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.


White House Holiday Spirit A 'Joy To All'

Dec 1, 2012
Originally published on December 1, 2012 5:29 pm

The bows are tied, the garlands are hung, and the White House is aglow for the holidays. Volunteers from all over the country handled the decorations with care, and on Wednesday, first lady Michelle Obama showed off their efforts to military families. This year's theme is "Joy to All."

Ship Capt. Pete Hall from Louisville, Ky., followed family tradition by helping with the decorations. His grandfather was the chief usher of the White House from 1938 to 1957. "So this is part of my family heritage," Hall says.

Chris Schwartz of Portland, Ore., came to the White House with his partner, a military officer in the Oregon Air National Guard, who felt that the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell opened the door for them to be a part of the annual ritual.

"I've never been to the White House before," Schwartz says, "but to be able to come under these circumstances and under these terms, it's emotionally overwhelming. It really is."

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Fifty-four Christmas trees, 90,000 visitors, and a nearly 300-pound gingerbread model of the White House - those are just a few of the figures that make this year's White House holiday season so eye-popping. Volunteers from around the country come to Washington, D.C., every year to help string garlands and hang ornaments through these legendary halls. For the third year running, NPR's Ari Shapiro brings us some of their voices.


KATHY TONNIN: I'm Kathy Tonnin, from New Jersey. I was decorating the Blue Room tree.

ARI SHAPIRO, BYLINE: That's the official White House Christmas tree.

TONNIN: The official White House Christmas tree. And I have a fear of heights, but they were looking for people to go up on the scaffolding. And I thought, I had the opportunity to decorate the Blue Room tree; I'm going. And there I was, for days, on the scaffolding. It was great. It was awesome.

SHAPIRO: And your fear of heights?



WES RISCHER: My name is Wes Rischer.

CHRIS SCHWARTZ: I'm Chris Schwartz.

RISCHER: We're from Portland, Oregon.

SHAPIRO: And are you guys friends?

RISCHER: We're partners. I nominated Chris to do this. And I thought, I can finally write the letter because of the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell." I'm a military officer in the Oregon Air National Guard.

SHAPIRO: So Chris, let me ask: What does being here mean to you?

SCHWARTZ: I've never been to the White House before, but to be able to come under these circumstances and these terms, it's emotionally overwhelming. It really is.


BILL YOSSES: My name is Bill Yosses. I'm the pastry chef at the White House. This is a gingerbread made from rye flour, whole wheat and buckwheat. The second floor windows are poured sugar that are transparent, and they're lit from behind. Except it's an image that we printed out on a printer, we put sugar on it and then the image stays on the sugar. So it's kind of like stained glass.


PETE HALL: My name is Pete Hall. I'm from Louisville, Kentucky and I'm a ship captain.

SHAPIRO: And how did you end up here decorating the White House for the holidays?

HALL: My grandfather was the chief usher of the White House from 1938-1957. So he was here when they actually gutted this place and took the two floors down. And, you know, the president was living over in the Blair House at the time. And he was also here when they built the Truman balcony. So this is part of my family heritage. And actually I'm here as a surprise. My wife, who's right there, she's the one who set up the thing secretly for my birthday.


LARA HALL: I remember my husband's mother telling me that there was a children's party at the White House and Mamie Eisenhower swung by their home to pick her up because her father, the chief usher was too busy.

SHAPIRO: To pick up his daughter for the children's party, so Mamie Eisenhower gave her a ride?

HALL: So the First Lady did. Yeah.


SIMON: That was Lara Hall and other volunteer White House decorators. The pianist was Master Gunnery Sergeant Robert Bogislaw of the United States Marine Band. We had production help from NPR's Brakkton Booker. This is NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.