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.


WVAS Local News

Jan 30, 2013

Strong storms moving through the state this morning has left thousands of people without power and forced schools to delay opening as a precaution.  Alabama Power Company said about 7,000 homes and businesses are in the dark early Tuesday, mostly in the western part of the state.  Officials say numerous trees are down near Fayette and in heavily wooded Winston County in northwest Alabama, but no injuries are reported.  Forecasters say winds up to 60 miles per hour are possible in central and south Alabama as a cold front collides with warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico. 

Standoff in Dale County

Numerous police agencies, state troopers, FBI agents and SWAT teams and negotiators remain at a rural property in Dale County in southeast Alabama where a man is holed up in a bunker after fatally shooting the driver of a school bus and fleeing with a 6-year-old child passenger.  Authorities says the shooting happened on the school bus Tuesday afternoon about 3:30 p.m. and the standoff continues today.  Dale County Sheriff Wally Olsen said the man boarded the stopped school bus in the town of Midland City and shot the driver when he refused to let the child off the bus.  The driver later died of his wounds.  The deceased driver's name was not released.  Dale County coroner Woodrow Hilboldt said the suspect is believed to be in an underground shelter on his property, located off U.S. Highway 231. 

Prison Committee

A National Institute of Corrections report was the focus of a Joint Prison Committee meeting Tuesday at the Alabama Statehouse.  State Prison Commissioner Kim Thomas presented the committee with a 60-point plan to address the issues laid out in the study of Tutweiler Prison for Women.  The report found that prisoners have reported sexual abuse claims that weren't properly handled; that staffers aren't trained well enough and that the Wetumpka facility is dirty and overcrowded.  Brian Stevenson is the director of the Equal Justice Initiative, the advocacy group that filed a complaint against the state Department of Corrections over conditions at the facility.  He is pleased with the planned improvements, but says long-term solutions will take time.  The four legislators present at the meeting agreed that problems will continue in Alabama's prison system until the Department of Corrections is adequately funded. 

Cyber Intrusion

Alabama Homeland Security Director Spencer Collier says a critical state computer network was hacked earlier this month and has led to a criminal investigation.  Collier said at a news conference Tuesday that the cyber intrusion was discovered by employees of the Alabama Information Services Divison who found that the firewall protecting the computer system had been breached.  Collier and ISD Director Jack Doane releaesd few details of the incident at Tuesday's news conference.  Collier said the personal information of private citizens was not believed to have been stolen.