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.

Pages

Spy Vs. Spy: A Former MI5 Director On Loving James Bond

Jan 14, 2013

Stella Rimington writes spy fiction and is the former director general of MI5. Her most recent book is The Geneva Trap.

I first discovered Ian Fleming's From Russia With Love in the early '60s, before I knew that I would join MI5 and become part of that mysterious world myself, and before James Bond had become a worldwide phenomenon through the films.

In those days, for a nicely brought-up young lady, it was a book to be read in a brown paper cover, a guilty pleasure, a tale of sex and violence rooted in the Cold War battle between the Soviet Union's KGB and Britain's MI6, one of the arms of British intelligence, together with MI5.

In Moscow, a group of uniformed yes men, Soviet counterintelligence officials, meet to determine how to strike a fatal blow at the enemy. They decide to kill MI6's agent, James Bond, in circumstances so compromising that the reputation of MI6 will be destroyed for good.

About 30 years after I first read the book, as the Soviet Union was collapsing, I found myself, then deputy head of MI5, in the headquarters of the KGB in Moscow, making the first formal contact between the intelligence services of Britain and the USSR. I recalled Fleming's description of the office on the second floor of the building in Moscow from which the Soviet counterintelligence agencies, SMERSH (an acronym of the Russian "Death to Spies"), was directed. To my slightly fevered imagination, it was all there — the long conference table, the desk with four telephones and the row of men with inscrutable faces on the other side of the table.

There were no women to be seen, so there was no opportunity to discover whether Colonel Rosa Klebb was somewhere in the building. Klebb, head of SMERSH's Department of Operations, one of Fleming's most disgusting villains. A toad-like figure with yellow eyes and pale moist lips below nicotine-stained fur, she scuttles through the corridors, clutching a low stool on which she sits to look into the eyes of her victims, so she can best decide which form of agony will break them. When she is seen returning to her office, her smock freshly bloodstained, all who see her know that the torture has been successful.

Rosa Klebb, with the poison-tipped knives in her shoes, became the archetypal figure of female intelligence officers on both sides of the Cold War divide. When my appointment as the first woman to head MI5 was announced in 1992, a British journalist told me that he had expected me to be a version of Rosa Klebb. Sadly, it hadn't occurred to him that I might be like the glamorous Tatiana Romanova, another KGB officer who ensnared Bond with her body and her Spektor code machine.

It is perhaps not surprising that in 1956, when Fleming wrote the book, he could imagine only two roles for women in the intelligence services: torturer or seductress. But it is a testament to his abiding influence that even in the '90s, his was still the popular image. The idea that women like me might be leading investigations, running sources or even running entire intelligence services was unimaginable.

But this book isn't about reality. With its exotic scenes in Istanbul, its struggle to the death with a psychopathic killer on the Orient Express, it is sheer escapism. And reading it again, even now, when I know so much more about how things really are, I'm with JFK in thinking this is one of the best of the Bond books.

My Guilty Pleasure is produced and edited by the team at NPR Books.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.