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

Iran, Israel, Defense Cuts To Be Key Topics At Hagel Hearing

Jan 31, 2013
Originally published on February 3, 2013 12:52 pm

What's shaping up to be one of the more contentious nomination hearings for one of President Obama's cabinet choices is set to open at 9:30 a.m. ET when members of the Senate Committee on Armed Services get their chance to publicly grill former Sen. Chuck Hagel, R-Neb., who has been tapped for the post of defense secretary.

As Ari Shapiro reported on Morning Edition, Obama's choices of Hagel, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., for secretary of state, and counterterrorism adviser John Brennan for CIA director, "represent a shift in the way the U.S. wages war. It's a shift from big to small, from the Pentagon to the CIA."

But today's Hagel hearing, as Defense News writes, is expected to be dominated by the issues of Israel, Iran and looming defense budget cuts and sharp questions about the nominees views:

"Since Hagel's name was floated for the post in early December, Hagel has been sharply criticized by his former fellow-GOP senators and pro-Israel groups for his past comments on the U.S.-Israel alliance, whether the Pentagon budget can and should be trimmed, how to confront Iran over its nuclear arms program, gay rights and the proper size of the U.S. nuclear arms fleet. Expect questions on all those topics."

According to the Los Angeles Times, Hagel "will stress at his confirmation hearing Thursday that he opposes letting Iran acquire nuclear weapons and will focus on developing military options to set back Tehran's program, according to a U.S. official familiar with his planned testimony."

The conventional wisdom in Washington seems to be that after some initial doubts, it's now likely Hagel will be confirmed. The Washington Post's The Fix blog this morning suggests there are "5 senators to watch" during the hearing: Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas; Sen. Kirstin Gillibrand, D-N.Y.; Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla.; and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.

We'll monitor the hearing and post highlights later. C-SPAN.org will be streaming here.

Update at 10:45 a.m. ET. Early News From The Hearing:

Hagel: 'No One Individual Vote, Quote Or Statement Defines Me'

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