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.

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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.

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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.

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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.


The Lost Art Of Budget Negotiations

Dec 11, 2012
Originally published on December 11, 2012 10:55 am



President Obama and House speaker John Boehner have been holding private conversations about how to avoid the fiscal cliff, but still no deal. That has many in Washington talking about how it wasn't always so difficult to get things done. For some insight, we called John Danforth. He's a former Republican senator from Missouri and spent decades forging deals across the aisle, including the 1986 tax reform law under President Reagan. As he sees it, lawmakers aren't approaching the current problem from the right angle.

JOHN DANFORTH: The kind of process which has existed and which should exist is the first thing that government does is try to decide how much government's going to spend. And then after the decision on the basic budget, then, all right, we're going to have to raise taxes. How do we do that in a way which is least damaging to the total economy, the economic growth. That also hasn't been done.

MONTAGNE: You know, I think a lot of people hearing this would be surprised that this is really like figuring out, you know, for businesses and also for families, what the bills are, and then figure out how you're going to make the money to pay them. Is it really that simple in Congress, though?

DANFORTH: Well, I mean they're big questions here. But, when you think about it, it still is essentially a math issue. I mean somewhere in there is an agreement, and I think that that's what we should try to do. It's going to be difficult. It's real debate in deciding how big government should be, but it's the starting point.

MONTAGNE: We're looking, right now, at a president who is having one-on-one meetings with the speaker of the House, and they don't seem to be coming to anything. Take us back to a time when President Reagan and Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill had to interact to get things done that they could both claim as a good.

DANFORTH: Well I think that Reagan and O'Neill, even though they disagreed on a lot, genuinely like each other and they liked to get together, and I think that that's probably not the case now. But it's not simply two people. It's not simply the speaker of the House and the president, there are all kinds of people. And back in 1986, it was the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee. It was Bob Dole being the Republican leader. My memory of - I mean just so many memories of Bob Dole always asking the question, do you have it worked out yet? And that was the objective. Well, now that's not the case. There is a very deep ideological split in the country. There is enormous pressure from each political party to hew the line in a non-compromising way. The rules in the Senate are applied differently than they were then. The filibuster is used much more frequently than it was. And so, the current system is really built for gridlock. It's built for both sides insisting on their way rather than getting things done.

MONTAGNE: There is all this talk about how people in Congress back in the '80s, the '90s, the '70s, used to work across party lines. Is that idea romanticized or is there really something to it?

DANFORTH: There was something to it. I don't want to suggest that politics wasn't a contact sport. But I can tell you that, you know, on the Senate Finance Committee, which was a very important committee, dealing with taxation and the anti-entitlement programs, everything was done on a bipartisan basis. Nothing could succeed without both parties being together on it. So there was a different feel to it than, I think, exists today. There really has been a breakdown in any sense of bipartisanship and a breakdown in any sense of comity between the two parties.

MONTAGNE: That doesn't bode well for getting something done. How do you think either side will move the ball down the field?

DANFORTH: Well, I think that a lot, now, depends on the president. I mean the president did win the election. The president is in charge. And the question now is, well, what does the president want to do? It's not that the Republicans don't have a responsibility to try to reach some sort of agreement, of course they do. But I think that the lead in this is the president.

MONTAGNE: Thank you very much for joining us.

DANFORTH: Thank you.

MONTAGNE: John Danforth is a former Republican senator from Missouri and also served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.


MONTAGNE: It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.