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.

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A View From Doha: The Time To Tackle Climate Change Is Now

Dec 7, 2012
Originally published on December 7, 2012 12:20 pm

The failure so far of a decades-long process to confront man-made climate change on a global level through a meaningful, effective and fair commitment to reduce green house gas (GHG) emissions poses a serious dilemma for the survival of human civilization on this planet.

The latest round of talks intended to put the Earth on a sustainable climate-change path have been taking place this week in Doha, Qatar, at the United Nations-driven Conference of Parties (COP 18). The message coming out of the Conference is a stark reminder of the dangers facing humanity and our fellow travelers on this planet.

To maintain average global temperatures less than 2 degrees centigrade (2°C) above pre-industrial levels, the planetary carbon budget stands between 550 and 580 giga-tons of CO2-equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Currently, humans are emitting 45-55 giga-tons of CO2e every year and, at this pace we can outspend planetary carbon budget in another 10 to 15 years.

In the wake of the now famous "Copenhagen failure" to design a post-Kyoto climate policy, which would have ideally taken effect for the 2012-2020 period, the UN negotiation process is aiming to agree upon an international treaty by 2015 that will take effect from 2020 onwards. Given the increasing economic growth rates in developing countries, GHG emissions are expected to increase to as much as 55-65 Giga-tons of CO2e per year by 2020. It is becoming less and less likely that we can meet a 2°C goal.

In fact, the World Bank recently issued a shocking report saying that a 4°C world is looking more and more likely in the absence of an international agreement to reign in GHGs. The 4°C world could arrive as early as 2080!

According to the World Bank report, a 4°C world would play havoc with our planetary ecological system, resulting in widespread food insecurity, mass hunger, mass migration, biodiversity loss, coastal erosion, more frequent droughts, floods, heat waves and super-storms.

The threats likely to emerge in a 4°C world lead to a surprising question: should high-GHG emitters be seen as something akin to "climate criminals"? Industrialized countries, especially the United States, European Union, Canada, Japan, Russia and Australia, and now rapidly industrializing countries, with the acronym of BRICS (Brazil, India, China and South Africa), are increasingly responsible for the growth of annual GHGs to the current levels of 45-55 Giga-tons. Are they culpable for their actions?

In the last 20 years since the 1992 Rio treaty, the UN process has failed to regulate GHGs. Both the industrialized countries and rapidly industrializing countries are not willing to agree upon costlier, binding GHG reductions, which would require extensive regulation of markets in energy, agriculture, waste, transportation and forestry across the developed and developing countries.

We stand at a critical juncture in human history. Either, we start getting ready for a 4°C world, and perhaps a 8°C world by 2160, or we rise above the short-term economic cost concerns and change the current economic growth paradigm. This would require replacing energy and transportation systems based on fossil fuels with renewable sources of power, a momentous task in the short time left to try and maintain a 2°C world.

Respecting tropical forests, dematerializing consumption, removing waste streams and, above all, shifting to local, organic food systems will also be needed to solve the climate crisis. These transformative shifts in our economic paradigm could be enabled through legal triggers at all levels of governance, from international treaties in these sectors to national and sub-national incentive designs.

In previous posts to this blog, we have argued that laws enable new possibilities, which in turn guide the trajectories of biological and economic evolution on this planet. The urgency of taking action on climate change couldn't be higher. While the UN Conferences of Parties in the last 20 years have failed to deliver, enabling laws and incentives at all governance levels could trigger an economic transformation that would ensure climate security in the medium-to-long run.


Asim Zia, blogging from the UN COP 18 in Doha, Qatar, is the author of the forthcoming book Post-Kyoto Climate Governance: Confronting the Politics of Scale, Ideology and Knowledge, to be published by Rutledge Press in February 2013. He is assistant professor in the Department of Community Development and Applied Economics and Department of Computer Science at the University of Vermont and a Fellow at the Gund Institute of Ecological Economics.

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