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.


In The Battle Between Health And Taste, Why White Bread Still Wins

Jan 11, 2013
Originally published on January 16, 2013 8:59 am

The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked brioche is hard to resist, while a virtuous loaf of whole wheat often lacks that same allure. Blame it on the ferulic acid.

See, whole-wheat bread contains all parts of the wheat, including the bran, but white bread does not. That bran in the wheat bread contains the aforementioned ferulic acid, which overrides the compounds that give white bread its mouthwatering smell, according to new research.

Much nudging from the health police has convinced more people to eat whole-grain bread, but just 60 percent of Americans eat a whole-grain food at least once in two weeks, according to the Whole Grains Council. Clearly our hearts, and our palates, still belong to white.

"My children, they cut off crusts from wheat bread. Why?" asks Devin Peterson, co-director of the Flavor Research and Education Center at the University of Minnesota. He knows he's not the only parent who's noticed that whole wheat can be a tough sell.

But unlike the rest of us, Peterson has the chops to figure out what makes for whole wheat's lack of appeal. His lab baked up whole wheat and white bread, removed the crust right when it came out of the oven, and froze the crust in liquid nitrogen.

After that Peterson and his colleagues ground the frozen bread crust in a mortar and pestle, added solvent, distilled the liquid, and ran it through a series of gas chromatographs and sniffers. (Crust was chosen because it's the part of bread that browns the most, and browning is a major part of flavor.)

The white bread crust gave off chemicals that smell like corn chips, potatoes, caramel, and flowers, while the whole wheat produced malty, earthy, cucumber, fatty smells. Which would you choose for toast?

To combat some of these issues, manufacturers often add salt and sugar to whole-grain bread. But that takes away from its nutritional value. Indeed, some products labeled "whole grain" have more sugar and calories than products that don't sport that label, a recent study in the journal Public Health Nutrition found.

Products with the Whole Grain stamp, which is a common symbol on food packages these days, were higher in fiber and lower in trans fats than some other foods, but had more sugar and calories compared to products without the stamp. Researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health found that products that met the American Heart Association's standard — requiring a 10:1 ratio of carbohydrates to fiber — were healthiest overall.

The Whole Grains Council, which developed the stamp, took some issues with Harvard's conclusions. "It's designed to address whole grain content and nothing more," says Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutrition strategies for Oldways and the Council. And, she noted: "Whole-grain consumption went up 20 percent in the first three years after [the stamp] was introduced in 2005." (Read the group's full response here.)

Still, more of us could stand to gain from the well-documented health benefits of whole grain, so figuring out how to make it yummier while still being healthy would be a big plus for the many people who have yet to make the switch.

In Peterson's quest for better whole-grain taste, he found that ferulic acid in wheat bran blocked production of 2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, a molecule that helps produce a warm, browned smell we associate with white bread. "If I were to give you this compound in pure form, it's very discernible," Peterson told The Salt. "It's a very nice baked note."

Chefs call that nice baked note the Maillard reaction, after a Frenchman who realized a century ago that it's what gives grilled steak and browned bread its rich flavor. (NPR's Joe Palca gives the lowdown on Maillard and how deliciousness can come from heating a mixture of sugars and amino acids.)

Bitter taste is also a problem for whole-wheat bread. Peterson has looked into that, too, and says the problem is not in the flour but in compounds created in fermentation and in the Maillard reaction. In the past, bakeries have tried different forms of flour to reduce bitterness, but Peterson thinks the solution lies in tweaking the proofing and baking process instead.

Removing ferulic acid from whole-wheat bran isn't the answer, Peterson thinks; he speculates that it may have health benefits. "You have to look at the whole picture and keep the good elements together."

He hopes that by figuring out just what makes whole-wheat bread taste and smell the way it does will help food manufacturers how to keep the nutritional goodness of whole grains, without losing the rich brown smell of freshly baked bread. Peterson's research was published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.