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.

Pages

Employment Data Expected To Show Modest Improvement

Mar 8, 2013
Originally published on March 8, 2013 3:43 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

It's MORNING EDITION, from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep. Good morning on this Friday. Let's talk a little more deeply about the surprisingly strong jobs report that came out today. NPR's Yuki Noguchi is here with the numbers. Hi, Yuki.

YUKI NOGUCHI, BYLINE: Good morning.

INSKEEP: OK. So what does the Labor Department say happened in the labor market in February?

NOGUCHI: OK. So, 236,000 net jobs added last month. The prediction had been for 160,000, so this is far better. The unemployment rate ticked down more than expected, to 7.7 percent. The last time it was at that level was at the end of 2008. And, of course, then, the rate was heading way up.

INSKEEP: OK. So we've had one jobs report after another that has shown modest improvement. This is a significantly improved labor market, at least for one month?

NOGUCHI: Yeah. It looks like it is improving at a faster rate than it had been. The rate can sometimes improve for anomalous reasons, as you know. But last month, this report tells us that it improved for the right reasons. The number of people employed increased. We did see some people drop out of the labor force. Maybe they're retiring. Maybe they got discouraged and gave up. But the number wasn't huge. But the biggest news here is that the private sector added nearly a quarter-of-a-million jobs. And the biggest of those gains came from what are considered good, well-paying jobs - so, business and professional services, construction, health care and IT.

INSKEEP: OK. So this is big, because in previous unemployment reports, we've been told that although the number of jobs was increasing, there were a lot of part-time jobs in there, a lot of jobs without benefits, a lot of low-paying jobs. This is a different complexion.

NOGUCHI: Right. And, you know, if you were working, you were working more hours, and you also earned more. That's what was in this last report.

INSKEEP: OK. So this comes as there's a lot of talk about spending cuts in Washington. Now, of course, those have just been imposed in the last few days. They wouldn't be reflected, I suppose, in this unemployment report. But people have been worrying about the budget battles in Washington for some time. Is there any sign of any effects from the politics that's going on, here?

NOGUCHI: Well, not yet. I mean, the Labor Department, as you say, wouldn't - it wouldn't show up in this report, unless, of course, some employers were holding back in anticipation of those cuts. And we are not seeing evidence of that yet.

You did see 10,000 government jobs lost, but those were state-level. The federal furloughs, as you say, won't start affecting workers for several weeks, but it will be an interesting thing to watch for next month.

INSKEEP: If people are furloughed, are they still counted as employed?

NOGUCHI: Yes, they are counted as employed, but they may be counted as part-time, hoping to work more. So the Labor Department doesn't actually track furloughed workers, but that doesn't mean we won't see an impact. It won't just be federal workers that are affected. Defense and other government contractors are likely to see their budgets cut. So we could see, actually, private sector hiring hurt, as well.

INSKEEP: And maybe this is a moment to regain some perspective, here, because we have a strong jobs report, the best unemployment rate in years, and yet a 7.7 percent unemployment rate in any other context would be considered a disaster. Aren't we still in a very grim jobs market, here?

NOGUCHI: Yes. I mean, there are still 12 million people who are unemployed, and, you know, we still, as you say, have a very high unemployment rate. But we are starting to see, perhaps - I mean, we saw the Dow hit a new high this week. And so we are starting to see, perhaps, that this disconnect between the job market and the stock market start to narrow, you know. In the past, it had been the case that companies were more efficient. They were doing more with fewer workers. But perhaps you're starting to see those corporate profits now translate into some more hiring.

INSKEEP: Meaning that companies have finally gotten to a point where they're comfortable adding to the payroll, or they feel they finally need to add to the payroll.

NOGUCHI: We'll see if this continues, but that seems - there's some evidence of that in this report.

INSKEEP: Yuki, thanks very much.

NOGUCHI: Thank you.

INSKEEP: That's NPR's Yuki Noguchi. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.