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.


Sky-High Vegetables: Vertical Farming Sprouts In Singapore

Nov 9, 2012
Originally published on November 9, 2012 3:44 pm

Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.

Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.

The idea behind vertical farming is simple: Think of skyscrapers with vegetables climbing along the windows. Or a library-sized greenhouse with racks of cascading vegetables instead of books.

Ng's technology is called "A-Go-Gro," and it looks a lot like a 30-foot tall Ferris wheel for plants. Trays of Chinese vegetables are stacked inside an aluminum A-frame, and a belt rotates them so that the plants receive equal light, good air flow and irrigation. The whole system has a footprint of only about 60 square feet, or the size of an average bathroom.

Advocates, whose ranks are growing in cities from New York City to Sweden, say vertical farming has a handful of advantages over other forms of urban horticulture. More plants can squeeze into tight city spaces, and fresh produce can grow right next to grocery stores, potentially reducing transportation costs, carbon dioxide emissions and risk of spoilage. Plus, most vertical farms are indoors, so plants are sheltered from shifting weather and damaging pests.

But is vertical farming just a design fad, or could it be the next frontier of urban agriculture? That depends on your angle — and location.

Implementing these "farmscrapers" on a commercial scale has been challenging, and making them economical has been almost impossible.

It's still up for debate whether vertical farms are more efficient at producing food than traditional greenhouses, says Gene Giacomelli, a plant scientist at the University of Arizona, who directs their the Controlled Environment Agriculture Center.

The limiting factor is light. The total food produced depends on the amount of light reaching plants. Although vertical farms can hold more plants, they still receive just about the same quantity of sunlight as horizontal greenhouses.

"The plants have to share the existing light, and they just grow more slowly." Giacomelli tells The Salt. "You can't amplify the sun."

For American cities, like New York and Chicago, Giacomelli thinks putting plain-old greenhouses on rooftops could be just as efficient as vertical farms – and a lot easier to implement.

In fact, two companies are already working on that approach. Gotham Greens is producing pesticide-free lettuce and basil for restaurants and retailers from rooftop greenhouses in Brooklyn, while Lufa Farms grows 23 veggie varieties in a 31,000 foot greenhouse atop a Montreal office building.

But for the island of Singapore, where real estate is a premium, vertical farming might be the most viable option. "Singapore could be a special case, where land value is so exceptional high, that you have no choice but to go vertically," Giacomelli says.

The Sky Greens vegetables are "flying off the shelves," reports Channel NewsAsia — perhaps because the vertical veggies are fresher than most available in Singapore, which imports most of its produce from China, Malaysia and the U.S. They do, however, cost about 5 to 10 percent more than regular greens.

"The prices are still reasonable and the vegetables are very fresh and very crispy," Rolasind Tan, a consumer, told Channel NewsAsia. "Sometimes, with imported food, you don't know what happens at farms there."

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