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.

Pages

Oil Drilling Rig Runs Aground In Alaska

Jan 2, 2013
Originally published on January 2, 2013 11:16 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Let's turn now to a developing story in Alaska. A crew is trying to get aboard a massive oil drilling rig that ran aground in the Gulf of Alaska. Workers have already been evacuated and there is no risk of an oil spill here, but the rig is carrying thousands of gallons of diesel fuel. The rig is a key component of Shell Oil's controversial efforts to explore for oil in the Arctic Ocean, and joining us now with the latest on the situation in Alaska is NPR science correspondent Richard Harris.

Richard, good morning and thanks for coming in.

RICHARD HARRIS, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: So this rig actually ran aground on Monday night. What's going on? What's happened since then?

HARRIS: Well, the good news, it's still upright in the water.

GREENE: That's good news.

HARRIS: And as far as they can tell, there is not diesel fuel leaking out of it right now, but they really have not been able to get close to really take a good look and determine the damage. They tried twice yesterday to fly people out by helicopter to land on the rig, but the weather there is just crazy. It was like 40 foot waves, 50 mile an hour winds with gusts higher than that, so the idea of landing somebody on a helicopter on this rig was - they said forget about it.

They hope the weather forecast is better today. They're hoping they'll be able to get people out onto that rig so they can actually assess the damage, but right now they, you know, can only look at it from afar.

GREENE: Okay. So no risk of injuries, workers have been evacuated, people are trying to get aboard this thing to figure out exactly what's going on. You said no leaks so far, which makes you think that there might not be any environmental damage at this point. But what is the environmental risk and where is this? Is it a sensitive area up there?

HARRIS: Well, fortunately, it's not in the Arctic Ocean, which was where this rig was drilling in the summertime. This is actually fairly close to Anchorage. It's in the Gulf of Alaska, and the good news there is there are much better resources. There's a Coast Guard facility. There are, you know, tugboats, all sorts of other infrastructure there so they can actually get to this and really try to deal with this problem.

So that's the good news. But Alaska wildlife officials are concerned because there are endangered species out there, including an endangered seal, and of course Alaska cares a great deal about its fisheries, salmon and so on. And there are native villages not too far from there, and so there are a whole pile of concerns. But again, this is not an oil tanker full of oil. This is an oil rig that has 140,000 gallons of diesel, which is - you know, no fuel is good to spill.

But it's a relatively small quantity and it's not nearly as bad a crude oil.

GREENE: And important distinction to make, it sounds like. Take us back to Monday night. I mean why did this thing run aground?

HARRIS: Well, the rig is called the Kulluk and what happened was they were trying to tow it from Dutch Harbor, which is in the Aleutian Islands, down to Seattle for servicing, and they hit really bad weather. It's a long voyage. It's three or four weeks. They can't forecast that far ahead so they didn't really know what to expect out in the sea and they hit near hurricane force winds - huge, you know, 70 foot waves. I mean it was just - it really, really bad weather.

The tow rope got disconnected one way or the other. They don't know exactly how. The tugboats then ran into trouble that were trying to help it. It was adrift for a while. They had it back under control for a little while, but then in the end they realized that the tow boats were being towed into the rocks. They let it go. It went into the rocks and that's kind of where we are right now.

GREENE: Well, in the few seconds we have left, I mean there's a huge international competition to try and drill up there in the Arctic. How big a blow is this to Shell?

HARRIS: This could be a big setback for Shell, depending upon whether they can either repair this or replace this. They were hoping to be back next summer to finally get some of those holes drilled, and it's not at all clear at this point whether they'll be able to do that.

GREENE: All right. NPR's Richard Harris, thanks for coming in.

HARRIS: Sure.

GREENE: He was updating us on an oil drilling rig that has run aground in the Gulf of Alaska. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.