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.


Senators Call For Return Of Assault Weapon Ban

Dec 17, 2012
Originally published on December 17, 2012 7:19 pm



California Senator Dianne Feinstein, reacting to the shooting deaths in Newtown, Connecticut, called yesterday for reinstating the Assault Weapon Ban, which was in effect from 1994 until 2004 when the law expired. How effective was it?

Well, we're going to ask Professor Daniel Webster who studies firearm policy and gun violence prevention. His field is public health, and he's at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Webster, welcome to the program.

DANIEL WEBSTER: Thanks for having me.

SIEGEL: The ban covered certain semiautomatic weapons, but not all. And it covered large-capacity magazines. That is magazines, I gather, of more than 10 rounds. First, very generally, did it work?

WEBSTER: It did not have a significant impact on overall rates of gun violence. The researchers who studied this could not define any detectable difference in the use, particularly of guns with large-capacity magazines, which are far more prevalent as it relates to this ban.

SIEGEL: Given the not-entirely-clear definitions of assault weapons and the ban, do you know if the Bushmaster AR15 rifle that is said to have been used here, with the magazines that held 30 bullets each, would purchase of those have been banned under the Assault Weapon Ban?

WEBSTER: Honestly, I'm not entirely sure. And I have to look carefully at each of the features on the very specific weapon that was used. It certainly meets part of the classification, but you have to have multiple components to, in effect, be called an assault weapon. That's again why, I think, it's far more clear and more effective to focus on large-capacity magazines.

SIEGEL: Well, 30-round capacity magazines, shouldn't they have been banned under the law?

WEBSTER: Absolutely, yes. That magazine, without a doubt, would have been banned under the prior law. What's less clear is whether the rifle itself, without an extended large-capacity magazine, would have been banned.

SIEGEL: That the things depending on whether there's a pistol grip or not or whether there's a bayonet mount or not, these could be the difference between a weapon covered by the ban or not covered by the ban.

WEBSTER: Right. My recollection is that the weapon that - the photo that I saw of the weapon, it did have a pistol grip. So it probably would have been banned.

SIEGEL: But it's not an easy call for people who study this law, in this (unintelligible).

WEBSTER: No, it's not. And that's kind of the point, really, is that they made a relatively what should be a simple thing complicated. What's really most relevant to public safety has to do with the capacity to fire dozens of bullets, perhaps in some instances, in a matter of seconds. So it would make more sense to sort of focus on the functionality and the thing that's most relevant.

SIEGEL: The University of Pennsylvania study - that I think you were alluding to - wrote that the ban exempted assault weapons and large-capacity magazines manufactured before September 13, 1994. At that time, there were upwards of 1.5 million privately held assault weapons in the U.S. and nearly 25 million guns equipped with large-capacity magazines. So, certainly, a great many weapons escape the impact of the ban.

WEBSTER: That's right. My understanding is that Senator Feinstein's new legislation would try to go beyond what the prior legislation focused on and actually go for a broad ban even for so-called grandfathered weapons. I think that'll be harder to do politically. But if it does go through, I think it has a far better chance for impact.

SIEGEL: The discussion we're having now is occasioned by a mass shooting in which the, say, banning large-capacity magazines seems very germane because a gunman wouldn't be able to fire off that many rounds that quickly. But the victims of such shootings represent a very, very small share of the victims of gun violence in the United States.

WEBSTER: Yes, they do. I do think, though, even though they represent a small percentage of overall gun violence, it's very significant sort of they're meaning more in our overall psyche. You know, gun violence affects us beyond the death toll, beyond the number of individuals who were wounded and treated in hospitals. It affects our overall psyche, how safe we feel. And I think they leave us incredibly fearful. When we think about the effects of policies like this, we have to think beyond just body counts. It affects us in far more deep ways.

SIEGEL: Well, Professor Webster, thank you very much for talking with us.

WEBSTER: Thank you.

SIEGEL: That's Professor Daniel Webster, expert in firearm policy and gun violence prevention at Johns Hopkins University. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.