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.


Liberal Group Proposes Reduced Medicare Spending

Nov 14, 2012
Originally published on November 14, 2012 6:46 pm



From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.


And I'm Audie Cornish.

As the White House and Congress debate taxes and entitlement reform, an influential liberal think-tank is offering what appears to be an olive branch. It comes at a time when many Democrats are trying to protect entitlements, such as Medicare. At the same time, Republicans say those entitlements are too expensive in their present form.

NPR's Julie Rovner tells us more about this latest attempt to find common ground.

JULIE ROVNER, BYLINE: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell didn't mince any words in his first floor speech of the lame duck session, Tuesday afternoon.

SENATOR MITCH MCCONNELL: Republicans like me have said for more than a year now that we're open to new revenue, in exchange for meaningful reforms to the entitlement programs that are the primary drivers of our debt.

ROVNER: And meaningful reform is exactly what the Center for American Progress says it's putting forward in a new plan unveiled today. The proposal would reduce health care spending by nearly a half trillion dollars over the next decade, but without asking middle-and low-income patients or their families to pay more.

Zeke Emanuel is a senior fellow with the group and helped put the policy together.

ZEKE EMANUEL: If entitlement reform is simply code for dismantling Medicare and Social Security, we're not at the table and we should oppose that with everything we've got. On the other hand, if entitlement reform is we're going to transform the system, modernize it so it can deliver high quality, lower cost care, that's where we are. And that's what we think we've got here.

ROVNER: Now, the Center for American Progress isn't just any group. It's considered something of the White House's reserve corps. If Emanuel's voice sounds familiar, that's because here's the brother of the former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel and a former White House health staffer himself. And this new plan is notable not just for savings half a trillion dollars, but for what some of those savings are.

They include many things that build on savings included in the Affordable Care Act, like cutting waste and encouraging more efficient care. But there are also some controversial items, like asking wealthier Medicare beneficiaries to pay more out of pocket for their care and limiting the tax free status of health insurance for people who earn more than $250,000 a year.

Neera Tanden, the group's president, said she knew there might be some liberal pushback for those.

NEERA TANDEN: These are not easy proposals; they are definitely not easy proposals for the progressive side.

ROVNER: But they are things that both liberal and conservative health economists agree would start to rein in health spending, as 78 million baby boomers start to migrate onto Medicare. And Zeke Emanuel says this is not just something intended to please Republicans.

EMANUEL: The health care system is the fifth largest economy in the world - $2.8 trillion dollars, it's as big as the French economy, right. You're not going to transform it overnight. You are, however, need to put in place the structures that will transform it over a decade. That's what we've tried to do and I think this is the legacy for the president.

ROVNER: But will this plan really impress any of those Republicans who are clamoring for entitlement reform? Early indications are maybe not.

TOM MILLER: The idea that you can shoot at everyone in a crowd and not hit a beneficiary is ridiculous.

ROVNER: Tom Miller is a resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute and a former Republican congressional staffer. He's suggesting the plan still cuts payments to health care providers too deeply to protect patients from care disruptions.

MILLER: It's just a continuing combination of further payment reductions - relatively arbitrarily - higher taxes on top of the previous taxes, and very much a now-we're-dropping-the-veil, you're going to see what command and control really looks like for the health care system.

ROVNER: And there are some places even the liberal Center for American Progress wouldn't go. Tanden said raising Medicare's eligibility age to 67 is a non-starter. All it would do it shift costs, the group says. She also said reducing Medicaid at a time when the administration is trying to get governors to expand the program would send the wrong message.

Julie Rovner, NPR News, Washington. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.