But why pick Doctor Octopus to take over this identity?

SLOTT: Doc Ock, one some level, is the shadow Peter Parker. Peter Parker was a bespectacled nerd as a teenager who was very resentful of all of his peers. One of his first lines ever in a comic book is they'll be sorry they laughed at me.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Peter Parker) One day I'll get even. Bookworm, shookworm, I'll get even.

SLOTT: That's something a villain says. And it was the ethics and things that Aunt May and Uncle Ben taught Peter, in the end made him a hero.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: (as Peter Parker) With great power, there must also always be great responsibility. And so long as I live, Spider-Man will never shirk his duty again.

SLOTT: When you first meet Doc Ock, he's this adult bespectacled nerd who has a radioactive accident that makes him the analogue of an eight-legged creature. And one of the things that happens in "Amazing Spider-Man" 700 is Peter is able to valiantly in his last act imbue Doc Ock with his memories and feelings.

WERTHEIMER: So, instead of being one of the comic's main bad guys, as he's been for years, he turns out to be somebody better and different?

SLOTT: That is the hope. He kind of realizes that he's wasted his life on villainy. Then, as the camera keeps rolling, Doc Ock goes: And with my unparalleled genius and my boundless ambition, I'll be a better Spider-Man than you ever were. In fact, I shall become the superior Spider-Man.

WERTHEIMER: So, how are your fans handling this?

SLOTT: It is an incredible mix. There's a lot of people that realize that over 50 years of Spider-Man, some of the best stories involve loss. Every hero out there, when you think of who and what superheroes are, like Superman and Batman - they're all square-jawed Adonises with perfect teeth and standing arms akimbo and they never lose. And what Stan Lee and Steve Ditko did when they came up with Spider-Man in "Amazing Fantasy" 15 was they broke the mold. They made a hero who is like us, a hero with feet of clay, a guy who made mistakes all the time.

WERTHEIMER: We should probably say happy birthday to Stan Lee.

SLOTT: Ninetieth birthday this week. Just the other day, I wished him a happy early birthday. And he responded to me: Dan, most people would give you a watch or a nice cigar. But for my birthday, you gave me a dead Peter Parker. Thanks, my friend.

WERTHEIMER: Dan Slott is writer of the comic series "The Amazing Spider-Man," which is now called "The Superior Spider-Man." Dan, thank you very much.

SLOTT: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.