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.

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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.

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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.


A Political Push For Gun Control Ahead?

Dec 15, 2012
Originally published on December 15, 2012 7:04 pm




In front of the White House today, the flag flies at half-staff. And across the country, Americans are expressing their grief and their sense of despair. This morning, in his weekly address, the president spoke out about the tragedy.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: As a nation, we have endured far too many of these tragedies in the last few years: an elementary school in Newtown, a shopping mall in Oregon, a house of worship in Wisconsin, a movie theater in Colorado, countless street corners in places like Chicago and Philadelphia. Any of these neighborhoods could be our own. So we have to come together and we're going to have to take meaningful action to prevent more tragedies like this from happening, regardless of the politics.

RAZ: And just a short time ago, the governor of Connecticut, Dannel Malloy, also spoke.

GOVERNOR DANIEL MALLOY: When tragedies like this take place, people often look for answers, an explanation of how this could have happened. But the sad truth is there are no answers. No good ones, anyway.

RAZ: Joining me now, as he does most Saturdays, is James Fallows from The Atlantic. And, Jim, we have been here before - you and I - talking in the aftermath of a massacre. And yet we know they will happen again and again.

JAMES FALLOWS: We do. This conversation we had after the Aurora shootings this year and after the horrific Gabrielle Giffords shooting last year. And so far, the dynamic of American politics has been we put the flags at half-staff, we grief, whoever is our political leader tears up, and then essentially nothing happens. And the question is this time whether there's anything about the horror of this case that'll make it different.

RAZ: Is it different?

FALLOWS: It's not different. It's different in its scale. As we've gotten used to hearing, it's one of the worst school shootings ever. It is undeniably different in the horror of all these little children. So the question is whether finally this crosses the threshold of doing what the president said of meaningful action, something that he and politicians of all parties have avoided for recent memory.

RAZ: What is meaningful action?

FALLOWS: That is the question. I think we - on my own part, I decided that it's worth trying to talk about gun safety as opposed to gun control, because gun control has become so embattled, so poisonous, so divisive an issue in American politics that polls show even that most average people think they have less faith that gun control will make any difference.

But if we could talk about gun safety, not challenging the right of those who want to have guns to use them, but to make sure the effects on our whole society are not as destructive as they have uniquely been. No other country is like this with the exception of Somalia during wartime or certain Mexican drug states.

And we can talk about incremental gun safety steps, and enlist responsible gun owners and the NRA to that account. That might do something, but it will depend what happens the next few days, starting with the president.

RAZ: After the Dunblane massacre in Scotland in, I believe, in 1996, the British Parliament passed very strict handgun laws. It is illegal to own, I believe, to own a handgun for private personal-owned handgun in Britain. Nothing like that has happened since.

FALLOWS: And there's almost an echo case in Australia where there was the so-called Port Arthur massacre back in the 1990s in Tasmania, which was like this case in its scale - even more people were killed then. The conservative Prime Minister John Howard had this sweeping measure of gun control legislation. And Australia has had no large-scale killing like that since. The main counterargument in the United States is that we already have hundreds of millions of guns...

RAZ: Three hundred million guns.

FALLOWS: ...circulating around and there is no way to illuminate them altogether. But if we recognize other large-scale problems - whether its terrorism or crime of any sort - that we're not going to deal with absolutely, but we're going to try to do something about. And it's the effort to do something that I hope we will see.

RAZ: There have been turning points in the past - some turning points - notably the assassination of JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King - that they had actually begin to have an impact on the national conversation.

FALLOWS: It's true. And when I was a teenager during that era and there were all these - national politics was transformed repeatedly by assassinations, people thought this cannot go on. And I hope that the sense in the U.S. after a year of unprecedentedly high mass shootings is that we can do something about this because we can't live this way.

RAZ: That's James Fallows. He's a national correspondent for The Atlantic and a regular on this program. Jim, thanks for coming in.

FALLOWS: Thank you, guy. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.