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

Palestinians' Abbas Goes To U.N. Seeking New Status

Nov 29, 2012
Originally published on December 13, 2012 8:38 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Good morning.

The United States is strongly against it. So even more strongly is Israel, but this will not deter the Palestinians from going to the United Nations today to secure a vote formally upgrading Palestine's U.N. status. There's little doubt the vote will pass easily, securing what the Palestinian leadership considers a significant diplomatic victory.

NPR's Philip Reeves reports.

PHILIP REEVES, BYLINE: The Palestinians are about to get an upgrade. It's enshrined in the all-important language of diplomacy. Right now, their status at the United Nations is that of a non-member, observer entity. Today, the U.N. General Assembly will vote to change that word entity to state.

Peace talks with Israel have gone nowhere for some years. The Palestinian leadership believes this change will strengthen their position, as Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, explained to a press conference.

HANAN ASHRAWI: We want to ensure that our land is defined as is, and to ensure that Israel knows its occupied territory, including East Jerusalem, the West Bank, including East Jerusalem and Gaza.

REEVES: The United States tried hard to persuade the Palestinians to cancel today's trip to the U.N. Washington argues the proper path to Palestinian statehood is through negotiations with Israel. It'll vote against the resolution. Israel's also strongly opposed.

MARK REGEV: We think this is a mistake.

REEVES: Mark Regev is spokesman for Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

REGEV: This Palestinian action at the U.N. is going to do nothing whatsoever to change realities on the ground for Palestinians or Israelis. It's not going to help make peace. It's not going to bring forward Palestinian statehood. I mean, all that can only happen in the framework of dialogue and negotiations between Israelis and the Palestinians.

REEVES: The upgrade makes it easier for the Palestinians to join other U.N. bodies. Controversially, that includes the International Criminal Court. That could pave the way for the Palestinians to launch proceedings against Israeli officials, alleging war crimes or other abuses. Western diplomats fear that might scupper all chances of getting peace talks going again any time soon.

Attention is now focusing on Israel's response to the vote. Israeli officials have toned down earlier warnings of tough measures. There's speculation Israel may withhold tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank.

Regev declines to give details.

REGEV: I can only say that our response will be proportionate to what is ultimately a fundamental violation by the Palestinians of signed agreements. I mean, they committed to solving all outstanding issues through negotiations. And by going to the U.N., they're doing the opposite.

REEVES: So there will be a response.

REGEV: Yes.

REEVES: Ashwari denies that going to the U.N. for formal recognition of statehood amounts to unilateral action.

ASHRAWI: It is not. It is a commitment to multilateralism, to international law, to responsibility, actually, as an equal player on the international arena.

REEVES: Today's vote throws a spotlight on Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. This is an important moment for him. His popularity and influence have waned. Many Palestinians complain their leadership's corrupt, and say Abbas has made no progress in negotiating peace, while Israel's continued building settlements on their land.

At the same time, the rival Hamas, who rule Gaza, is enjoying a surge in public and international support, following its recent bloody confrontation with Israel. It's unclear how much Abbas' standing will be boosted by today's vote. Palestinians on the West Bank don't seem especially enthused by it, and they view it as merely symbolic.

Lawyer Diana Buttu is a former spokesperson for the Palestinian Liberation Organization. She says everything depends on what Abbas - also known as Abu Mazen - does next.

DIANA BUTTU: Is this just another move to boost Abu Mazen's popularity, a popularity that has died? Or does he really want to do something different? Does he really want to change course? Does he really want to push for Israel's isolation? Is he going to push for accountability?

REEVES: Philip Reeves, NPR News, Jerusalem. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.