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.

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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.

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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.

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Sen. Feinstein Says Intelligence Committee Reviews Drone Attacks

Feb 13, 2013
Originally published on February 13, 2013 3:24 pm

When President Obama used his State of the Union address to affirm "we have kept Congress fully informed of our efforts" to target terrorism suspects overseas, national security experts wondered exactly who on Capitol Hill got the scoop about secretive U.S. drone strikes.

Today, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a California Democrat who chairs the Intelligence Committee, filled in some of the details. Feinstein said in a written statement that her committee "receives notification with key details of each strike shortly after it occurs." She said her committee holds regular briefings in which it reviews the drone attacks, examines how effective they are and verifies "the care taken to avoid deaths to non-combatants." Feinstein added that staff members have held 35 monthly oversight meetings to review video footage and other records of the drone strikes. But all of those actions take place in closed sessions, far away from the public.

The Obama administration has been the subject of fierce criticism for the secrecy surrounding the program. Last week, after lawmakers threatened to hold up the president's nominee to lead the Central Intelligence Agency, the White House gave the House and Senate Intelligence Committees two classified legal memosthat justify killing U.S. citizens who have gone to work with al Qaeda or its affiliates. (Members saw two some time back.)

But Feinstein said Wednesday she still wants to see seven other legal opinions "that we believe to exist on targeted killings." And Sen. Ron Wyden, a Democrat from Oregon, told NPR's All Things Considered last week the administration couldn't get away with a "just trust us" approach to drones.

The debate is more than an academic one. News reports have tied the American government to a September 2011 strike in Yemen that killed radical cleric and U.S. citizen Anwar al Awlaki. The ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights have sued top American officials over the attack, which they argue was carried out without due process under the law since no courts or outside authorities had checked the executive branch action.

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