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.


Weak Schedule Helped Some Wild Card Teams Into NFL Playoffs

Jan 4, 2013
Originally published on January 4, 2013 7:02 pm



Finally this hour, as we get ready to settle in for the NFL playoffs - that's four football games per weekend over the next two weekends - NPR's Mike Pesca is here to offer insight, analysis, and I understand a little cold water. Mike, what's your deal here?

MIKE PESCA, BYLINE: Well, as the calendar turns to a new year, I suppose hope is supposed to spring eternal, but this is the NFL. We're not talking about hope. We're talking about crushing your opponent and grinding him up, so let's do that, I figured, with some of the teams who are in the playoffs but perhaps advanced statistics or the eye test suggest shouldn't be. I'd like to talk about some of the terrible teams that have made the postseason.

CORNISH: OK, against my better judgment, I will enable you. Which team in the wild card playoffs is the worst?

PESCA: Well, I'm going to pick on the Indianapolis Colts. When you think of the Colts, you think of some great things around them this year. They were 2-14 last year, so it's been a great bounce-back season. Their coach battled cancer. He's doing well now. It's inspiring. And their quarterback, Andrew Luck, one of the more exciting young players in the NFL, finds a way to win games. However, if you really dissect what's going on with the Colts this year, they've gotten extremely lucky, they've played a weak schedule.

There are a lot of computer rankings out there. Yeah, I know, everyone hates computers. It's just a bunch of guys keying in numbers, but sometimes they have something to tell us. And Jeff Sagarin, his computer ratings for USA Today say the Colts are the 23rd best team. Football Outsiders, they have a good set of ratings, ranks the Colts 25th. In reality, not a very good team.

CORNISH: Well, let me help out Colts fans here. I mean, the team was 11-5.

PESCA: Oh, you're saying those are the numbers that matter?

CORNISH: I'm just saying, you know, don't they deserve to be there?

PESCA: Yeah, of course, they do. They played the games in front of them, and that's the point. You have to realize what the NFL - so different from all the other sports. Other sports teams basically play the same schedule as their opponents. But in the NFL, there are only 16 games, and the Colts' schedule was so weak. It was the weakest schedule in the league. They do that on purpose to try to give a break to teams that were horrible one year. But it was so very weak that when we're comparing a Colts 11-5 record, it's really different from a lot of other teams that were, you know, 10-6 or even 9-7. They hugely benefited from an extremely weak schedule. And when they played good teams, they did not do well. But, hey, prove me wrong, Colts. Go out and beat the Ravens.

CORNISH: All right. Who is next worse?


PESCA: Well, I don't know if they're next worse, but let's talk about a team that's actually favored, the Houston Texans. They were cruising in the beginning of the season. They might have clinched the AFC's top seed, but they have lost three of their last four games, and it might be due to bad luck. They've had so many injuries. Their defense just isn't very good. They have an excellent rush game. But losing three out of four games that you want to win argues for being on a deep decline.

I know why they're favored because they have the same matchup as they did last year against Cincinnati. They blew out Cincinnati in this round of the playoffs last year. I guess people don't think Cincinnati is very good, and I agree. They're not very good, but perhaps they're good enough to beat this beaten-up Houston Texans team.

CORNISH: All right. So that was the AFC Conference. What about the NFC?

PESCA: Let's pick on the Vikings, why don't we? The Vikings have a great player in Adrian Peterson. He has a good line. Now, quick, name another player who's good on their offense. Not - there's not one other player in a skilled position who's even above average. And their quarterback is really so bad - Christian Ponder - that in the NFL, in this pass-happy NFL, it's very hard to think that they could mount a charge and beat the Packers. And I know you're going to say, wait a minute, the Packers were playing for a buy last week, and they lost to the Vikings last week.

It is true. Again, it's the vagaries of the NFL. Even if I'm telling you that statistically the Vikings aren't good, they could come up and win. Of course, they could win.

CORNISH: All right, Mike, if you're calling all these teams such losers...

PESCA: Losers.

CORNISH: ...who wins?

PESCA: What are they doing here? NFL wins. Last year, 35 million to 40 million people watched these games. The ratings are fantastic. If I told you, hey, you know what I'm going to do the next two weekends? I'm going to settle in and watch a doubleheader on Saturday and a doubleheader on Sunday and then do it again the next weekend. There's no other sport that someone could say that about. If someone said that to you about that's what I'm going to do with baseball games, just watch two games every weekend, you'd think they were actually a Major League Baseball scout, but it's just de rigueur with the NFL fans. It's an extremely popular sport. I don't know why with these 11-and-5 Colts. It makes no sense to me.

CORNISH: NPR's Mike Pesca. Thank you so much, Mike.

PESCA: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.