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.


Will Fact Checks Always Be Ignored By Politicians?

Nov 11, 2012

Just because there's more fact checking, doesn't mean there's more truth telling.

Given this, David Carr of The New York Times declared that journalistic efforts to set the record straight during "the most fact-checked [presidential] election in history" didn't work.

"Both campaigns seemed to live a life beyond consequence, correctly discerning that it was worth getting a scolding from the journalistic church ladies if a stretch or an elide or an outright prevarication did damage to the opposition," wrote Carr.

Bill Adair of PolitiFact says Carr "really misfired."

"Our mission is to inform readers, not change the behavior of politicians," wrote Adair, whose group occasionally partnered with NPR on election coverage.

Whether or not it's the mission, are there more effective ways fact checking could interrupt the politicians' narratives?

What if there were fact checks crawling on the TV screen during a debate or speech, for example? Adair responded to It's All Politics via email:

"We already provide instant information during debates through our Twitter feed, which has 171,000 followers. And during debates, we post a Twitter widget on our site so people can get up-to-the-minute links to related fact-checks. In the future, we could easily do that on TV through a crawl on a screen.

"Would that have a stronger impact? Perhaps. But the candidates already know that they are going to be fact-checked, so I don't think the immediacy makes much difference.

"We are like cops on a highway with radar guns. The drivers know we are there and sometimes they decide to violate the speed limit anyway."

Of course, Adair said a Twitter-like stream on TV would work only with previously assessed claims. Still, he said PolitiFact is working on ways to shrink the gap between when people hear a claim and when they look up its trustworthiness.

"One way we're doing that is our Settle It! mobile app, which allows people to quickly search our database from their phone or tablet. Another way is the sound recognition technology that's been developed by the creators of the Super PAC App."

In his PressThink blog, New York University's Jay Rosen said journalists are in a "new phase" of reacting to misleading information since campaigns "seem able to override" fact checking. "So what's the next innovation?" he asks.

Adair, as mentioned above, doesn't believe stopping lies is the point. But here's what he sees in the future:

"The fact-checking itself is really just old shoe-leather journalism. The next step is to harness technology to get it in front of more people when they need it."

But people might not always need it immediately, says Brendan Nyhan, assistant professor of government at Dartmouth College. Nyhan has advocated for "blind debate coverage," watching the debates without simultaneously monitoring Twitter. He has also written about fact checking for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Nyhan suggests an effective tactic might be to have a fact checker on TV right after the debate, "before immediate spinning of who won or lost." Or maybe split the debate into three segments with fact checking intermissions.

Real-time fact checking by moderators can be messy business. Nyhan says it would be difficult to get the candidates to agree to a format that integrates fact checking in the first place. Regardless, verifying candidates' claims is "hard to do on the fly," he says.

Adair says checking a new claim can take anywhere from an hour to several days. Plus, there's the nuance factor: one Pinocchio or four?

"If [the moderator] gets something wrong, it could make things worse," Nyhan says.

CNN's Candy Crowley wandered into fact checking territory during the presidential debate she moderated on Oct. 16. Mitt Romney said it took President Obama 14 days to call the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, an "act of terror." Crowley told Romney that Obama had, in fact, called it an act of terror. She added:

"It did as well take two weeks or so for the whole idea of there being a riot out there about this tape to come out. You are correct about that."

As Politico reports, Crowley tried to further clarify her statement in later interviews, and her actions in the debate faced criticism from the right. On Fox News, National Review editor Rich Lowry said, "It's not the role of a moderator ever in these debates to be the fact checker."

Ironically, perhaps, the more adamant fact checkers are about their facts, the more partisan they may appear. Mother Jones' Washington bureau chief David Corn wrote in September:

"To judge credibility, the fact-checkers must be regarded as credible judges. But each time they are pulled into a scuffle with politicians, they can look more like political actors to the public — an assumption that especially benefits those politicians who lie with the greatest abandon."

Nyhan says he goes back and forth about the overall impact of fact checking. He says he believes the fact-checking movement is starting to shift journalism away from he-said-she-said stories. But that has a counterforce, he says: "The gaffe coverage might be dumber than ever before."

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