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.

Pages

As Xi Jinping Takes Top Post In China, Hopes Of Reform Fade

Nov 15, 2012
Originally published on November 15, 2012 9:10 am

Though new Chinese leader Xi Jinping "didn't once mention Marxism or Mao Zedong" today as he stepped into his new role, the make-up of the "gang of seven" that he now heads "will disappoint those hoping for sweeping reform," NPR's Louisa Lim reports from Beijing.

"The possibility of reform is now an illusion," historian Zhang Lifan tells her. "Judging from personnel appointments and amendments to the party constitution, hopes of reform are very remote. ... It's really like the Soviet Union before its collapse. Some reformist officials are blocked from being promoted. By the time they get to a position where they can effect reform, the whole situation will be different."

Among those stepping into top posts: Zhang Gaoli, who will be directing economic policy. On Morning Edition, Louisa said he embodies "the old school of borrow-and-build, what some might call 'the China bubble.' "

Still, Xi did at least nod toward one of China's greatest challenges. "The problems among our party cadres and members of corruption, taking bribes, being out of touch with the people, undue emphasis on formalities and [bureaucracy] must be addressed with great efforts." he declared.

Our original post: "Xi Jinping Secures Top Chinese Leadership Position."

Xi Jinping, who as a young man lived for seven years in a cave, has become China's new leader.

Here's more from China's official Xinhua news agency:

"Xi Jinping was elected general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee at the first plenary session of the 18th CPC Central Committee on Thursday morning.

Other members of the newly elected Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the 18th CPC Central Committee are Li Keqiang, Zhang Dejiang, Yu Zhengsheng, Liu Yunshan, Wang Qishan, and Zhang Gaoli."

Xi takes over the leadership of the Communist Party from Hu Jintao. The Associated Press reports that he's expected to assume the presidency in March 2013.

NPR's Louisa Lim reports Xi said the leadership committee would "fight for people's desire for a better life." He listed the party's pressing problems, including corruption, bribe-taking, and party members being out of touch with the people. But the new committee is likely to disappoint those hoping for sweeping political and economic change.

In other news, China's President Hu Jintao stepped down as army head. This came as something of a surprise to analysts, who believed he might try to stay on for an extra two years. But that will give Xi more power over the army, strengthening his overall position.

Lim has profiled Xi in a series of pieces. Here's what she says about his time in the cave:

"Just 15 at the time, Xi Jinping was sent by his family in Beijing to the remote rural village Liangjiahe in the hills of Shaanxi Province, hundreds of miles away, where for seven years he lived in a cave scooped out of the yellow loess hillsides.

He arrived there in 1968, after his father, a revolutionary fighter and former vice premier, had fallen from political favor."

Louisa also reported about Li's soft spot for the town of Muscatine, Iowa, which he first visited 27 years ago as a young government official.

Here's more from Louisa's story of the visit:

"'Coming here is really like coming back home,' Xi told his old Iowa friends, according to Sarah Lande, who hosted him in February and organized his earlier trip in the 1980s.

She says he told a group of 17 such friends, who'd gathered to meet him again, 'My impression of America came from you. For me, you are America.' Wow that was powerful.'

An Iowa newspaper offered Xi a full-page welcome: 'Feels like home,' read the headline, superimposed on a picture of an Iowan cornfield, with Xi's portrait."

Xi's rise to the top Chinese leadership position comes despite a year that's seen a corruption scandal that saw the downfall and subsequent ouster of populist leader Bo Xilai.

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