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.

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.


Will Emergency Manager Help Or Hurt Detroit?

Mar 4, 2013
Originally published on March 4, 2013 1:02 pm



Residents of Detroit are absorbing the message sent by Michigan's governor. Rick Snyder swept aside the city's elected officials. He's using his power to appoint an emergency manager to take over city finances. Residents are deeply divided about this move, as we hear from Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek.

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: Nobody had a comment in regards to the lighting problem?

SARAH CWIEK, BYLINE: About a week before Governor Snyder's announcement, a few dozen people came to a community meeting at a northwest Detroit church. The weary Detroiters shared stories about problems in their neighborhoods. They already knew an emergency manager was coming. Some people, like Tom Wilson, said it's OK. It's either that or bankruptcy.

TOM WILSON: Both of them are going to hurt, but it's, like, which is going to hurt the less? Let's go ahead and get this thing done, get hurt and then go through the healing process.

CWIEK: It's no secret that Detroit is drowning in red ink. And in that respect, it's not alone. Several Michigan cities have been under some form of emergency management for years now, including Ecorse, a blue-collar Detroit suburb with fewer than 10,000 people. Joyce Parker is Ecorse's emergency financial manager. She's been there since 2009. Now she's in the process of transitioning out.

JOYCE PARKER: The budget for the city is balanced. The bills have been paid in a timely manner.

CWIEK: Parker says an effective emergency manager needs to listen to a city's elected officials and to community members. But at the end of the day, she has the power to make painful decisions. In Ecorse's case, city staff was cut by about 40 percent. The police and fire departments merged, and emergency medical service was privatized. As a result, Parker says...

PARKER: To a great extent, I do think the city is stronger than it has been in the past.

CWIEK: But many others argue that cities in trouble need real resources, not someone who just cuts costs, tears up union contracts and sells off assets, all while usurping the powers of local elected officials. That's Rashida Tlaib's view. She's a state legislator from Detroit. She grew up in Detroit, the oldest of 14 children in a tight-knit immigrant family.

RASHIDA TLAIB: We all used to be on the same block. It was, you know, a dream of us to kind of all live and raise our kids together. And I'm the only one left.

CWIEK: Tlaib gets visibly emotional when she talks about Detroit. She fears that an emergency manager will make life so unbearable, that even the most dedicated residents will just leave. She has other concerns, too.

TLAIB: You know, emergency managers should not be coming in and moving around our taxpayer dollars without any kind of accountability or transparency. I don't understand how we can really truly change things if we're not self-governing ourselves.

VINCE KEENAN: This is happening because of money.

CWIEK: That's Vince Keenan, another lifelong Detroiter and civic activist. His biggest fear is that the city will have to renege on promises made to city workers, like police officers and firefighters. But Keenan says the Detroit city government hasn't really been serving its citizens for a long time, so a lot of dedicated Detroiters have taken matters into their own hands, albeit at a micro level. He thinks a period of state control could be an opportunity to recharge Detroit's true civic lifeblood: its neighborhoods.

KEENAN: There's plenty of examples of really sort of incredible effort being put on by folks that had, at one point in time, felt abandoned and have built infrastructure to support not only themselves, but their neighbors.

CWIEK: Governor Rick Snyder confidently proclaims that an emergency manager can fix Detroit if the state and the city can partner. But no one really knows what that means yet, nor do they know who the emergency manager will be. At best, emergency managers across Michigan have had mixed track records, and everyone knows that Detroit, still by far Michigan's largest city, is a whole different ball game. For NPR News, I'm Sarah Cwiek, in Detroit. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.