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.

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What's Next For The Daily Deal Business Model?

Dec 4, 2012
Originally published on December 4, 2012 8:22 am

Are the days of "daily deal" coupons about to expire? Shares of email coupon company Groupon are down nearly 80 percent since going public last year. And its smaller rival, Living Social, plans to lay off as many as 400 employees, after reporting a net loss of more than $560 million in the third quarter.

Those struggles have raised questions about the future of the daily deal strategy, and whether a company like Groupon can stay in business.

"It's ... an evolution of the company that's happening," says Arvind Bhatia, managing director of equity research for the investment firm Sterne Agee, in an interview with NPR's David Greene. "They have a decent balance sheet," Bhatia says of Groupon. "As long as they continue to generate profitability, I think the business can survive." Stern Agee trades in Groupon shares and has an investment banking relationship with Groupon.


Interview Highlights:

On the coupon business model

"I think fundamentally, the model can work. But it needs scale. Keep in mind that Groupon was born out of the recession ... at a time when people wanted to see deals. So they were right in the sweet spot of what people really wanted. And they've grown really fast.

"But ... the daily deal business seems to be peaking. And in some ways, Groupon is a victim of its own success. It's hard for them to continue to grow the daily deal business the way they did before."

On the need for scale

"Both Living Social and Groupon — Groupon, in particular — have spent tons and tons of money in acquiring these customers. They have something like 160 million people whose email list that they have. That is what is attractive to merchants. So, you need scale to succeed."

On complaints about deals

"The deals that merchants offer are deeply discounted deals. And those are meant to be deals that bring customers in. And hopefully, customers like the product and keep coming back.

"Sometimes what happens is, the merchants that are using this product maybe don't know how to use it appropriately. And maybe their service isn't good enough — and they were hoping this would be this one last desperate move to get customers in before they go out of business. So, it depends on the merchant itself."

On the evolving "daily deal" business

"In the beginning, it was all about, let's acquire customers at all costs. Now, particularly for Groupon, it's OK, you've got the customers. Now show us how you can make money with this business model.

"So one thing they have to do is slow down on their spending. And they're doing exactly that."

On moving past email

"What they've talked about is tapping into, perhaps, search engines like Google and Bing to attract more customers. And that's a pretty significant move. Keep in mind that 25 percent of all searches ... are for local products.

"But right now, they're driving very little business from these search engines. So that's an opportunity for them to now go after customers that are looking for deals in general, not just through the emails."

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