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.


Fiscal Cliff, Gun Debate Looms As Lawmakers Take Holiday Break

Dec 23, 2012
Originally published on December 23, 2012 12:41 pm



This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. Could eggnog be the antidote to the looming fiscal cliff? President Obama expressed this very hope as he left town for Christmas in Hawaii on Friday, saying maybe eggnog and Christmas cookies could put lawmakers in a more cooperative mood in time to prevent the automatic tax hikes and spending cuts set to take effect with the new year. The president said lawmakers might also benefit from a short cooling-off period outside the partisan pressure cooker here in Washington.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We're going to have to find some common ground. And the challenge that we've got right now is that the American people are a lot more sensible and a lot more thoughtful and much more willing to compromise and give and sacrifice and act responsibly than their elected representatives are, and that's a problem.

MARTIN: NPR's Scott Horsley joins us now for more on the ongoing negotiations. So, Scott, it did seem in the middle of this past week as if some kind of compromise was in the offing and Americans wanted a deal to happen. But then the deficit-cutting talks fell apart. What happened?

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Well, here's the problem, Rachel, no deal that even hints at a tax increase is going to win the votes of the Tea Party faction within the House. On the other hand, any deal that will win the votes of those Republicans is not going to pass the Democrat-controlled Senate. So, the only way that we're going to get a compromise legislation through is that some fraction of House Republicans, minus the Tea Party, along with some number of House Democrats. And this past week at least, House Speaker John Boehner was not willing to attempt that. He's worried about losing his gavel. And it's unfortunate because as you say there really is an appetite in the business community and the public at-large for some sign that divided government can work. When it looked like there might be a deal, the stock market was rallying this past week. And from the Republican point of view, it's hard to see how they get a better deal after January 1st when the president gets the tax hikes he wants without having to trade anything for them.

MARTIN: OK. So, I knew no one really likes to make predictions, especially in Washington, but I'm going to ask you anyway: what happens now?

HORSLEY: Well, the president's now looking for a scaled-down deal that would just extend Bush-era tax cuts for income up to a quarter million dollars and extend unemployment benefits. That wouldn't have the public works spending he wants. It wouldn't necessarily have the spending cuts Republicans want. In other words, it would be all about political expedience, not solving problems, sadly, what we see all too often here in Washington.

Alternatively, there is no compromise reached. Everyone's taxes go up January 1st. We cut spending across the board in a thoughtless way. And the polls are pretty clear, Republicans get the blame. Going over the cliff, at least temporarily, would not be the worst thing economically but it certainly would not inspire confidence.

MARTIN: OK. So, the president has a big agenda in the next term. In the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, he has said that he would like to take on the issue of gun violence. He's looking for some pretty quick action, Scott. What does he want?

HORSLEY: He is looking for quite action. Vice President Joe Biden is going to head up an effort, and they have been tasked to come back with recommendations in January. Those would include probably better mental health care, maybe some cultural changes. And the president's also talking about some gun control measures, including a ban on assault weapons like the one used in Connecticut. The NRA broke its silence on the school shooting this past Friday, offering a very different recommendation. They say the solution is to have more guns in schools. That argument was pretty widely panned but it does show the kind of stuff resistance that any push for additional gun control is going to face.

MARTIN: NPR's Scott Horsley. Thanks so much, Scott.

HORSLEY: My pleasure, Rachel. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.