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.


N.Y. Electrician Shortage Hampers Sandy Recovery

Nov 29, 2012
Originally published on December 6, 2012 10:26 am



It's been a month since Sandy made landfall in the northeast. For millions in that big storm's path, life is returning to normal - not for tens of thousands of people in New York City who still, still don't have electricity or heat. Many of them are waiting for an electrician to come to repair or certify wiring that was damaged by all the flooding. But as NPR's Joel Rose reports, there aren't enough electricians to go around.

JOEL ROSE, BYLINE: If you drive through the Rockaways in Queens, it seems like there's an electrician in a cargo van parked on every block.

SERGE NAZAIRE: There's a lot of people that's still out there that doesn't have electricity in their basement. They don't have their borders(ph) on.

ROSE: Serge Nazaire is eating lunch behind the wheel of his van between jobs. Nazaire left his house at 7 a.m. and says he won't get home until after 11 p.m. tonight. He says it's been like this every day since the storm hit.

NAZAIRE: I could easily say, oh, my wife misses me at home and it's 10 o'clock at night and I'm going home. I don't care you don't have heat. But that's not what I do. They tell me, oh, we need heat tonight, especially now that it's going to start to get cold.

ROSE: Thousands of New Yorkers can't get their heat back because their power is still out. That's only adding to the demand for electricians. Salt water flooded into thousands of basements across Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, meaning that many of those basements need new wiring and new panel boxes before the local utility can turn the power back on safely. And all that work needs to be done or certified by electricians licensed by New York City.

LESLIE MAHONEY: This is a nightmare to get any electrician, even for houses that were not under the water. Some people are paying $500, $1,000.

ROSE: Leslie Mahoney owns a building near the beach in the Rockaways. She got her regular electrician to restore power to her third floor. But Mahoney's cousin in Staten Island hasn't been so lucky.

MAHONEY: The house took no water. She still has to find an electrician to look at this panel. And the hunt for an electrician is unbelievable.

JONATHAN GASKA: People are suffering. They just can't get electricians.

ROSE: Jonathan Gaska is the district manager for Community Board 14 in Queens, which includes the Rockaways. Gaska says he's gotten complaints from constituents who've been told it could be two to three weeks before an electrician can get to their job.

GASKA: Their house is in good shape. All they need is electric work done. And it'll be Christmas, and they may or may not have electric back.

ROSE: After the storm, New York City launched a program called Rapid Repairs to connect people in need with licensed contractors. Gaska wants the city to go a step further by allowing electricians licensed in neighboring counties to work in New York City.

GASKA: The city's absolutely correct to not let, you know, some shoemaker come in and say he's an electrician and do it. The issue is there are experienced electricians in other counties that could do this work, clearly. And it would make it twice as fast, if not three times as fast, to get people back.

ROSE: But city hall hasn't budged. It insists that city-licensed electricians have to do the work or certify it in order to ensure that it's done safely and up to code. Back in the Rockaways, Serge Nazaire says it might speed things up if electricians from neighboring Nassau County could work in New York City. But he says that wouldn't be fair.

NAZAIRE: Because we can't go into Nassau and work over there, and they got problems, too. Oceanside and all these places, you know, I mean, it's in disarray, and we can't go over there and work. So what sense does it make for them to come over here and work?

ROSE: Besides, Nazaire says the wait for an electrician might be overstated. Nazaire says his company can be there in a couple of days, not weeks.

NAZAIRE: Triple T Electric, call us. There you go.

ROSE: Joe Rose, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.