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.

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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.


Tax Deal Reached In '86, So Why Not Now?

Dec 15, 2012
Originally published on December 16, 2012 1:43 pm



As we watch U.S. congressional leaders lob charges back and forth during budget negotiations, some may wonder if there was once a time when politicians played nicely together.


SIMON: In October of 1986, Democrats and Republicans joined to pass a comprehensive tax reform bill and presented it to President Ronald Reagan.

PRESIDENT RONALD REAGAN: I'll be sitting at that desk, taking up a pen, and signing the most sweeping overhaul of tax code in our nation's history.

SIMON: But before he signed his name, President Reagan thanked leaders of both parties who reach the deal.

REAGAN: ...Dan Rostenkowski, Russell Long, John Duncan, majority leader Bob Dole, to Jack Kemp, Bob Kasten, Bill Bradley...

SIMON: New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley, who couldn't actually make the signing ceremony; fog grounded his plane. We spoke with the former Democratic senator earlier this week, and asked him if that show of bipartisan congratulations made the deal seem easier to reach than it really was.

BILL BRADLEY: Actually it was quite easy because we had deep respect for each other as senators and legislators. I mean, once you get agreement on principles it's easy to then decide what's in and what's out.

SIMON: From the advantage of your experience, from the advantage of your perspective, do you think the modern Senate could pass something as big and bipartisan as that legislation?

BRADLEY: I don't know. If you're going to get major tax reform passed you need a number of things. One, you need presidential commitment. You need to have a Treasury secretary who can actually sit in a room and cut the deal at the end of the day, like Jim Baker did with me. You need to have a member - a chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and a chairman of the Finance Committee that see their political interests were served by pushing for tax reform against all the special interests that will oppose it.

And then you need one or two zealots - that's the role I played.


SIMON: Well, what role did you play?

BRADLEY: I talked about tax reform constantly for four years. It got so bad that my little daughter, at that age was about nine years old, I was on a TV program and I told her come on and stay. Watch daddy, he'll be on TV. She hit her little friend in the room and said, Come on, all he's going to talk about are loopholes. And for four years that's about all I did talk about.

SIMON: Senator Bradley, you're a Democrat, so is the president. How personally involved should the president get in negotiations, at one point or another?

BRADLEY: Well, it depends on his Treasury secretary. I mean, if you have a Treasury secretary that can cut the deal and knows the substance, then the president doesn't need to be that deeply involved. And the negotiations have to take place really kind of behind closed doors - can't be media. And frequently is the staff that really can craft it.

So, above all, in addition to the president or the leaders of two of the parties, you need to have staff members who command respect on the other side of the aisle. And therefore can find the areas of compromise.

SIMON: Senator Bradley, when you talk about conducting negotiations behind closed doors, is that practical in this day and age - when we have people tweeting and there's a 24-hour news cycle, where they need something to feed the machine?

BRADLEY: Sure, I think that politicians can have the discipline - believe it or not. And everybody knows in the room if one person's issue is leaked, it's dead. And the other person knows, therefore they're not going to leak it because they have their own issues they don't want leaked.

SIMON: Is the Senate a different place than when you served?

BRADLEY: Well, I don't know. I'm not in the Senate now. I think that I would look at Washington generally and say it's much more partisan. I think this is largely the result of the way we draw congressional district lines that reward the most extreme views of each party. 'Cause people are worried about challenges in their primaries, not about general election challenges because out of 435 congressional seats only 40 or 50 are competitive.

SIMON: Do you see any deal happening before the last minute?

BRADLEY: I think there'll be a deal on the broad outlines. It's impossible to do tax reform between now and the end of the year. But you can avoid the fiscal cliff by having agreement on broad principles, particularly on the top rate and on some of the spending cuts; and then put it off till March and give people a chance to do the work that legislators do.

SIMON: When you talk about a deal at the last minute, in your mind, does that mean in the next few days or on December 31st?

BRADLEY: Well...


BRADLEY: ...if history is any guide it means on December 31st.

SIMON: Senator, thanks so much for being with us.

BRADLEY: Thank you.

SIMON: Bill Bradley, former senator from New Jersey and the author most recently of "We Can All Do Better." He spoke with us from his office in New York. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.