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.

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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.

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.

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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.


After Suspenseful Vote, Boehner Recaptures House Speaker Seat

Jan 3, 2013
Originally published on January 3, 2013 6:10 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.


And I'm Robert Siegel.

The 113th Congress was sworn in today, bringing with it a number of firsts. White men now make up a minority of the 200 members in the House Democratic Caucus.

CORNISH: In the Senate, there will be 20 women, an all-time high.

SIEGEL: Also, the first Republican African-American senator in more than three decades.

CORNISH: We'll hear more about the Senate in a moment. But first, some drama in the House on a day normally reserved for ceremony and celebration. As NPR's Tamara Keith reports, Ohio Congressman John Boehner kept the speaker's gavel but only after some tense moments during the roll call vote for re-election.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Boehner had already been picked by his fellow Republicans in a private vote. The vote of the full House today was essentially ceremonial. There shouldn't have been any question about Boehner winning the speakership. But as the fiscal cliff fight dragged on, conservatives in the conference became increasingly unhappy. The whispers got louder.

Out in the conservative blogosphere, it was more like shouts. If enough Republicans didn't vote or voted for someone else, election of the speaker would have to go to a second ballot. Boehner could be ousted. And so when the voting began, there was some suspense. With the third name called, the drama heightened.


KEITH: Justin Amash is one of the most conservative members of the House, voted in as part of the Tea Party wave of 2010. His vote went to a fellow Tea Party conservative.


KEITH: Unlike most votes, which are electronic, for this one, each member had their name called. They stood and yelled out their choice. Democrats overwhelmingly voted for the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, and the Republicans voted for Boehner. But in several cases, there was silence. Two voted for former Congressman Allen West, who recently lost his re-election bid. Kansas Republican Tim Huelskamp is one of those who voted against the speaker and has vocally questioned his leadership after being booted from a committee assignment last month.

REPRESENTATIVE TIM HUELSKAMP: I think it was, you know, a vote of no confidence. I mean, in this town, the intimidation and pressure was intense. There are a lot of people that wanted to vote no.

KEITH: Several Republicans milled around the chamber with what looked to be scorecards, counting the votes and the non-votes. There were serious faces and frenzied conversations.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: The reading clerk will now call the names of the representatives-elect who did not answer the first call of the roll.

KEITH: Slowly, and at least one case, reluctantly, a handful of non-votes spoke up and selected Boehner. The suspense was over.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Therefore, the Honorable John A. Boehner of the state of Ohio, having received the majority of the votes cast, is duly elected speaker of the House of Representatives for the 113th Congress.


KEITH: It's not going to be an easy job. Boehner will lead a majority slightly smaller than the one he ushered in in 2011. Then Republicans had just notched a massive victory, largely a result of the success of Tea Party candidates. But it didn't take long for Boehner's newly, more conservative conference to start causing him trouble. Many of those people are back, and some of them just voted against him in the speakership election.

As he accepted the gavel for another term, Boehner talked about the challenges ahead. And, as he's known to do, choked back tears.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: If you have come here humbled by the opportunity to serve, if you have come here to be the determined voice of the people, if you have come here to carry the standard of leadership demanded not just by our constituents but by the times, then you have come to the right place.


KEITH: Two years ago, the tone was very different.


BOEHNER: My belief has always been that we can disagree without being disagreeable.

KEITH: There was at least some nod to bipartisanship, a hope to get things done despite differences. That optimism was gone from today's remarks, with the speaker instead focusing on the fights ahead.

BOEHNER: It's a big job, and it comes with big challenges. Our government has built up too much debt. Our economy is not producing enough jobs, and these are not separate problems.

KEITH: There are potentially three big battles in the next three months - first, the debt ceiling, then the automatic spending cuts of the sequester, then the funding of the government - all big deadlines, all likely painful partisan feuds. Boehner may have won the speakership, but it may be a job he ultimately wishes he didn't have. Tamara Keith, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.