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.


NYSE To Change Hands In $8.2 Billion Deal

Dec 20, 2012
Originally published on December 20, 2012 10:18 pm



After more than two centuries as an independent company, the New York Stock Exchange is about to change hands. It's being acquired by Atlanta-based IntercontinentalExchange, or ICE, as part of a deal valued at $8.2 billion. In recent years, ICE has exploded in growth.

And as NPR's Jim Zarroli reports, today's announcement is the latest in a series of rapid-fire changes that have transformed the world of stock trading.

JIM ZARROLI, BYLINE: People may still associate Wall Street with the iconic New York Stock Exchange trading floor, but the future very much belongs to companies like ICE.

Roy Smith is a professor of finance at NYU's Stern School.

ROY SMITH: They come from a commodities derivatives background and have been very fast-growing. And, indeed, have achieved a market capitalization greater than that of the New York Stock Exchange.

ZARROLI: To put it another way, ICE is an electronic exchange where commodities are traded. And it's gotten so big that its stock is worth more than that of NYSE Euronext, which owns the New York Stock Exchange. And now, ICE is in a position to buy its venerable rival.

From ICE's standpoint the deal is something of a head-scratcher. NYSE Euronext makes a lot of its money through commissions on stock trading, and that's become a lot less profitable. But ICE's chairman, Jeffrey Sprecher, said today that there are a lot of investment dollars sitting on the sidelines; and once the economy picks up, people will trade more and the New York Stock Exchange, with its powerful brand name, will reap the rewards.

JEFFREY SPRECHER: These companies are going to have tremendous upside leverage, and I think we can have that like no other company in our industry.

ZARROLI: Sprecher also says that by merging, the two exchanges will save a lot of money through economies of scale.

SPRECHER: We really believe that we can operate this combined business with a lower cost - much lower cost base than the two of us have independently.

ZARROLI: If nothing else, the deal spells the end of the latest chapter in the history of the New York Stock Exchange. In recent years, it's expanded into electronic trading and merged with exchanges in France, the Netherlands and other countries. It does a lot of over-the-counter derivatives trading and owns a profitable futures and options market in London.

The company still has old-fashioned floor traders buying and selling stocks, but not nearly as many as they used to. And NYU's Roy Smith says they probably will disappear once the merger with ICE takes place.

SMITH: Sooner or later, the speed and efficiency of electronic trading is simply going to displace it.

ZARROLI: The big question now is whether the deal will pass muster with regulators. European officials shot down a merger between NYSE Euronext and the parent company of Germany's biggest exchange because of concerns the deal would have hurt competition. But officials at ICE said today they've spoken to regulators. And they said they're confident this deal is different and will win approval.

Jim Zarroli, NPR News, New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.