113th Congress near the bottom in laws enacted

The 296 bills signed into law was the second lowest total for any two-year Congress in records dating to the 1940s.

opinion | P.J. O’Rourke

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/18a74111023c4a1eb5358e51d258f61a-7c722a58ee89480c97cf7436a6bbdabe-0-1210.jpg The budget bill that keeps on giving

The $1.1 trillion budget bill captures the whole and entire holiday spirit, from naughty to nice.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Foreign/Images/afghan150-804.jpg Four Afghans held in Guantanamo returned to home country

US officials say the decision is a sign of their confidence in new Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

Alysia Montano, Ghoncheh Ghavami, and Whitney Zelee.

Getty Images

SHIRA SPRINGER I FAIR PLAY

Nine women’s sports stories that deserved more attention

For every 2014 headline-maker, there are many less-heralded women in sports.

Scott Kirsner | Innovation Economy

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/skirsner-3888--90x90.png Hacked K-cups part of backlash over Keurig ‘2.0’ brewers

One of the most bizarre local business stories of 2014 involves hacking and coffeemakers.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/bridge150-7736.jpg Future unclear for Old Northern Avenue Bridge

The Old Northern Avenue Bridge, which has teetered on the edge of demolition a number of times, was closed by the city.

Dedy Sahputra/EPA

Big Picture: Stunning photos from 2014

In the third installment of the series, the Globe staff highlights the photos that left an impact in the last four months of the year.

FOXBORO, MA - OCTOBER 16: Geno Smith #7 of the New York Jets hugs Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots after a game at Gillette Stadium on October 16, 2014 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jared Wickerham/Getty Images)

Patriots at Jets | Sunday, 1 p.m.

Keys to a Patriots victory over Jets

The Patriots and Jets clash for the second time this season and a victory would give New England a first-round playoff bye.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/verso150-7726.jpg Closing of Maine papermaker ends a way of life

The 84-year-old Bucksport plant is the latest mill to fall victim to increased energy costs, global competition, and a decline in demand.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/rosen150-7722.jpg Partner’s role at firm adds complications for Rosenberg

Stanley Rosenberg, the incoming state Senate president, has close ties to a public affairs firm through his partner, Bryon Hefner.

Gary Washburn | On basketball

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/Sports/Images/ainge150-6824.jpg Celtics resurrection will take time and patience

The Celtics brass is going to have to find creative ways to usher in a new generation.

ideas

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/01/29/BostonGlobe.com/Enterprise/Advance/Images/iceharvesting015-1837.jpg How a Mass. man invented the global ice market

An entrepreneur’s 1806 scheme to sell chunks of frozen New England ponds still shapes how we live.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/Boghosian_XmasCraigslist3_LIFE.jpg As a decoration loses its luster, some turn to Craigslist

Type “Christmas” into Craigslist’s Boston edition at this time of year, and thousands of items pop up.

Opinion

Michael A. Cohen

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/20/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/04534223.jpg Media overreach in Sony hack

By feasting at the trough of misbegotten gains, major outlets increased the pressure on Sony to cave.

The Big Picture

Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

2014 Year in Pictures: Part III

Photos from the last four months of 2014 depicting news events and daily life around the world.