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.


A Week Later, Pollster Says: 'I Was Drinking That Republican Kool-Aid'

Nov 14, 2012
Originally published on November 14, 2012 9:02 am

If voters were surprised to watch TV networks call the election for President Obama over Republican Mitt Romney minutes after polls closed in California last week, perhaps it was because of earlier statements like these:

--"Romney has pretty much nailed down Florida."

--"I think in places like North Carolina, Virginia and Florida, we've already painted those red, we're not polling any of those states again."

--"Minnesota is very much a battleground state due to the low minority population of the state and President Obama's problems with white voters. Romney has a good chance to pull off one of the biggest upsets of the election cycle in this state."

Those predictions came from Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling and Research in remarks to his Florida newspaper clients; David Paleologos, a pollster from Suffolk University, speaking to Fox News; and Glen Bolger, a pollster at Public Opinion Strategies, writing a memo for the Republican-affiliated firm NMB Research.

Coker's poll showed Romney ahead in Florida by 6 percentage points on Nov. 2, four days before the election. Florida went for Obama by a single percentage point.

Paleologos made his comments during an Oct. 9 appearance on Bill O'Reilly's TV show. Obama went on to win Virginia as well as Florida, and only lost North Carolina by 2 percentage points.

And Bolger's memo was released to the media by the conservative American Future Fund on Nov. 4, just two days before Obama won Minnesota by 8 percentage points.

Many Republicans over the final weekend, particularly those appearing on conservative media, were predicting not just a Romney victory but a substantial Romney victory, with upwards of 300 electoral votes. Much of that optimism seemed based on these and similar polls in both the presidential and Senate contests.

Mason-Dixon, for example, released late polls showing Senate GOP leads in both Montana and North Dakota. It showed Missouri Republican Todd Akin — notorious for his comment that female bodies had the ability to prevent pregnancy in cases of "legitimate" rape — trailing incumbent Claire McCaskill by just 2 percentage points. Democrats won in all three Senate races; McCaskill won by 15 percentage points.

"To say that I'm unhappy would be an understatement," said Harry Wilson, head of the polling center at Virginia's Roanoke College, which projected 5-point Virginia wins for both Romney and GOP Senate candidate George Allen on Oct. 31. Romney lost the state by 3 percentage points, and Allen lost by 5. "I was drinking that Republican Kool-Aid," Wilson said.

Wilson and other pollsters cited the same miscalculation: an assumption that the electorate that showed up Nov. 6 would be older, whiter and more Republican than the one that actually turned out. Obama's victory in 2008, juiced by higher-than-normal turnout by young voters and minorities, was seen as an aberration, unlikely to be repeated in a struggling economy.

"It was a defensible, logical decision — that was wrong," Wilson said.

Paleologos said his decision to stop polling Florida, Virginia and North Carolina was based on limited resources and a desire to poll Colorado and Ohio, but also on "the incumbency rule," a long-accepted premise that if an incumbent cannot rise above 47 percent or so in head-to-head polling, he is unlikely to win.

"What I've learned is that there's a new norm," he said. "The incumbency rule does not hold, at least in Florida and Virginia."

Scott Rasmussen is a Republican favorite, a prolific pollster who appeared frequently on Fox News with upbeat assessments of Romney's chances. His late polls showed Romney ahead in Virginia, Colorado and Iowa, and tied in Wisconsin and Ohio. Obama won all five states.

On his firm's website, Rasmussen offered this explanation last week: "We underestimated the minority share of the electorate. In 2008, 26 percent of voters were nonwhite. We expected that to remain relatively constant. However, in 2012, 28 percent of voters were nonwhite. That was exactly the share projected by the Obama campaign."

Bolger, meanwhile, offered a more blunt assessment on Public Opinion Strategies' website. Concluding "that there are too many Democrats" and a "birth dearth among white voters," Bolger echoed what's become a common view among Republicans looking at demographic shifts that will continue to increase the share of blacks and Latinos in the voting public: "Unless we are a party that is seriously competitive with Latino voters, we might never win another presidential election again."

S.V. Dáte is congressional editor on NPR's Washington Desk.

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