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.


Obama To Pick New Pentagon, CIA Leaders

Jan 7, 2013
Originally published on January 13, 2013 9:01 am



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm Renee Montagne.

President Obama wants a Republican to be his next secretary of Defense, and some Republicans really don't like the choice.

Senator Chuck Hagel is a decorated Vietnam combat veteran. He's a former Nebraska senator but some of his former colleagues in Congress are reluctant to endorse him. The president could also get pushback for another nomination he's expected to announce today, counterterrorism advisor John Brennan to head the CIA.

NPR Pentagon correspondent Tom Bowman joins us now to talk about the president's picks. Good morning.

TOM BOWMAN, BYLINE: Good morning, Renee.

MONTAGNE: So, now we've been hearing about the choice of Hagel, so let's you and I begin with the latest news-breaking this morning, which is John Brennan heading up the CIA - or being nominated to do that. Talk to us about his record.

BOWMAN: Well, John Brennan, of course, is the chief counterterrorism advisor to President Obama. He's been involved in everything from the bin Laden raid to taking the fights to al-Qaida in Somalia, and he was a career officer at the CIA for decades. And what's interesting, Renee, is Brennan withdrew his name from consideration as CIA director in 2008 when President Obama first came in over concerns about his support for what was called enhanced interrogation techniques - now some would call that torture - during President George W. Bush's tenure.

So you could see some opposition from Democrats, as well as some Republicans to Brennan's nomination.

MONTAGNE: Well, let's turn to the other nomination President Obama is expected to announce today. Former Senator Chuck Hagel for the Defense Department. Why Chuck Hagel?

BOWMAN: Well, a number of reasons. First of all, he's a Republican, so there's a bipartisan element here. And more importantly, he's in line with the president's thinking. Like the president, he's wary of America being entangled in long wars. He would prefer to leave Afghanistan a little faster maybe than some of the generals. And Hagel was also against the surge of troops in Iraq back in 2007, much like then-Senator Barack Obama. And also, Hagel's call for more defense cuts. So that echoes with what the president has been saying, as well.

MONTAGNE: And what is it about Chuck Hagel that his former colleagues in the Senate don't like? I mean, how tough will this fight be?

BOWMAN: You know, it could be pretty tough. There's, you know, growing opposition in the Republican ranks. He's seen - Hagel's seen as not tough enough on Iran. He's seen as not as strong a supporter of Israel as they would like. And the White House has been hearing these charges for weeks, and they're pushing back strongly. They're pointing to his writings and speeches and votes when he was on the Hill, saying he's strongly supportive of Israel. They point to a book he wrote, where he talks about the, quote, "special and historic bond," end of quote, with Israel. The speech last year where Hagel said the U.S. must keep ratcheting up sanctions on Iran to keep the pressure on. And they're also, you know, trotting out people that support Hagel like Daniel Kurtzer, the U.S. ambassador to Israel under President George W. Bush. He called Hagel a friend of Israel. But also one who's willing to have frank discussions about certain Israeli policies.

MONTAGNE: Well, you know, kind of would a Republican dare shoot down a Republican? I mean, is it possible that the president put him out there partly because they wouldn't dare do that?

BOWMAN: You know, I think that's part of it maybe, that, you know, it would be hard for Republicans to disown one of their own. But here's the other thing. A lot of Republicans don't see Hagel as a Republican. They see him too much as a maverick. He's bucked the party on a number of votes and issues over the years. So, again, some would not have a problem voting against Chuck Hagel 'cause he's not seen as one of them.

MONTAGNE: All right. NPR's Tom Bowman. Thank you very much. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.