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

In Pakistan Shooting, Malala's Friends Also Bear Scars

Nov 27, 2012
Originally published on November 27, 2012 7:31 am

On Oct. 9, in Mingora, Pakistan, in the country's picturesque Swat Valley, Kainat Riaz left her high school and climbed into the back of a small van. The bright-eyed 16-year-old sat near another schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.

At just 15, Malala, an outspoken critic of the Taliban, had already earned a name in her country — and internationally — for her courage. Kainat says there was a lot of chatter in the six-seat van as it shuttled the girls home.

Then, in the middle of a busy road, the van suddenly stopped, and a masked gunman got into the vehicle.

"We saw a gun in his hand. [We] were terrified, and we started shouting," Kainat says. "He told us to be quiet. We were afraid. He asked us who Malala was."

Kainat says no one said a thing, but they all looked at Malala.

"I think he himself knew Malala," she says, "because he fired his gun at her. She fell over, and there was blood coming from her ear; it all happened very fast."

The gunman shot Malala in the head and the neck, and kept firing. In the frenzy, Kainat was also shot. So too was 13-year-old Shazia Ramazan, who had been sitting next to Malala, her good friend.

"All the girls started crying and shouting, and we tried to lift Malala, to help her, to get her out of the van," Shazia says.

The gunman and an accomplice escaped through a small alley, and the Taliban claimed responsibility. Malala survived and is now recovering at a hospital in Birmingham, England, that specializes in war injuries.

Shazia, a slight girl with a quick smile, shows the bullet wound in her left hand. Another bullet hit her right arm.

Sitting on a daybed at her parents' home, Shazia seems remarkably composed, although both she and Kainat say they could not sleep for several nights after the shooting. The two girls now have police, armed with machine guns, posted around the clock outside their homes in Mingora.

Security was stepped up throughout Mingora after the shooting. Now there are many checkpoints, snarling traffic on the city's narrow, congested streets. This is a far cry from a few years ago, when the Swat Valley was a peaceful, idyllic area, often referred to as the Switzerland of Pakistan.

The sheer beauty of its soaring verdant hills and deep valleys drew tourists from all over the world. Then Taliban militants began moving into the area in 2009, imposing their strict interpretation of Islam.

Eventually, Pakistan's military launched a major operation, and claimed it had flushed out the militants. Ahmed Shah, a close friend of Malala's family, says after that, the people of Swat enjoyed some peace.

"For the last year the situation was good, it really was peaceful," Shah says. "But after the [shooting] of Malala, the people are very fearful; they think that those people might come again."

Shah says there have been a couple of other recent attacks against people who have also publicly spoken out against the Taliban, and many people are worried militants are filtering back into Swat.

Kamran Rehman Khan, the most senior government official in Swat, says the security forces and intelligence agencies are closely monitoring the situation. He says they are taking all available measures to make sure another incident like the shooting doesn't occur, but the danger is still present.

"Nothing is guaranteed in this world, [even] with all the security ... We still get people who sneak in and do crimes," Khan says.

Khan says militants are likely infiltrating Swat across the border with Afghanistan, but says some local residents might also be providing help.

"We do understand that there are sympathizers here," he says. "Because of maybe their ideology or maybe their misperceptions, [people] do provide help. We are trying to get hold of those people."

Khan maintains that Swat is one of the safest places in Pakistan. Still, reminders of Malala's shooting are never far away in Mingora. The young girl's face is on posters and billboards, and there are now special days and charities named in her honor.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

In early October, we reported on the shooting of a young Pakistani girl by that country's Taliban. Malala Yousafzai had spoken out publicly against the militant group for trying to prevent girls like her from attending school. She's now recovering at a hospital in Birmingham, England, a place that specializes in war injuries. That shooting had a profound effect on her hometown of Mingora, in Pakistan's Swat Valley.

NPR's Jackie Northam travelled to Mingora for a look at the town then and now.

JACKIE NORTHAM, BYLINE: On October 9th, Kainat Riaz left her high school and climbed into the back of a small van. The bright-eyed 16-year-old sat near another schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai. At just 15 years old, Malala had already earned a name in her country and internationally for her courage. Kainat says there was lots of chatter in the six-seater van as it shuttled the girls home. Then, in the middle of a busy road, the van suddenly stopped, and a masked gunman got into the vehicle.

KAINAT RIAZ: (Through translator) We saw a gun in his hand and were terrified, and we started shouting. He told us to be quiet. We were afraid. He asked us who Malala was.

NORTHAM: Kainat says no one said a thing, but they all looked at Malala.

RIAZ: (Through translator) I think he himself knew Malala, because he fired his gun at her. She fell over, and there was blood coming from her ear. It all happened very fast.

NORTHAM: The gunman shot Malala in the head and the neck, and kept firing. In the frenzy, Kainat was also shot. So, too, was 13-year-old Shazia Ramazan, who had been sitting next to her good friend Malala at the time.

SHAZIA RAMAZAN: (Through translator) All the girls started crying and shouting. We tried to lift Malala, to help her, to get her out of the van.

NORTHAM: The gunman and an accomplice escaped through a small alley. The Taliban claimed responsibility. Shazia, a slight girl with a quick smile, shows the bullet wound in her left hand. Another bullet hit her right arm. Sitting on a daybed at her parents' home, Shazia seems remarkably composed, although both she and Kainat say they could not sleep for several nights after the shooting. Both Kainat and Shazia have police, armed with Kalashnikovs, posted around the clock outside their homes in Mingora.

(SOUNDBITE OF TRAFFIC)

NORTHAM: Security was stepped up through Mingora after the Malala shooting. Now there are many checkpoints, snarling traffic on the city's narrow, congested streets. This is a far cry from a few years ago, when the Swat Valley was a peaceful, idyllic area, often referred to as the Switzerland of Pakistan. The sheer beauty of its soaring, verdant hills and deep valleys drew tourists from all over the world. But then Taliban militants began moving into the area in 2009, imposing their strict interpretation of Islam. Eventually, Pakistan's military launched a major operation, and claimed it had flushed out the militants. Ahmed Shah, a close friend of Malala's family, says after that, the people of Swat enjoyed some peace.

AHMED SHAH: For the last one year, the situation was good. It really was in peaceful condition. But after the incident of Malala, the people are very much fearful, and they think that those people might come again and start their activities in the whole valley of Swat.

NORTHAM: Shah says there have been a couple of other recent attacks against people who have also publicly spoken out against the Taliban, and many people are worried militants are filtering back into Swat. Kamran Rehman Khan, the most senior government official in Swat, says the security forces and intelligence agencies are closely monitoring the situation.

KAMRAN REHMAN KHAN: We are taking all available measures which are available to us to make sure that such an incident doesn't occur in future. Nothing is guaranteed in this world, with all the security operators. We still get people who sneak in and do crimes.

NORTHAM: Khan says militants are likely infiltrating Swat across the border with Afghanistan, but Khan says some locals may also be providing help.

KHAN: We do understand that there are sympathizers here. And the people, because of maybe their ideology or maybe their misperceptions, do provide help. And we are trying to get hold of those people.

NORTHAM: Khan maintains that Swat is one of the safest places in Pakistan. Still, reminders of Malala's shooting are never far away here in Mingora. Her face is on posters and billboards, and there are now special days and charities named in her honor. Jackie Northam, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.