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

Superstorm Sandy May Hurt November's Jobs Report

Dec 7, 2012
Originally published on December 7, 2012 11:51 am

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

This is MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Renee Montagne.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. We are getting a new read this morning on the state of the U.S. economy. It's a jobs report for the month of November, and it came in stronger than expected. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, and employers added 146,000 jobs to payrolls. This news comes, of course, as the White House and Congress try to find a compromise on how to address tax hikes and spending cuts that are due to hit starting next month.

Joining us to discuss what this report means for that, as well as the economy, are NPR's White House correspondent Scott Horsley and business correspondent Yuki Noguchi.

Good morning to you both.

SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good morning.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

GREENE: Yuki, get things started for us, if you can. What do you see in this report that's significant?

NOGUCHI: Well, we were all expecting this report to be downbeat because of Superstorm Sandy, and the surprise was that that didn't happen. The Labor Department is saying, in fact, the weather did not substantively impact this report. Now, we could see some revisions, and that could change. But as of today, the report says the number of jobs added last month was much better than expected: 146,000.

GREENE: Well, that - give us a sense of what that number means, in the context everything.

NOGUCHI: Well, here's an interesting thing. Are you ready?

GREENE: Yeah.

NOGUCHI: The number of jobs added every month for the last two years has been about 150,000. For two years, that's the average. And that's what you're seeing, of course, this month. You saw about 150,000 new jobs. So it wasn't worse last month, but it really hasn't gotten better for a long time. And 150,000 is just enough job growth to chip away at the unemployment rate, and as you mentioned, it dropped from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent last month.

GREENE: So one sign that, over the last few years, the economy is not getting worse, but also not getting better, perhaps.

NOGUCHI: Yes.

GREENE: Scott, let me turn to you. You know, when we talked about jobs a month ago, jobs report, we were talking about a bitter presidential election fight. Now we're talking about a political fight over the - avoiding the fiscal cliff in Washington. Could this report change those negotiations at all?

HORSLEY: Well, because it came in so average, I don't think it's going to be a major factor. One thing that's interesting is that the numbers for September and October were both revised down. Those months turned out not to be as strong in terms of job growth. But President Obama is really sticking with his line that tax rates for the upper-income earners have to go up. That's where fight over the fiscal cliff is, and I don't see this being a major influence on that battle.

GREENE: Could this report do anything else? I mean, could it spur some kind of action in Congress, perhaps a new stimulus, or maybe an extension of unemployment benefits?

HORSLEY: I don't really see that, at least in terms of the new stimulus - perhaps an extension of unemployment benefits. Even though this report came in better than expected, you know, we're still talking about unemployment that's 7.7 percent. That's much higher than anybody should be comfortable with. The jobs numbers are still not enough to really make a meaningful dent in the millions of people who are looking for work.

But even though the president's been pushing for stimulus for over a year and a half now, it's just not getting a lot of traction in Congress. I think the prospects for a major government addition to the economy are pretty slim. The best we can hope for is that they don't have a major subtraction for the economy, which is what the fiscal cliff would be.

GREENE: And, Yuki, this unemployment number, 7.7 percent, it's a new low for some time right now, right?

NOGUCHI: The lowest it's been in four years.

GREENE: But still a pretty high number, as I'm sure a lot of Americans are feeling. If there is new hiring, Yuki, where's the hiring coming from?

NOGUCHI: Well, last month, it happened in retail, professional services and in the medical field. And where it's losing ground is in construction and manufacturing. Now, I have talked to businesses who say they've already changed their hiring plans because of the fiscal cliff. And it's - you know, it's not just that businesses may have to pay higher taxes. It's that the fiscal cliff could take a bite out of an already weakened economy. This quarter, the fourth quarter, is expected to just barely grow. So depending on whether we hit that cliff, you know, we could move into negative territory, recession territory. Then again, David, a lot has changed, and one thing seems to have stayed the same: The economy stubbornly keeps adding the same number of jobs month after month.

GREENE: OK. We're talking this morning about a new jobs report that says, for the month of November, the unemployment rate fell to 7.7 percent, and employers added 146,000 jobs. NPR's Yuki Noguchi, NPR White House correspondent Scott Horsley, thank you both.

HORSLEY: You're welcome.

NOGUCHI: Thank you, David. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.