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.


Ruiz Part Of The New Class Of A Diverse Congress

Dec 29, 2012
Originally published on December 29, 2012 5:38 pm




This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Linda Wertheimer in for Scott Simon.

Next week, the 113th Congress will convene and they may or may not be wrangling with the fiscal cliff issue. What we do know about this incoming Congress is that it will the most diverse in the nation's history. As the year comes to a close, we're meeting some of those new members. Today, NPR's Karen Grigsby Bates introduces us to Democrat Raul Ruiz, a physician who gave up his practice to run for office representing the Palm Springs area in Southern California.

KAREN GRIGSBY BATES, BYLINE: If you want an interview with the new representative of California's 36th district, you will have to possess a lot of persistence. Earnest and unfailingly polite, baby-faced 40 year old Raul Ruiz always makes time to speak with anyone who approaches him.

REPRESENTATIVE RAUL RUIZ: Give me your cell number and all that, and this has your personal cell number?

BATES: He greets many by name.

RUIZ: Tomas, how are you?

BATES: And promises to follow up on several requests when he gets to Washington. Then, just as he's within grasp, an elder from a local Native American community takes him by the arm.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: I need to talk with you for a minute. Were you're walking down this way?

BATES: And it starts all over again.

So has this been your regular day at lunch for the last couple of...

RUIZ: Weeks? Yes.

BATES: Are you ever going to get any time to yourself?

RUIZ: Yes, when I spend time in the evenings and after a long days, I go home. It's a good time to have some solitude.

BATES: There hasn't been a whole lot of opportunity for that in the past year, since Ruiz decided to leave his chosen career - emergency medicine - to run for Republican Mary Bono Mack's seat. It was a nasty campaign. Bono Mack's ads painted Ruiz as radical and un-American.


UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. Not for Raul Ruiz. For 6 years, Ruiz led protests attacking Thanksgiving and our American values.

BATES: Redistricting changed the demographics in the 36th District; it's in the low desert near Palm Springs, and it put more Latino voters within its borders. That helped, but Ruiz's personality - upbeat and inclusive - earned him voter approval across ethnic lines. And it didn't hurt that he had a life story that resonated with an electorate that was growing more diverse each year.

At the only debate with Bono Mack, Ruiz told the audience when he wanted to go to college, he'd asked small businessmen in his community to invest in his education. And he told them what they'd get in return.

RUIZ: I promised to come back as a doctor, and with their help, I went to UCLA and then to Harvard Medical School where I became the first Latino to receive three graduate degrees from Harvard.

BATES: Raul Ruiz is not only a graduate of Harvard's medical school, he holds a master's degree in public policy from its Kennedy School and another master's from its School of public health. And although that trifecta would have earned him a ticket to anywhere in the U.S., Dr. Ruiz kept to his original plan.

RUIZ: True to my promise, I came home as an E.R. doctor at Eisenhower Medical Center.

BATES: It's the area's only nonprofit hospital; many of its patients are uninsured. Ruiz's interest in medicine goes well beyond the emergency room to public policy issues that affect public health.

Which brings us to this freezing afternoon at the edge of the Salton Sea, a legendarily polluted body of water with major air quality issues. Ruiz tells his listeners the shrinking sea's exposed shores are a factor in the area's pediatric asthma rates; asthma sends a disproportionate number of children to his E.R. weekly.

RUIZ: It breaks our heart when we see a young child struggling to breathe, and if the sea dissipates, we will have a dust bed that will aggravate those problems.

BATES: Raul Ruiz says it pains him to leave his patients and community. But although he's off to Congress, he's not giving up medicine completely. He's already making plans to volunteer in physician-short parts of D.C. in his spare time. How much of that he'll have, though, is anybody's guess.

Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.