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

Supreme Court Takes Case That Could Puncture A Key Campaign Cash Limit

Feb 19, 2013
Originally published on February 19, 2013 6:48 pm

Barely three years after the Supreme Court's landmark Citizens United ruling, which liberated corporations to spend freely in elections, the justices say they'll take up another campaign finance case — this time aiming at one of the limits on the "hard money" that goes directly to candidates and party committees.

The court decided Tuesday to hear arguments in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, challenging the overall cap on how much a donor can give to candidates and party committees per two-year election cycle.

For the upcoming midterm elections, that overall cap is $123,200. (Because nothing in campaign finance law is simple, the total subdivides into $48,600 to candidates, $74,600 to parties and political action committees.)

Shaun McCutcheon is an Alabama energy investor and generous Republican donor. The nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics says he gave $400,584 over the 2008-2012 elections. The Republican National Committee has joined him as a plaintiff.

The hard-money limits are at the heart of the campaign finance laws. They were enacted in 1974, and the Supreme Court has always upheld them. The key ruling was in 1976; the justices ruled that political spending is free speech, but political contributions, less so.

The Supreme Court upheld the power of Congress to restrict direct contributions, in the interest of preventing corruption and the appearance of corruption. The court reiterated this most recently in Citizens United.

Still, the bigger idea of Citizens United — that spending independently of the candidate or party is unfettered free speech — has had an impact. If it's OK for donors to drop a million or two into some superPAC or social welfare organization, why let them put only $123,200 into the hard-money system between now and Jan. 1, 2015?

At this point, the plot thickens. The justices today didn't deal with another case on their doorstep — one that would overturn the 1907 ban on corporate contributions directly to candidates. By one theory, the justices want to poke a constitutional hole in the contribution limits first, before taking up the corporate-money ban.

Rick Hasen, a law professor and campaign-finance scholar at the University of California, Irvine, tells NPR he expects the court may use the McCutcheon case to set standards for challenging the hard-money limits. "If the court does that," he says, "then a whole host of campaign contribution limits could be subject to future challenge."

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