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.


A Nightmarish Week For Boeing's Dreamliner

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



Of course, this last week has been kind of a nightmare for Boeing and its new 787 Dreamliner. In three separate incidents in as many days, airline carriers reported problems with brakes, with fuel leaks and a battery fire. The U.S. Department of Transportation has announced a comprehensive review of the new plane. Joining us now to talk about Boeing's new 787 is Joe Nocera, op-ed columnist for The New York Times, and our man on finance and other matters. Joe, thanks very much for being with us.

JOE NOCERA: And thanks for having me, Scott.

SIMON: By all accounts, of course, this is one of the most technologically advanced planes ever built, and Boeing took their time designing and building it. So how do they get it into operation - and it starts springing a fuel leak?

NOCERA: Well, what Boeing would say is gosh, this stuff is complicated. And of course, it is. And it has six electrical systems; you know, hydraulic power's now been switched to electrical power; and it's got computers and batteries, and so on and so forth. So what Boeing would say is, we're still working out the little glitches. On the other hand, if you're flying one of these things and these glitches cause you not to fly, or to wait for four hours to fly - as happened, also, this week - you're not very happy about it.

SIMON: Yeah. I mean, if you look at your ticket and see it's Dreamliner, this past week, you would wonder, oh, am I ever going to take off? Or, when we get in the air - you know, are we going to be losing fuel?

NOCERA: Well, it is - you know, it is three years late. It was supposed to come to market in 2008. It came to market in 2011, and a large part of the reason for that delay was precisely because it was really complicated, and it was not unlike any other airplane that had ever come before. It has, you know, lightweight parts, and it has - it's fuel-efficient; and it's this, that and the other thing. And I should also point out, Scott, that these problems have had zero effect on Boeing's sales.

SIMON: Well, that's important. What's your estimation of that? Has the company just addressed it so powerfully?

NOCERA: No, that's not the reason at all. The reason is that we have an aging fleet worldwide, and so companies need airplanes. And Boeing and Airbus made very different bets on what the world was going to need. Airbus bet on - giant aircraft that hauls 6- or 700 people. And Boeing made a bet that the world wanted smaller planes that went point to point, that had 200 to 250 people. As a result, Airbus's backlog is about 250 airplanes. Boeing's backlog is about 850 airplanes. So if you cancel a Boeing order 'cause you're mad about these problems, or you want them sooner, you don't have any other place to go.

SIMON: And what is your estimation of how Boeing has handled the problem so far?

NOCERA: Well, they're in a tricky spot. On the one hand, in their heart of hearts, they believed that these problems are really small; that it's not putting anybody at risk; and it's just kind of a teething process, as they like to say, with a brand-new aircraft. But they can't say that out loud because then they sound callous and uncaring. And so when the Department of Transportation and the FAA say, well, we're going to investigate the electrical systems, you know, Boeing can't say, don't worry, we're going to fix all this. They have to say, we're on board. And so it's basically been a headache that they think is not quite justified, but they can't say that out loud.

SIMON: Now that - you've, of course - have covered these kind of cases before, where corporations have to handle questions from the public. And this is a hard line to finesse. On the one hand, you have to be concerned about the problem - but not so concerned you leave people to be alarmed about it.

NOCERA: Well, take another example, which doesn't have anything to do with Boeing. Take Toyota and its accelerator problem, which they just paid a billion dollars to settle lawsuits. You know, it basically turned out that the problem with the accelerator had nothing to do with the electrical components, or any other components, of Toyota. It had to do with - they put the mat in wrong, and sometimes people just, you know, put their foot in the wrong place. Nonetheless, to get this problem behind them, they had to pay a billion dollars. Now, Boeing's not going to have anything like that because they haven't had crashes; they probably won't have crashes - at least around these sets of problems. So it's just trying to kind of keep its head down, play the good citizen, and get through it.

SIMON: Joe Nocera of The New York Times; speaking to us from the studios of the Radio Foundation in New York. Thanks very much, Joe.

NOCERA: Thank you, Scott. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.