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.


The Tax Man Takes Aim At The World's Wealthy

Jan 6, 2013
Originally published on January 6, 2013 10:17 am

As 2013 begins with wealthy Americans in line for bigger tax bills, they're not alone. Tax fairness takes the spotlight worldwide this year, as cash-strapped governments look to impose more of the burden on well-heeled companies, individuals and institutions, and to catch and punish tax cheaters.

This week, as the U.S. Congress averted a plunge off the fiscal precipice, British Prime Minister David Cameron sent a letter to leaders of the Group of Eight countries that make up about half of the world's economic output.

Cameron is incoming president of the G-8 and says corporate tax evasion is on his top 3 list of goals for the year.

"I do believe we all have a common interest in being able to tell our taxpayers who work hard and pay their fair share of taxes that we will make sure others do the same," he wrote in an open letter to the G-8, promoting a coordinated approach to discourage tax evaders.

Multinational corporations have defended themselves by pointing out that they're only taking advantage of international laws that allow them to look for "optimal" tax structures.

Google, for example, avoided about $2 billion in worldwide income taxes in 2011 by shifting $9.8 billion in revenue into a Bermuda shell company, Bloomberg recently reported.

"We did it based on the incentives that the governments offered us," Google Chairman Eric Schmidt told Bloomberg. Of course his company is going to take advantage of big tax savings, he said, "it's called capitalism."

But the global economic crisis has created enormous pressure for new revenue, and governments throughout Europe and other parts of the world are reconsidering sometimes century-old tax laws that haven't kept up with global economic changes. For example, officials in France, the U.K, Italy and Australia are investigating some of the largest multinational corporations' tax avoidance strategies, looking for ways to make them pay more.

European lawmakers howled at the end of last year, after Starbucks disclosed that it generated 398 million euros in sales in Britain in 2011, but paid no corporate tax for the third consecutive year.

When the company pointed out that its tax strategies were all within the law, government officials were not placated. Instead, they escalated their rhetorical indignation, calling them "immoral" business practices. Starbucks backpedaled and subsequently said that for the next two years, it would stop claiming deductions that helped bring its tax bill to zero for the past three years.

The Vatican also took aim at business practices that have exacerbated global conflict. In his New Year's Day address, the pope blamed a "selfish and individualistic mindset, which also finds expression in an unregulated financial capitalism" for tension and conflict caused by growing inequality between rich and poor.

But the issues of taxes also loom over the Holy See. Although the Catholic Church has largely been considered an untouchable institution in some parts of Europe, the economic crisis is changing that. The Vatican's finances and tax obligations are also under international scrutiny.

On Wednesday, Italy's central bank suspended credit and debit card payments and cash withdrawals in Vatican City, reportedly because the Vatican doesn't comply with international money-laundering rules, a Bank of Italy official told Bloomberg. That means thousands of pilgrims and tourists are forced to use cash only in museums and shops until the matter is cleared up.

Some of the subsidy deals struck generations ago between the Catholic church and governments in predominantly Catholic countries are also being reviewed and, in some cases, changed.

At the end of 2012, Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti won EU approval to strip the Catholic Church of its exemption from local taxes on real estate it owns that is used for commercial purposes.

In Spain, officials in one town outside Madrid are poised to send the Catholic Church a property tax bill for the first time. A city councilman told the The Washington Post, "We want to make a statement that the costs of the crisis should be borne equally by every person and institution."

The prospect of having to pay taxes when it never has before has enormous financial implications for the church, which has most of its assets tied up in property and art, has drained its cash reserves for hundreds of millions of dollars in clergy abuse settlements, and is seeing less money being dropped onto collection plates. On top of that, governments are looking to pull state funding.

In Ireland, the government has halved grants to poor families to help them cover the costs of their first Communions. More than half the city councils in Britain cut subsidies for transportation to faith-based schools.

The international focus on taxes is also turning on public officials. In Greece, as Joanna Kakissis tells NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday, investigators have reportedly found evidence confirming that many of the more than 2,200 prominent Greek business people and politicians may have hidden billions in Swiss bank accounts.

This could be explosive, as protestors haven taken to the streets from Athens to small towns, decrying new rounds of austerity measures.

Since the economic crisis began, Greeks have seen salaries and pensions slashed by up to 40 percent, taxes hiked and more than a million people have lost their jobs.

Global financial institutions are not immune. Worldwide, dozens have been charged with helping wealthy Americans evade taxes.

Last week, the oldest bank in Switzerland was in Manhattan federal court to plead guilty to widespread tax evasion by U.S. citizens using its offshore accounts.

Wegelin was founded in 1741 and specialized in private banking and financial-management services for high-wealth individuals. It agreed to pay $57.8 million in fines and restitution and will shut down after it does.

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