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.


What Does Senate Budget Deal Mean For You?

Jan 1, 2013
Originally published on January 1, 2013 9:44 am
Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. Good morning, I'm David Greene.


And I'm Steve Inskeep. Happy New Year.

Let's start with the upside. Congress has yet to rattle the financial markets so far in 2013.

GREENE: Of course, the markets are closed on this New Year's Day, as the House considers a deal on taxes and spending. The Senate has already approved that plan by a huge majority.

INSKEEP: It would raise taxes on the wealthy, extend the tax cuts for everybody else, and temporarily put off the big spending cuts that are due later this year.

NPR's John Ydstie is with us to talk through this deal, what it means for all of us. John, good morning.

JOHN YDSTIE, BYLINE: Good morning, Steve. Happy New Year.

INSKEEP: Thank you very much. OK, so it is January 1st, they have not changed the rules -tax laws or spending laws - which means technically we've gone over the fiscal cliff. How's it feel in the air here?

YDSTIE: Well, technically the Bush tax cuts expired at midnight, that's true, along with some Obama era tax cuts. But most of those tax cuts are reinstated by this deal so the effects are minimal. In addition, it's New Year's Day, as you said, the markets around the world are closed so there's no danger of markets going off the rails, as the House debates this.

INSKEEP: As the House debates, yeah.

YDSTIE: Right. As for the hundred and $110 billion in spending cuts that were part of the fiscal cliff, this deal would push that deadline off for two months setting up yet another battle. At the same time, the Congress and the president will once again be required to raise the debt ceiling - so look for another fight in two months.

INSKEEP: Well, wait. The debt ceiling, so they've avoided this opportunity to implode the economy, but they have better chances up ahead.

YDSTIE: Exactly.

INSKEEP: OK, we'll look forward to that. But meanwhile, there is this deal which the House we expect will take up today, consider today. They haven't promised to vote for it but they're going to consider today. What would it do to everybody's taxes if it becomes law?

YDSTIE: Well, honestly, the biggest effect is that the Bush era tax cuts will be extended for all individuals with incomes below $400,000 and households below $450,000.


YDSTIE: But taxpayers above those levels would see their top tax rates go to 39.6 percent for their earned income over those amounts. The deal also calls for high income people to pay higher tax rates on dividends and capital gains - the profits they make on the sale of stocks and other assets. That rate would rise from 15 percent, where it is now, to 20 percent.

INSKEEP: I want to ask you about something, John Ydstie. The president campaigned in the 2012 election on raising taxes or letting taxes go back up on the wealthy. He defined as people earning more than $250,000 a year. You just said 400, $450,000 a year, whether you're single person or a couple. That's a different benchmark.

YDSTIE: Yeah, obviously the president did compromise. But the deal does call for individuals above $250,000, and households above $300,000, to take a bit of a hit. That's because tax credits and tax deductions for things like mortgages, just would be phased out, starting at those income levels.

INSKEEP: OK, so they'll pay a little more...

YDSTIE: Right.

INSKEEP: ...depending on who you are and exactly what your tax return has set. Now, below $250,000, does nothing change from 2012?

YDSTIE: To a large extent, no - nothing changes. Tax rates on earned income will remain where they were last year. The tax rates those folks paid, below $250,000 on dividends and capital gains, remains at 15 percent. And middle-class folks won't be threatens any longer by the Alternative Minimum Tax, which actually treats them as if they were rich - that's been patched, permanently.

there are also a number of tax credits, enacted under President Obama, largely favoring lower income people, that will be extended for five years by this deal, including college tax breaks, enhanced child and earned income tax credits as well.

INSKEEP: OK, but there's also the matter of the payroll taxes that millions of Americans pay that support Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. There's been a brake on those the last couple of years. What happens to that now?

YDSTIE: Right, the idea was to keep money in people's pockets so they could spend it to stimulate the economy. But now we'll go back to paying the full 6.2 percent Social Security payroll tax on annual earnings of $113,000. That's two percent more than we paid last year. For taxpayers who make $50,000 a year, it means their take-home pay, over the course of 2013, will be a thousand dollars less.

INSKEEP: OK. So the payroll tax break goes away. Now, what about the estate tax, taxes on inheritance, which they were also negotiating?

YDSTIE: Well, this deal keeps the threshold for estate taxes at $5 million for individuals and $10 million for couples, but the tax rate on estates above those values will go up from 35 to 40 percent.

INSKEEP: OK, so that changes.

YDSTIE: And another very important part of this deal is that unemployment benefits have been extended for two million of the long term unemployed who would have lost their benefits at the end of January.

INSKEEP: Let me just mention that those long term unemployed are left over from the last recession. There was fear that the fiscal cliff could lead to another recession. Have they changed things enough, very briefly, John, for a recession to be avoided here?

YDSTIE: I think they probably have, Steve, but this deal doesn't do very much to reduce long term deficits.

INSKEEP: Which was the other problem they were discussing. John, thanks.

YDSTIE: You're welcome.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's John Ydstie. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.