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.

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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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Senate Approves Nomination Of John Brennan As CIA Chief

Mar 7, 2013
Originally published on March 7, 2013 3:57 pm

After an epic filibuster by Sen. Rand Paul that lasted into the early morning hours, the Senate voted this afternoon to confirm the nomination of John Brennan as the country's next Central Intelligence Agency director.

As we reported, Paul, a Republican from Kentucky, stood on the floor of the Senate for nearly 13 hours, repeatedly asking for an explanation of the Obama administration's targeted killing program.

Right before the vote, Paul said he would drop his filibuster because the administration had provided a key answer.

As Mark reported, Attorney General Eric Holder sent a very short letter to Paul in the early afternoon.

"It has come to my attention that you have now asked an additional question: 'Does the President have the authority to use a weaponized drone to kill an American not engaged in combat on American soil?' The answer to that question is no," Holder wrote.

A few hours later, on the floor of the Senate, Rand said receiving that "explicit answer" made the "entire battle ... worthwhile."

Brennan's nomination was approved by the Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday. Today, the Senate voted in favor of the nomination 63 to 34.

Brennan has been serving as President Obama's chief counterterrorism advisor. Under George Bush, he served as the interim director of the National Counterterrorism Center.

As Mark reported, when Obama announced the Brennan nomination, he "praised Brennan for his long experience at the CIA and White House and for being a key part of a team that in the last four years took more al-Qaida leaders and commanders off the battlefield than at any other time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks."

Once sworn in, Brennan will replace Acting Director Michael Morell.

(Paul, by the way, voted in favor of ending debate, but voted against confirming Brennan.)

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