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.

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NASA Scientists 'Very Careful' With New Mars Data

Dec 3, 2012
Originally published on December 3, 2012 6:22 pm

NASA is finally receiving data on Martian soil samples from Curiosity, its rover currently traversing the red planet. The results from the soil samples hint at something exciting, but rover scientists are making very sure not to raise expectations.

NASA had always planned to present early results from the mission this week at a press conference. But expectations for the press conference soared after one of the instruments onboard the rover appeared to detect organic molecules.

Having already found signs of water on Mars, finding signs of organic material would be another piece of evidence that there might — might, might — have once been life on Mars.

Paul Mahaffy, the lead scientist on Curiosity's main analysis instrument, known as the Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM, device, says no news yet.

"SAM has no definitive detection to report of organic compounds with these first set of experiments," he told a meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Monday.

Mahaffy says SAM definitely saw simple organic compounds — compounds made of carbon — when it analyzed its first soil sample last month. It also saw compounds made with chlorine.

"The reason we're saying we have no definitive detection of Martian organics," Mahaffy says, "is that we have to be very careful to make sure both the carbon and the chlorine are coming from Mars."

Mahaffy says NASA cleaned the instrument before it left Earth, and cleaned it some more once it got to Mars. But he says it's still possible the carbon that the instrument is seeing may be a contaminant from Earth.

And Mahaffy emphasized that the carbon compounds — if they really are in the soil sample — may simply be inorganic carbon created by a nonbiological chemical reaction. But if Curiosity did find carbon molecules, even inorganic carbon, that would be a sign that organic carbon could potentially exist on Mars and might be discoverable.

Curiosity's chief scientist, John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology, said it will take a while to make sense of all the data coming from the rover's suite of instruments.

"There's not going to be one single moment where we all stand up and, on the basis of a single measurement, have a hallelujah moment," he says.

Grotzinger says that's just the way it works in science.

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

The latest results are in for the NASA's Mars science laboratory, the six-wheeled Curiosity rover that landed on Mars last August. The results show hints of something exciting but just hints. As NPR's Joe Palca reports, rover scientists are making sure not to raise expectations.

JOE PALCA, BYLINE: Many of the rover scientists were in San Francisco today for the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union. It was always the plan to present early results from the mission, but expectations for big news were raised when one of the instruments on board the rover appeared to detect organic molecules.

Paul Mahaffy is the lead scientist on the instrument known as SAM. Having already found signs of water on Mars, finding signs of organic material would be another piece of evidence that there might, might, might have once been life on Mars. But Mahaffy said at a press conference today, no news yet.

DR. PAUL MAHAFFY: SAM has no definitive detection to report of organic compounds with these first set of experiments.

PALCA: Mahaffy says SAM definitely saw simple organic compounds, compounds made of carbon, when it analyzed its first soil sample last month. It also saw compounds made with chlorine.

MAHAFFY: The reason we're saying we have no definitive detection yet of Martian organics is that we have to be very careful to make sure both the carbon and the chlorine are coming from Mars.

PALCA: Mahaffy says they cleaned the instrument before it left Earth and cleaned it some more once it got to Mars. But he says it's still possible the carbon the instrument is seeing may be a contaminant from Earth. And Mahaffy emphasized that the carbon compounds, if they really are in the soil sample, may have come from nonbiological chemical reactions.

MAHAFFY: The carbon, for example, could also come from inorganic carbon.

PALCA: But seeing those carbon molecules would be a hint that carbon that did come from something biological might have survived on Mars and could be found. Rover chief scientist John Grotzinger of the California Institute of Technology said it will take a while to make sense of all the data coming from the rover's suite of instruments.

DR. JOHN GROTZINGER: There's not going to be one single moment where we all stand up and, on the basis of a single measurement, have a hallelujah moment.

PALCA: Grotzinger says that's just the way it works in science. Joe Palca, NPR News.

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