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.


Small Businesses Might Still Hire If Taxes Are Raised

Dec 11, 2012
Originally published on December 11, 2012 9:34 pm



Now to one of the big sticking points in Washington these days. Much of the debate over impending tax hikes and budget cuts centers on the tax rate for top earners. President Obama argues the tax rate for income over $250,000 a year should be allowed to go up. Republicans say there should be no change in tax rates. When Democrats talk about raising taxes on the wealthy, Republicans hear it as raising taxes on small businesses and killing jobs.

Well, NPR's S.V. Date has been exploring that argument.

S.V. DATE, BYLINE: Every time President Obama explains why he wants to increase taxes on the richest two percent, Republicans have a ready answer. Most small business owners file their taxes as individuals and a tax hike would discourage them from hiring new workers. So, when Mr. Obama visited a toy factory in Pennsylvania recently to push for his tax plan, House Republicans countered with this video, also featuring a Pennsylvania business.


JERRY GORSKI: I'm Jerry Gorski from Gorski Engineering Company. Gorski Engineering is a subchapter S corporation, so however good or bad we do is my income.

DATE: But as to that fundamental Republican argument that a higher tax rate would make it harder for him to hire new workers...

GORSKI: I don't know that that would be true for my business or a different business, unless we understood the complete situation.

DATE: His particular situation includes saving up cash over a number of years to hire highly paid employees or buy an expensive piece of construction equipment. He says a higher tax rate would make that harder.

GORSKI: If I start to build a nest egg again, if I start to invest in equipment and things, but I don't have as much to do that or invest in people, which is our biggest resource, I don't have as much to do that, that's going to be difficult.

DATE: But most small businesses say potential profit from a new hire, not the tax rate, is the most important factor. Is that new employee going to generate more money? Other owners even say that the way the president's tax hike is structured, many businesses might actually see an incentive to hire extra workers. Mike Brey owns Hobby Works, a group of toy stores in the Washington, D.C. area.

MIKE BREY: If anything, it may encourage additional capital investment because that would then lower your potential tax rates.

DATE: If this seems counterintuitive, the answer lies in the way businesses calculate their taxes. Mr. Obama's proposal would increase the tax rate, but only for income that exceeds a quarter million dollars per family. For about 97 percent of small business owners, that higher rate is irrelevant. They make less than $250,000 a year. And for those whose income works out to be just over that threshold, one solution might be to hire one more person or finally replace that 10-year-old car. And with these investments, pull net income back under that quarter-million-dollar mark. Mike Roach's Paloma Clothing store has been in Portland, Oregon for 37 years.

MIKE ROACH: I think if you're a person who hates paying taxes, hiring another employee for, you know, 30 to $40,000 a year is a great way to stay below the new so-called marginal rate.

DATE: Brey, the owner of Hobby Works, says there's nothing really new in this tax strategizing.

BREY: The fact of the matter is, businesses, all businesses large and small, do this all the time.

DATE: One business strategy is to keep plowing extra profit back into the business to avoid those higher tax rates. Eventually, the owner can sell the business or take it public and convert those years of deferred income into a big cash payout. Selling a business, Brey points out, is considered capital gains, taxed at a lower rate.

BREY: Right now, a much lower rate.

DATE: S.V. Date, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.