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.


'We Didn't Do Enough' To Protect S.C. Tax Records

Nov 21, 2012
Originally published on November 21, 2012 9:49 am



Here is a story that's has people in South Carolina on edge. Foreign hackers recently broke into the state's Department of Revenue and stole the records of 3.8 million individual taxpayers and nearly three-quarters of a million businesses. The breach affects everyone who filed an electronic tax return in South Carolina going back to 1998. NPR's Kathy Lohr has the story.

KATHY LOHR, BYLINE: South Carolina officials have been scrambling since they told the public last month that a hacker gained access to taxpayer records. Governor Nikki Haley says the state's 1970s computer technology and security flaws created what she calls a cocktail for an attack.

GOVERNOR NIKKI HALEY: I want to make it very clear, we didn't do enough. And we should go above and beyond to make sure that we do.

LOHR: According to a computer security firm, the state didn't have enough levels of security. For example, requiring two ways to verify when someone tries to access tax returns. And officials did not encrypt social security numbers.

Haley has held a series of news conferences, including one yesterday to update the extent of the breach. The latest: nearly 4 million taxpayers, 1.9 million dependants, 700,000 businesses and 3.3 million bank accounts were compromised. The governor says this is a warning for other states.

HALEY: This is the new normal and the new normal requires new restrictions and new regulations and new things that are going to keep our people safe. And that is now a new leadership role for every governor in this country.

LOHR: In fact, government agencies and businesses deal with hacking every day. Google disclosed a sophisticated cyberattack on its systems in 2010 that it said originated in China. Last month, credit card machines at Barnes and Noble stores were compromised, exposing customers' names and credit card numbers. Universities and medical centers are often targets, but none of these compares with the scope of South Carolina.

PAUL STEPHENS: It is certainly the largest breach of a state tax agency by far.

LOHR: Paul Stephens is with the Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, a group that's monitored hacking incidents since 2005.

STEPHENS: Unfortunately for South Carolina residents, they found the low-hanging fruit. And they found the agency that did not have sufficient security protocols in place, enabling them to obtain the social security numbers of several million residents.

LOHR: The state says hackers likely used a malicious email to steal an employee password. That allowed them to access multiple databases. Former legislator John Hawkins has filed suit against state officials and against the private company it hired to protect taxpayer information.

JOHN HAWKINS: There was a systemic failure on the part of these defendants to protect our data and to put in place what would be considered in the industry the bare minimum of protection.

LOHR: Computer security experts say more safeguards should have been in place. For example, software that can shut down computers if a hacker gets in or better encryption practices. The state is now making those changes, but it's too late for millions of people. Michael Huhns is with the Center for Information Technology at the University of South Carolina.

MICHAEL HUHNS: Once hackers, once they get the information, it's sort of sold around the world to anyone who might have a bad use for it. And that can happen very quickly, within a day or so. And most agencies seem to take several weeks before they respond to attacks and by then it's way too late to do anything.

LOHR: And there was another big development yesterday. The head of South Carolina's tax agency, Jim Etter, resigned, according to the governor to, quote, get a new set of eyes on the department.

Kathy Lohr, NPR News.


WERTHEIMER: It's NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.