The Boston Citgo sign, all 3,600 square LED feet of which has served as the backdrop to Red Sox games since 1965, is now officially a "pending landmark."

Spanish Surrealist Salvador Dalí spent much of the 1940s in the U.S., avoiding World War II and its aftermath. He was a well-known fixture on the art scene in Monterey, Calif. — and that's where the largest collection of Dalí's work on the West Coast is now open to the public.

Copyright 2016 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

The middle of summer is when the surprises in publishing turn up. I'm talking about those quietly commanding books that publishers tend to put out now, because fall and winter are focused on big books by established authors. Which brings us to The Dream Life of Astronauts, by Patrick Ryan, a very funny and touching collection of nine short stories that take place in the 1960s and '70s around Cape Canaveral, Fla.

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.


Airstrike In Afghanistan Renews Concerns Over Civilian Casualties

Feb 14, 2013

Gen. Joseph Dunford, the new U.S. and International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, commander in Afghanistan, has only been in charge for a few days, and already he's been summoned to Afghan President Hamid Karzai's office for what looks like a dressing down, according to a press release from the president's office.

Dunford was called in to discuss what was initially reported as an ISAF airstrike in Kunar province that killed 10 civilians late Tuesday night.

Civilian casualties — especially as a result of ISAF or U.S. airstrikes — have been one of the most toxic political issues in Afghanistan over the last few years. Karzai has long called for a ban on airstrikes, and responds to U.S. and ISAF strikes that kill civilians with especially sharp criticism.

Last summer, the issue came to a head after an airstrike on Taliban militants in eastern Logar province killed 18 civilians.

Karzai excoriated ISAF and called for a complete ban of airstrikes anywhere near residential areas – no matter what. Karzai met with the then-top U.S. and ISAF officials in Afghanistan — Gen. John Allen, ISAF commander, and U.S. Ambassador Ryan Crocker — after which Allen released new guidelines restricting the use of airstrikes.

In fact, the issue of civilian casualties has become so important that ISAF has issued apologies and made payments to families even when evidence suggested ISAF might not have been responsible.

Given the history of the issue, it's no surprise that when reports came out Wednesday that a NATO-ISAF air strike killed 10 civilians — reportedly mostly women and children — Karzai again issued a strong denouncement.

But, this latest case might be another where the realities on the ground are more complex than initially reported.

The primary source of Wednesday's news was the governor of Kunar province, a Karzai ally, who said that the overnight airstrike killed women and children, along with three or four insurgents. He said the strike hit a house where forces went to arrest Taliban commanders, and the civilians were killed in a neighboring house.

ISAF has not been able to offer any specific details of the operation, other than to say that Afghan and U.S. Special Operations Forces who operate outside the ISAF-NATO umbrella conducted the mission — so technically, no ISAF forces were involved in the operation.

According to Haji Sakhi, a parliamentarian from Kunar province who visited the scene as part of the Afghan team investigating the strike, there were no U.S. forces on the ground during the operation — the mission was conducted solely by elite forces from Afghanistan's National Directorate for Security, or NDS. Sakhi tells NPR that the Afghan NDS troops approached the house and called for the four Taliban commanders to come out. At that point, the Taliban opened fire, starting an hours-long gunfight.

Sakhi says that after an NDS officer was wounded, U.S. forces were called to provide air support.

"Before the airstrike, they also announced that civilians should leave the area," Sakhi says. "Lots of women and children left before the airstrike."

Neither U.S. forces nor Afghan investigators have completed their analysis of the operation. From what Sakhi has been able to determine, the strike killed four women and six children, all of whom were relatives of the four Taliban commanders who were also killed. He says they were a mix of Pakistani and Afghan citizens. (Another government official tells NPR that four Pakistani women were killed along with 10 militants.) This doesn't mean they weren't civilian casualties.

But if Sakhi's account is accurate — that they were relatives of the militants and didn't heed warnings to leave before the strike — then the situation is far from black and white.

Davood Moradian, a political analyst in Kabul, says Karzai has shown a pattern of latching onto narratives that cast ISAF and U.S. forces in the worst possible light.

"[Karzai is] using the question of the civilian casualty as political leverage with his American counterparts," Moradian says, "and also as a kind of populist measure to establish his nationalistic or Pashtun credibility" — referring to the predominant Afghan tribe of the east and south, who also make up most of the Taliban.

This doesn't mean U.S. forces are blameless, Moradian says, but Karzai selects facts that are convenient to his agenda of undermining support for U.S. and ISAF operations in Afghanistan.

NPR's Aimal Yaqubi and Sultan Faizy contributed to this report.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit