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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


Wedge Divides Old Guard And New At Tea Party Group

Dec 26, 2012
Originally published on December 26, 2012 7:24 pm



In today's Washington Post there's a story about former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey accompanied by his wife and to quote the story "an aide holstering a handgun at his waist" entering the Washington headquarters of the pro-Tea Party group FreedomWorks right after Labor Day. Armey was the chairman and according to the Post story, he was claiming control of Freedom Works. The headline of that story is - Freedom Works Tea Party Group Nearly Falls Apart in Fight Between Old and New Guard.

Well, in the end, Armey left the organization with a generous severance deal, $400,000 a year for 20 years.

A couple of days ago, David Corn of Mother Jones reported on an internal FreedomWorks memo that he'd obtained that gives some sense of what the big fight was about. And David Corn joins us now.

First, tell us about the memo.

DAVID CORN: Well, the memo was written by Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks. He wrote this memo a few days after he received a note from two board members, saying they were going to hire outside lawyers to investigate alleged wrongdoing within the organization. He wrote his memo, and it's unclear who it was sent to, and stated that he was the victim of a hostile takeover being mounted by Dick Armey and these two board members.

And he claimed that this wasn't about alleged wrongdoing, whether he benefited from a book contract or stole a media appearance from Dick Armey. It was about his view that these board members and Dick Armey were trying to make FreedomWorks part of the Republican establishment by supporting mainline Republican candidates in primaries against Tea Party insurgents.

SIEGEL: So, for example, Ben Quayle - the son of former Vice President Dan Quayle - was redistricted into a primary against another Republican. The other Republican was the Tea Party favorite, but these board members said...

CORN: Well, one of the board members, C. Boyden Gray, was making a donation to Ben Quayle. Now, C. Boyden Gray was the counsel - White House counsel - to the Bush-Quayle administration and is very close to the Quayle family. But the memo gives numerous examples when Matt Kibbe even suggests or implies that Dick Armey and the board members were leaning on him to support these establishment Republicans over Tea Party candidates.

Now, Dick Armey says this is just a distraction; this is Matt Kibbe's excuse for covering up his own problems.

SIEGEL: The Armey severance deal, it's remarkable; 20 years, $400,000 a year, and Dick Armey is 72 years old, so...


SIEGEL: ...he's taken care of for the rest of his days pretty well. What does he do for that - just go away from FreedomWorks? Is that all these required to do?

CORN: Well, I think, according to the deal, he's supposed to be a consultant. The deal is not with FreedomWorks. It's interestingly enough with Richard Stephenson, a board member of FreedomWorks who will be paying Dick Armey apparently out of his own pocket this $8 million in walk away money so that Matt Kibbe could come back in and take up the reins once again for FreedomWorks.

SIEGEL: Stephenson, a very generous benefactor of FreedomWorks.

CORN: Their biggest sugar daddy, head of this group called Cancer Treatment Centers, a for-profit chain of treatment centers across the country. He's worth a lot of money. He's also archly libertarian. And apparently he gave $12 million to FreedomWorks right before the election to support some of his favorite Tea Party candidates, including Joe Walsh, his own congressman. And it didn't work out so well for Joe Walsh. FreedomWorks spent $1.7 million on that race and he lost.

But there are a lot of questions being raised about the secretive nature of his donation, and there could well be FEC investigations into that.

SIEGEL: Well, when you come away with from this story, that it's a clash of personalities between Matt Kibbe and Dick Armey, with allies on either side? Or that it's a serious question within the conservative movement, within FreedomWorks?

CORN: I think it's both. I think obviously it's turned into a very personal and bitter feud between Dick Armey and Matt Kibbe, and the loyalists to each on each side. I think there probably were ideological questions and probably real issues about, you know, the use of the resources within FreedomWorks and whether anything was done improperly.

That said, the larger picture here is that FreedomWorks has been a very important player in the conservative movement, particularly when it comes to supporting insurgent Tea Party candidates who often are running against establishment Republican candidates. And if it now falls apart in a clutter of accusations and lawsuits and legal investigations, that just can't be good news for the conservative movement.

SIEGEL: David Corn, Washington bureau chief for Mother Jones, thank you very much.

CORN: My pleasure. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.