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.


Schools Have Become More Secure Since Columbine, Experts Say

Dec 14, 2012
Originally published on December 14, 2012 5:22 pm

Even as Friday's shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., suggests that more could be done, the whole culture of school security has undergone a revolution since the 1999 Columbine school shooting, experts say.

"Schools are far more secure than they were at the time of Columbine," says Paul Timm, president of RETA Security Inc., a school security consultancy.

For one, he says, "They keep most exterior doors secured, which is something they didn't pay much attention to before."

The actions of first responders on the scene of a school shooting incident have also changed, Timm says.

Before Columbine, "Police would often just come in, set up a perimeter and call in the SWAT team" and then wait for them to arrive, he says.

That turned out to be a bad idea. Taking down the shooter as quickly as possible, with whatever resources are at hand, should have been the priority. That's readily acknowledged today, he says.

"The closest officers respond, go in and eliminate the threat," Timm says. "They don't stop to help victims — that's emergency services' job. They go in to take out the shooter."

Stephen Sroka, a professor at Case Western Reserve University's Center for Adolescent Health, agrees.

"Most communities have first responders that are much better trained for this kind of an incident than they were prior to Columbine," he says. "During Columbine, the police sat around and watched what was happening for a few hours before doing something. That wasn't the right strategy."

Physical security has been upgraded, and lockdown procedures intended to isolate students and teachers from an active threat are practiced, Timm says.

"Emergency planning has changed completely. Most schools are now required to have at least one lockdown drill per year to prepare for just the kind of active-shooter situation that seems to have occurred here," he says.

In most schools, doors that had never been locked during school hours are now shut tight. And, at many schools, even metal detectors were installed to prevent weapons and contraband from getting on campus.

The metal detectors got a lot of attention in the media, but their effectiveness has long been questioned, says Timm.

"Many of the schools have 10, 20 or more exterior doors. If a student, for example, knows there's a detector at one entrance, they will try to bring in contraband through another way."

There's another difficulty with metal detectors. They're not cheap, Sroka says.

"People didn't realize that you had to have someone manning those things during school hours — that's costly," he says. "Many schools have metal detectors now, but no one to man them because of cutbacks."

In smaller communities, such as Newtown, another problem can stand in the way of school security, Sroka says: People think school shootings are mainly a big-city problem.

"I was just in Wyoming and at some schools there, you can just walk right in," he say. "The doors aren't even locked."

Sroka thinks this latest tragedy can be a teachable moment.

"It's a time that can be used to talk to kids," he says. "Just like you'd talk about what to do if the house catches fire, you can talk to kids about what to do in this situation."

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