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.

Pages

Often Written Off, Biden Has Long List Of Deals To His Name

Jan 5, 2013
Originally published on January 5, 2013 9:59 am

When President Obama finally announced a fiscal cliff agreement late Tuesday night, he thanked several people who had worked to get a deal.

The first one he mentioned by name was the man standing next to him at the podium: "my extraordinary vice president, Joe Biden."

In the final hours of the standoff, Republican Mitch McConnell asked Biden to help push a deal over the finish line. It was far from the first time the vice president has played that role.

In 2009, Biden's chief economist, Jared Bernstein, was in an Oval Office meeting with the president. In the middle of the meeting, Bernstein remembers, the phone rang.

"And it's Arlen Specter announcing that he's going to become a Democrat and give the Democrats the majority in the Senate," Bernstein recalls. "And the president took the call and was extremely pleased. And when he got off the phone, he said something to the effect of, 'That was Joe Biden's work.' "

The White House has an entire legislative affairs office whose only job is to keep in touch with Congress. But often, this vice president acts as a one-man shop, doing the job on his own.

Bernstein says everyone in the White House acknowledges this.

"Not only is it recognized as one of his strengths, but it's one of the reasons he's there," Bernstein says. "I mean, you're talking about a president who was in Washington and in the Senate for all of two years, and a vice president who was there for 36."

Obama has a reputation for being aloof, especially with members of Congress. He doesn't take lawmakers golfing. He doesn't invite them over for movie night. He doesn't schmooze.

Biden is just the opposite. This week, he greeted incoming senators and their families at the start of the new Congress. He gave bear hugs, workout advice and facial caresses.

That side of Biden is easy to mock. Critics dismiss him as a gaffe-prone windbag who talks more than he listens. That's what veteran Republican staffer Jack Howard had heard before he met Biden in 1994.

Howard was working for then-Rep. Newt Gingrich in the House at the time. Congress was deadlocked over a crime bill. Lawmakers were still in the office deep into what would usually have been the August recess, when Biden, then the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, came over to help break the logjam.

"My first reaction was: Why is he coming over here to try to help this? And my experience to that point had pretty much been only what I'd seen or heard from other people, which, you know, was kind of a caricature of him," Howard says. "But all those notions were quickly dispelled within hours."

Howard says Biden was there until 2 a.m. or 3 a.m., night after night, sleeves rolled up, pushing everyone toward a deal.

"The Republican members quickly came to realize we could trust the guy," Howard says. "He was a straight shooter. He kind of knew what our limits were, and he was quite candid in terms of telling us what his limits were. ... Once you kind of get that established, that's the first real predicate to a successful negotiation."

That 1994 crime bill ultimately came through. It's one in a long series of deals from Biden's time in the Senate. He struck many of them with people who were his utter political opposite. And those relationships endured to the very end.

As former Democratic Sen. Ted Kaufman, who was Biden's chief of staff for years, recalls: "Sen. Strom Thurmond, who I think has a reputation of being one of the most conservative members in Senate history, and Jesse Helms, who probably would be in the top 10 along with Thurmond — both of those senators had asked that when they died, they'd asked Sen. Biden to be one of the people to give the eulogy at their memorial service."

With that history, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made this final overture last weekend as a fiscal cliff deal seemed to be slipping out of reach:

"The vice president and I have worked together on solutions before, and I believe we can again," McConnell said.

Sure enough, that's what happened. And it won't be the last time.

Biden's next task is to lead the administration effort on gun control — an issue where Republicans and Democrats are at least as far apart as they were on the fiscal cliff.

Copyright 2013 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.