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.


'Operation Delirium:' Psychochemicals And Cold War

Dec 11, 2012

In the latest issue of The New Yorker, journalist Raffi Khatchadourian writes about a secret chemical weapons testing program run by the U.S. Army during the Cold War.

Throughout the 1950s and '60s, at the now-crumbling Edgewood Arsenal by the Chesapeake Bay in Maryland, military doctors tested the effects of nerve gas, LSD and other drugs on 5,000 U.S. soldiers to gauge the effects on their brain and behavior.

"People who were getting sarin, people who were getting other nerve agents that the Nazis had developed, they would ... experience giddiness, lassitude, depression, and at some point, someone said, 'Can we just focus on these side effects? Can we make a weapon that will incapacitate people mentally and not kill them?' " Khatchadourian tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

A class-action lawsuit, brought by the surviving soldiers against the federal government, goes to court next year and accuses the Army of, as Khatchadourian writes, "recklessly endanger[ing] the lives of its soldiers — naive men, mostly, who were deceived or pressured into submitting to the risky experiments."

Though the soldiers did sign consent forms to participate in the experiments, they didn't know that they were being exposed to dangerous nerve gases or psychochemicals such as LSD. Some of the soldiers have suffered physical and psychological trauma since the tests. There was no followup by the Army.

Khatchadourian's article, "Operation Delirium," profiles Jim Ketchum, one of the military doctors who helped lead the project. To this day, Ketchum maintains that the tests were conducted in the interest of a greater good.

Khatchadourian calls him "an unreconstructed advocate of chemical warfare," and says that he "went about his work in the belief that chemicals are more humane instruments of warfare than bullets and shrapnel."

Khatchadourian asks in the piece, "Were the human experiments [at Edgewood] a Dachau-like horror, or were they sound and necessary science?"

Interview Highlights

On the effects of BZ, one of the chemicals tested on soldiers

"It sends the subject into a state of delirium. ... It causes the person to jolt from one reality to the next, and the illusions are extremely vivid. The person is in the moment and not even aware that a drug experience is occurring. Animals might appear, disappear. They might see miniature people; they might think that they're smoking a cigarette [or] eating a ham sandwich when they have a shoe in their hands."

On how the doctors would test the effects of LSD

"There was one subject I had spoken to who walked me through the nature of that test. He was told to come into this room ... where there was an apparatus set up, and he said, 'They asked me to stick my head into a culvert-type thing, and they sprayed some kind of mist into my face, and I thought it was water. I had no idea what it was.'

"This man, it was determined, had gotten a fairly high dose of LSD. He was taken back to the padded ward, and [was] studied and [was] asked to do tests, but he got very aggravated; and they asked him to start doing math problems, and it felt to him that the pencil that he was using had turned into rubber; and he said, 'I can't do it.' He started becoming paranoid, and he thought the doctors were laughing at him, and he eventually grew violent and punched one of the doctors out."

On why the military gave LSD to Army personnel without telling them

"The Army asked a group of academics to advise it on how to proceed, and the academics came back to the Army and said, 'We think that you should begin with field trials with groups of people, but we ... very much recommend that you inform these people about the nature of this drug and what it can do.'

"And the Army responded in an interesting way ... [On] the one hand, Van Sim, who was heading the program at that time, felt discomfort about initiating trials with groups of people right away because he said ... '[The] effects of LSD are not really that well understood.' ... He felt that would be foolhardy to do that.

"At the same time, people at Edgewood looked at the drug and what they were trying to do, and they said, 'You know, the LSD experience is so subjective that if we inform people about it too much, it will blur or it will confuse the results; and so ... we want to at least give the drugs to some people who don't really know what its effects are or will be.' And they made good on that promise, and they started doing that."

On Ketchum's filming of the tests

"One of the early films that Jim Ketchum made was called "The Longest Weekend," and it was meant to demonstrate how BZ could render a unit ineffective. And so what they created was this fake communications outpost that was entirely self-sufficient. There was enough food in there — clothes, toilet, a medicine cabinet — for four men to stay in there for three days.

"And three soldiers were given BZ, and there was one who was not given BZ as a placebo, and one of the soldiers who was given an incapacitating dose, which was the highest dose — a dose that would be enough to render that person completely ineffective. ... And they installed cameras, and they watched these people function as [the doctors] gave them messages to interpret, and encoded codes, and other things and fake scenarios — [for example] a train is going to come by the post with chemical weapons, it might be attacked. In fact, the experience took so long that they had to improvise as they went along ... because they were running out of script."

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