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.


Farmers Frustrated By Farm Bill Extension

Jan 3, 2013
Originally published on January 3, 2013 7:09 am



It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. Good morning. I'm Steve Inskeep.


And I'm David Greene.

Farmers and ranchers across this country expected to start the year with a new farm bill in place. This is an important piece of legislation to many people. It sets agricultural policy for the next five years.

When House and Senate negotiators were working feverishly over the weekend to come to a fiscal cliff deal, word leaked that the Agriculture Committees had finally come to an agreement on new farm legislation. But the larger fiscal cliff deal merely extended parts of a farm bill that expired in October.

Jeremy Bernfeld of member station KCUR in Kansas City reports that farmers are frustrated.

JEREMY BERNFELD, BYLINE: It takes months for most crops to grow, and farmers are used to waiting. But many farmers and ranchers say they've waited too long for a comprehensive farm bill and are fed up with Congress.

ALFRED BRANDT: Not surprised, but disappointed that they couldn't come together on something, and just leaving a lot of people kind of out there on a limb, not knowing what's going on.

BERNFELD: That's Alfred Brandt, who runs a dairy farm near Linn, Missouri. He milks about 150 cows on his pastoral farm just off a gravel road.

The farm bill is important to farmers like Brandt, because it sets all kinds of subsidy payments, disaster relief programs and conservation agendas. Farmers can't control much about their business, so they crave certainty about the aspects they can control. Without knowing what agriculture policy will look like next year, it's tough for them to make best-practice planting decisions. It's hard for ranchers and dairy producers to decide just how big their herds should be.

The farm bill is usually authorized for five years. But since Congress couldn't pass a new bill, it merely extended parts of the previous farm bill until the end of September, picking and choosing which programs to fund. That's nine more months of short-term policy, and nine more months of uncertainty for farmers like Brandt.

BRANDT: We're just kind of left out here on a lurch. We don't really know which we way we can turn. So we'd just like to know whether it's good or bad for us, but the uncertainty of it is the part that we don't like.

BERNFELD: Extending the farm bill also locks in another round of controversial direct payments. That means billions in government subsidies for some grain, cotton and soybean farmers, subsidies that even many of them don't think are necessary anymore.

And the extension doesn't include funding for disaster aid programs and programs designed to encourage young people to get back in to farming. It also doesn't fully fund programs that help support local farmers markets and agricultural research provisions.

Ferd Heofner with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition says merely extending the current farm bill hurts small, local farmers.

FERD HEOFNER: The takeaway is that we're going backwards in time, getting rid of the programs that I think the general public and the consumers are demanding. Those are the same programs that are getting terminated.

BERNFELD: The extension hit dairy producers especially hard. Many say the safety net for them is outdated, and the new farm bill would have created a program to protect them against higher feed costs.

Jerry Kozak heads the National Milk Producers Federation. He says last year's drought significantly raised the cost of feed, and that's chasing some dairy farmers out of business.

JERRY KOZAK: Whether it's dairy farming or producing Energizer batteries, no one can produce a product at a loss.

BERNFELD: Kozak says dairy farmers looking for a new safety net are out of luck, at least until the extension expires at the end of September.

KOZAK: Of course we're frustrated. And in the interim, as dairy farm families exit the business while we're still debating it, it clearly is going to fall on the heads of those who failed to bring this up for a vote.

BERNFELD: So even farmers - long-known for their patience - are growing weary of waiting on Congress.

For NPR News, I'm Jeremy Bernfeld.

GREENE: And Jeremy's story came to us from Harvest Public Media. That's a public radio reporting collaboration that focuses on agriculture and food production. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.