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.


'Truth By Repetition': The Evolution Of Political Mudslinging

Dec 29, 2012
Originally published on December 30, 2012 6:55 pm

There's always name-calling in national elections, but now there are more ways to get the message out, says political opposition researcher Michael Rejebian. During the past election, he says, the dirt was just flying more often.

Rejebian and Alan Huffman — both former investigative reporters — dig up background on their clients' opponents. While their currency is facts, many of the political attacks this election cycle were doling out something different.

"A lot of the attacks were fact-based, but I feel like facts are more often a supporting actor, if they appear at all," Huffman tells Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered. "And what really resonates on the Internet or in an ad is more important than whether or not they're factually based."

In their work, Rejebian and Huffman also look for potentially harmful information about their own clients to prepare them for what's out there, as they said on weekends on All Things Considered in March. They tell Lyden they're still amazed at what candidates assume won't be discovered about themselves.

The Supreme Court's Citizens United decision certainly had an impact on campaigning, particularly in advertising, Huffman says, but it wasn't exactly a boon to those in the field of fact-based background research.

"I think it is going to be more difficult to sort of wedge the truth, based on documentation, into the campaign when you've got huge amounts of money that can just sort of create truth by repetition," Huffman says. "So, in a sense ... it's just about the evolution of opposition research, and it's really not clear yet where it's going."

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This is WEEKENDS on ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Jacki Lyden.

Today, we're taking a look back at the year. Call it our journal of remembrance of things fairly recently passed; some of them just barely so. But you can't discuss 2012 without bringing up the presidential election.

In March, we interviewed two guys, Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian, who are opposition researchers. A nice way of saying, they're former investigative reporters turned political dirt diggers. We checked in with them to see what they thought about how the facts fared in this election cycle.

MICHAEL REJEBIAN: I think in every national election since the beginning of the republic, you've had name-calling and those kinds of things. But I think because of the infinite number of delivery mechanisms that you had this year and the numbers of groups that were pouring money into these campaigns, those kinds of things were more pronounced. So I don't know that you had anything different than what you normally had. There was just - it was just there more often.

ALAN HUFFMAN: Well, this is Alan. And if you look at the national elections, you could see that there were a lot of facts in play. A lot of the attacks were fact-based. But I feel like facts are more often a supporting actor, if they appear at all. And what really resonates on the Internet or in an ad is more important than whether or not they're factually based.

LYDEN: But you had a few interesting races that you worked for this year since we last spoke to you. Tell me about the candidate you were researching in Arkansas.

HUFFMAN: That was one of the nightmare candidates for an opposition researcher just because in this case, we just found a lot of information really quickly about our candidate that we knew was going to be difficult. A lot more, in fact, than existed on his opponent. And that's always disconcerting because, you know, you're going to have to lay that out for them.

LYDEN: Well, so still, what did you find out?

REJEBIAN: Well, this is Michael again. It was funny because we were - what we found out was that this guy had $750,000 in state and federal tax liens and scores of bank foreclosures on property. And it was funny because I remember we were walking out of the courthouse carrying like a 10-inch stack of documents that we were going to have to go through - tax documents. And Alan looked at me and said, you know, if this guy hadn't paid all this, do you really think he's going to pay us? And sure enough, he didn't. So...


REJEBIAN: ...you know, you live and learn.

LYDEN: And a guy with that many liens against him and that kind of financial trail behind him, he didn't think that'd be a problem running for office at all, huh?

HUFFMAN: Well, this is Alan. You know, we run into that all the time. The candidates, either it's just ego or just they've been able to skate for long enough on these things that they just assume that no one will find it. I mean, that's why they hire us so that they'll see what is out there that someone could conceivably find. But we're always amazed that people have these things in their past that they often haven't dealt with at all.

LYDEN: Mm-hmm. So do you think that your job is going to be getting harder because there's just so much money out there, or is the kind of work you do, digging up dirt, a growth field?

HUFFMAN: You know, it's interesting because we did see the impact of Citizens United and all that money out there in the presidential election, but I don't think it created opportunities for more of that deep background research in general. I think it went into advertising. And, you know, I think it is going to be more difficult to sort of wedge the truth based on documentation into the campaign when you've got huge amounts of money that can just sort of create truth by repetition. So in a sense, you know, it's just about the evolution of opposition research, and it's really not clear yet where it's going.

LYDEN: Alan Huffman and Michael Rejebian are former investigative journalists who do opposition research for political candidates. They wrote the book "We're With Nobody." Alan and Michael, thank you. And have a great new year.

REJEBIAN: Thank you, Jacki.

HUFFMAN: You too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.