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' Message Repeats Itself

Dec 14, 2012
Originally published on December 14, 2012 6:35 am



This is MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.


And I'm David Greene.

Politicians, they love to stay on message, don't they? Even when there's not much to spin, they'll spin.

MONTAGNE: Take last night. President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner. Both sides said the exchange was frank. Lines of communication remain open.

GREENE: We have no idea what the two men said behind closed doors as they work to avoid spending cuts and tax increases in January. We do know the public message hasn't changed for weeks. Here's NPR's Tamara Keith.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: Most weekdays over the past couple of weeks, House Speaker John Boehner has stood before cameras and microphones to give an update on the talks.

REPRESENTATIVE JOHN BOEHNER: Good morning, everyone. Morning, everyone. Morning, everyone.

KEITH: And his message has been remarkably consistent. Or you could say repetitive. The theme, stated in various ways: We're here, we're ready. The president's just not willing to negotiate.

BOEHNER: Because right now the American people have to be scratching their heads and wondering when is the president going to get serious. Now, it's clear, the president's just not serious about cutting spending. It's time for the president, if he's serious, to come back to us with a counteroffer.

KEITH: And on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue, almost every day, the president's spokesman Jay Carney stands before the cameras and microphones and also says more or less the same thing: We have a plan. The Republicans are the ones who aren't being reasonable.

JAY CARNEY: The president has, for a long time now, had on the table the only balanced and specific proposal - a balanced package - to have a balanced package.

KEITH: To which Boehner says...

BOEHNER: I've came out the day after the election to put revenues on the table to take a step toward the president to try to resolve this.

KEITH: Now, those revenues would come from closing loopholes and limiting deductions, and the speaker hasn't said which ones. Still, he argues it's the president's turn to make a concession. And so...

BOEHNER: It's now up to the White House to show us how they're going to cut spending and give us the balanced agreement that the president has talked about for weeks.

KEITH: To which the White House through spokesman Jay Carney says the president has been plenty specific and the Republicans are the ones who need to name the cuts they want.

CARNEY: We look forward to specificity from the Republicans. If the Republicans have specifics that they want to put forward, they ought to do that. You know, what we have not seen yet is any kind of specificity from Republicans on how they would do it differently.

KEITH: And around they go. If they can't reach an agreement by year's end, taxes will rise on virtually everyone and automatic across-the-board spending cuts will kick in, which has prompted a new, and now oft-repeated, charge from the speaker.

BOEHNER: And the longer the White House slow-walks this process - slow walk any agreement - to slow walk our economy right to the edge of the fiscal cliff.

KEITH: So, what's up with all this new day, same old message business? Kathleen Hall Jamieson is director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania.

KATHLEEN HALL JAMIESON: What Jay Carney and Speaker Boehner are doing in repeating their positions and blaming the other side is communicating to their base that they are holding their own, they are standing for their principles. They are putting up the good fight.

KEITH: And this, she says, creates the space to negotiate behind closed doors and possibly get something done, though it's hard to tell right now if that's actually what's happening.

JAMIESON: You could be establishing to your base that you're holding your own and getting something done. Or you could be establishing that you're holding your own and not getting anything done. Either way, what you're doing is establishing to your base that you are fighting for what they believe in.

KEITH: Jamieson says one of the axioms of communication is: redundancy is retention, which means, of course, by repeating the repetitions...

JAMIESON: Basically, their press strategy is working.

KEITH: Tamara Keith, NPR News, the Capitol. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.