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.


The NRA Isn't The Only Opponent Of Gun Control

Dec 21, 2012
Originally published on December 21, 2012 1:20 pm

Entering into the discussion about how to respond to last week's school shootings in Newtown, Conn., the National Rifle Association on Friday called for putting "qualified armed security" in all schools.

It's a message that echoes calls from some state lawmakers and other gun groups that haven't been as silent as the NRA over the past week.

Although people think of the NRA as being synonymous with the gun lobby — and it has by far the largest membership and the biggest budget — other gun owner groups often have taken an even harder line, leaving the NRA with little room to maneuver politically even if it wanted to.

In contrast to President Obama and congressional Democrats, Republicans have mostly been quiet or skeptical about the prospects for gun control in the coming year. But the early statements from gun groups have made it clear they'll work hard to block gun control ideas such as banning assault rifles or stiffening background check requirements.

"If a Republican votes for any form of gun control, they are inviting the NRA and other groups to run a primary opponent against them, and they're asking to be unseated," says Scott Melzer, who chairs the sociology department at Albion College in Michigan.

The Cincinnati Coup

The NRA was founded back in 1871 and for much of its history devoted itself largely to issues of marksmanship, such as safety and training.

But the political landscape around guns began shifting roughly a century after the group's founding. Following passage of the Gun Control Act of 1968, new groups came on the scene devoted to protecting Second Amendment rights in the political arena.

"Basically, after the competition in gun rights started, the NRA was forced to rethink how to do things," says Phil Watson, director of special projects for the Second Amendment Foundation, which has won a number of high-profile legal battles. "The presence of other groups being out there forced the NRA to become more of what they are today."

An internal coup at the NRA's annual meeting in 1977 in Cincinnati forced out old-school shooters and hunters who did not want the group deeply engaged in politics and ushered in new leadership that reshaped the NRA into the lobbying powerhouse it has become.

"When people say gun lobby, they mean NRA," says Harry Wilson, author of Guns, Gun Control and Elections.

Other Groups More 'Strident'

Gun control advocates think of the NRA as being "strident," but other groups at both the federal and state levels often take an even harder line, says Wilson, a political scientist at Roanoke College in Virginia.

While the NRA kept mum, representatives from groups such as the Gun Owners of America have been fixtures on cable talk shows over the past week, arguing against gun control measures.

Michael Hammond, legal counsel for the Gun Owners of America, points out that Connecticut already bans assault weapons. "Why in heaven's name does anyone think enacting the same law [in Washington] as was on the books in Connecticut would produce a different result?" he asks.

Hammond says that numerous gun laws enacted since 1968 have done nothing to deter gun violence; if anything, he suggests, they have made the problem worse.

"The difference with the NRA is that after Columbine, we took the position that no gun control was appropriate," he says, referring to the mass school shooting in 1999. "After Columbine, the situation looks a lot worse than it does now, in terms of ineffectual gun control legislation, and we were able to stop it then."

No Moderate Alternative

In the aftermath of Newtown, even some gun owners have expressed support for ideas such as limiting the size of ammunition magazines. But there's no organized group that speaks for more moderate gun rights supporters, Andrew Rotherham argues in Time.

"The NRA and its even more radical cousins are pretty much exclusively focused on maintaining access to all kinds of firearms and ammunition," he writes.

As Albion's Melzer points out, there have been efforts over the years by various groups to "peel off" more moderate members from the NRA, but they haven't enjoyed sustained success.

Richard Feldman is trying. A former NRA regional political director, Feldman helped negotiate requirements for child safety locks with the Clinton administration as an industry trade association official.

Now he has founded a group called the Independent Firearms Owners Association, which includes on its board a number of retired law enforcement officers. "There are 15 million self-identified liberals that own guns — that's four times the size of the NRA," he says.

But while Feldman sounds more open to compromise than the other gun groups, he shares their belief that "the issue is rarely the gun, but rather in whose hands are the guns" — another way of saying that guns don't kill people, people kill people.

"If we were having a discussion a week ago and you asked me, 'How do you feel about arming teachers?' I would have said it doesn't sit right with me," Feldman says.

But like other gun rights advocates, Feldman says he's warming to the idea.

Echoing a sentiment expressed by LaPierre of the NRA, Feldman says, "When you have an evil person with a gun coming after you, the only way to oppose that is to have a good person who can meet or match the guy."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.