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.


How Boehner's 'Critical Moment' Could Turn Out OK For Him

Dec 22, 2012
Originally published on December 22, 2012 8:50 pm

"The House has done its part to avert this entire fiscal cliff," House Speaker John Boehner said Saturday in his weekly address.

He cited the measure that passed Thursday, which would reorganize the automatic spending cuts to protect the defense budget and cut deeper elsewhere. He also pointed to legislation that would stop all tax hikes on Jan. 1.

Boehner said the president "refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with entitlement reform and the big issues facing our nation."

But he did not mention his proposed "Plan B," which would have raised taxes on annual income above $1 million. That measure never even made it to a vote Thursday. At the last minute, the speaker found he wouldn't have enough of his own party's support to pass it.

So is he now "bloodied" as a speaker, as The Associated Press put it Saturday? There are indications he may still make it out alive — and even better off.

Emerging From Wreckage

As we reported Friday, Thursday's slip was considered embarrassing for Boehner. NPR's Frank James notes in his post that "Plan B" was apparently supposed to give the speaker some negotiating leverage with the president and would have provided some cover if Obama and Congress couldn't reach a final deal.

"But it obviously was a miscalculation, since Boehner emerged with nothing except the appearance of further weakness," James says.

The failure to get support also evokes bad memories of the debt-ceiling negotiations in which Boehner was forced, James says, to "rely on Democrats for the votes needed to pass the legislation that created the fiscal cliff enforcement mechanism."

And yet, hope has not evaporated completely. (Boehner noted on Saturday that "hope springs eternal" that a deal would be reached, and President Obama said Friday he could be called a "hopeless optimist.")

NPR senior Washington editor Ron Elving tells NPR's Guy Raz on weekends on All Things Considered that there's even a chance that Boehner could come out of this "somewhat strengthened as a speaker:"

"I actually think there is a way for John Boehner to recover from all this and to come out of it, really, as something of a hero in the broad public sense, in the general American assessment of his speakership — and even then to keep his speakership when the new Congress convenes in January."

How? Elving says Boehner has to go back to negotiations with Obama. Then he has to get a deal that would pass with what Elving calls a "half-and-half," meaning half of the Democrats and half of the Republicans, plus one.

"So that at that point it's clear to the Senate they've got to vote for this or we're going over the cliff. That could probably clear the Senate — probably," he says. "And it could get done, theoretically, in time to be approved before the new tax and spending changes everybody's so afraid of really kick in [come] January."

Even if Boehner has to get help from Democrats to get a deal, he would be in a better position in the end, Elving says.

"That, I believe, would make enough Republicans feel better than they feel right now. Right now, the way they feel is that they've been embarrassed by some of their members, their speaker has been humiliated in public," he says. "This is not a long-term strategy for the Republican Party. I think most of the House Republicans would prefer another scenario than this, something with a little bit more of a future."

Where Loyalties Will Lie

When the new Congress comes in, it's possible Boehner will be out. But Elving doubts it. He says that in the end, enough Republicans will be willing to break from the most conservative among them to stick by Boehner.

Besides, says political analyst Norm Ornstein, Boehner is the speaker of the whole House.

"I think a lot of these people who spurned the party's leadership are still going to be loyal to Boehner. They don't have an alternative," Ornstein, resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, tells Weekend Edition host Scott Simon.

As for negotiating a mutually agreed-upon deal for the long-term fiscal health of the nation, Ornstein never really expected that to happen. He expected, like Elving, it was always more likely it would come down to this:

"The speaker would reach a point where he would have to decide whether he would bring forward a deal that would require more Democrats than Republicans."

Not that that will be easy. It's a "critical moment" for Boehner, Ornstein says, and there are two big, outstanding questions: Will they try to do something before Jan. 1 or will it take a severe market reaction?

It may take the latter, he says. "But we're now at a point where [Boehner's] going to have a very, very un-Merry Christmas ahead."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.