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.

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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.


Sequester Cuts Free Some Immigration Detainees

Feb 27, 2013
Originally published on February 27, 2013 7:37 am



The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency has released hundreds of immigration detainees ahead of Friday's sequester deadline. The decision was made to help bring down the agency's budget, in light of the automatic spending cuts. ICE officials are getting both praise and a lot of heat for the unusual move. NPR's Ted Robbins has the story.

TED ROBBINS, BYLINE: ICE has released people from some of the nation's 250 immigration detention centers. Immigrant rights advocates have qualified praise for what the release means to families. Carolina Canizales is an organizer with United We Dream.

CAROLINA CANIZALES: I mean, how can I say it? When you're separated from your mom and you haven't seen her, like, in three years because she's been detained, and then you get to hug her, will that be a good thing or a bad thing? You know, of course it's going to be a good thing for people.

ROBBINS: The Obama administration has deported record numbers of immigrants: more than 400,000 people last year alone. That's a sore point among Latino groups and immigrant advocates. And the government isn't dropping these cases. It's releasing people under what it says are more cost-effective forms of supervision.

CANIZALES: So the process is going to continue. The deportation processes are going to continue.

ROBBINS: On the other side, criticism is coming from long-time opponents of illegal immigration, like Arizona Republican Governor Jan Brewer. She says she's appalled by the release. Pinal County, Arizona has five immigration detention centers. Pinal's sheriff, Paul Babeu, says he wasn't even told until after 300 people were released last weekend.

SHERIFF PAUL BABEU: A lot of these criminal illegals weren't even arrested in my county, but they're housed in my county, and now you've just released them onto the streets and neighborhoods in my county. That's not OK, and that's part of the reason why I'm upset.

ROBBINS: In an email statement, an ICE spokeswoman said none of those released are serious criminal offenders or significant threats to public safety. Some may have served time for low-level criminal convictions. Others could be what the agency calls low-priority: elderly, long-time residents or veterans of the military, for instance. The other reason Babeu, a Republican, is upset: politics. He says the Obama administration is trying to scare people over imminent budget cuts.

BABEU: You don't have to be a detective to figure out that, likely, this is a weapon in that fight.

ROBBINS: DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano hinted at the move in a Monday briefing on possible sequester effects.

SECRETARY JANET NAPOLITANO: You know, I'm supposed to have 34,000 detention beds for immigration. How do I pay for those?

ROBBINS: ICE estimates it costs about $165 per person, per day to house detainees. The nonprofit National Immigration Forum says it could cost less than a tenth of that for supervised release. ICE isn't saying exactly what that is in these cases. Emily Tucker says the most common supervision is an electronic ankle bracelet.

EMILY TUCKER: So, people have these bracelets, these GPS devices attached to them, and they have to wear them 24 hours a day.

ROBBINS: Tucker is with Detention Watch Network, which is trying to reform what it says is an inhumane detention and deportation system. In the past, ICE officials have said Congress mandates that deportees be held in detention and not released. Emily Tucker says that this move casts doubt on that claim.

TUCKER: And, absolutely, they've proven that they don't even believe that themselves by releasing these folks.

ROBBINS: Politics, budget-cutting or both, by the time it's over, several thousand people could be out of immigration detention centers, but still awaiting deportation. Ted Robbins, NPR News. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.