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.

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Today's 'Plan B' Vote: Part Of Posturing Or A Push Over The 'Fiscal Cliff?'

Dec 20, 2012
Originally published on December 20, 2012 12:45 pm

With the House set to vote this afternoon on Republicans' "Plan B" for avoiding the so-called fiscal cliff, the questions that have been asked every day for weeks are being asked yet again, with added urgency:

Are we headed over that "cliff" of automatic spending cuts, tax increases and expiring job benefits? Or are President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, closer to a deal than they're letting on in public?

On Morning Edition, NPR's Mara Liasson said the answers may be yes, and yes.

"Either we're one step closer to the cliff or this is just part of the 'two steps forward, one step backward' process that Congress and the White House have to go through," she told host David Greene. Both sides, she added, may just need to show they're "fighting as hard as they can before they make the ultimate compromise." So, Republicans have put forward their Plan B and the White House has threatened to veto it (though the odds seem low that it would be passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate).

There's even talk, Mara said, about going "over the cliff a little bit" — for a few days or so after Jan. 1 — before an ultimate compromise.

And what a compromise might look like is taking shape, she pointed out. Boehner has proposed increases in revenues (a.k.a. taxes) of about $1 trillion by allowing Bush-era tax cuts on income of more than $1 million a year to expire. Boehner's also proposed about $1 trillion in spending cuts.

Meanwhile, Mara noted, Obama has proposed revenue increases of about $1.3 trillion — by letting those Bush-era tax cuts expire on income of more than $400,000 a year — and spending cuts of about $930 billion.

As for today's vote, here are some of the morning's other stories:

-- "A House vote on the plan, scheduled for Thursday, poses a major political test for Boehner's leadership team, which is pitching it as a vote of confidence and a way for Republicans to extract more concessions from Obama in negotiations over government spending and taxes." (The Washington Post)

-- Boehner's brief statement Wednesday about the scheduling of today's vote, "suggested confidence that Republican leaders would have the votes to pass his plan. But lawmakers who were counting votes for the leadership said the tally was short, and House leaders were adding provisions to the speaker's bill to mollify dissidents." (The New York Times)

-- "GOP leadership is considering attaching a package of spending cuts to ride alongside Boehner's tax rate bill. Republican lawmakers are skittish about voting on allowing taxes to snap to near 40 percent for millionaires without paring back federal spending." (Politico)

Update at 12:30 p.m. ET: GOP Plan Is "Non-starter" In The Senate, Reid Says:

As we said earlier, it's unlikely Plan B would pass in the Democratic-controlled Senate.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., just called it a "non-starter."

Update at 11:20 a.m. ET: Cantor Predicts Passage:

"We are going to have the votes" to pass Plan B in the House, Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., just told reporters. He also said the House will not go into recess after today's vote.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.