The nor'easter forecast to slam the state Friday is creating a perfect storm of expectations, fueled by increasingly dire weather reports and flurry of tweets relying on the reams of raw data available online. Based on different models used by the National Weather Service's Storm Prediction Center, there were 22 different forecasts of how much snow could be dropped on the region by Saturday, ranging from 3.44 inches to a little more than four feet. A look at the predictions is below, along with sizes of items for comparison.
Friday’s weather predictions
Escape to Cape Ann
For a day trip, a weekend, or longer, Gloucester, Rockport, Essex, and Manchester-by-the-Sea have loads to offer, minus the travel hassles.
More relying on Walmart for financial services
The state’s dominant check-cashing operation isn’t an inner-city storefront or a fly-by-night business. It’s your neighborhood Walmart.
If you don’t have a bank account, how do you manage your money?
How would you cash checks, pay your bills, and manage your money if you didn’t have a bank account?
Lots of people do it, with help from a variety of sources. About 8 percent of all families in the United States don’t have bank accounts, relying instead on an array of alternate financial services, from postal orders to pawn shops and prepaid debit cards to Walmart check-cashing.
Salem to cut ties with Gordon College over school’s request for religious exemption to antigay discrimination rules
Salem officials declared Wednesday they will end a contract allowing Gordon College to use the city-owned Old Town Hall because of the Christian school’s opposition to expected federal hiring protections for gays and lesbians.
Robert DeLeo in glare at hiring trial
Prosecutors sought to show that the House speaker granted Probation Department officials favors in exchange for jobs for friends.
Supreme Court’s First Amendment hypocrisy
If Massachusetts can’t have a buffer outside abortion clinics, why can the Supreme Court have one?
Court overturns murder convictions in 1982 Lowell fire
A judge ruled that new evidence “cast real doubt on the justice of the conviction” of a Lowell man in a 1982 fire that killed eight people.
Pilgrim for a day
Thigh-high woolens, a hemp doublet, and a knee-length shirt? One man gets into costume — and character — at Plimoth Plantation.
Scholars warn of NSA loopholes
A report from researchers at Harvard University and Boston University warns the National Security Agency (NSA) could freely monitor the electronic communications of American citizens.
Dozens of Gaza strikes by Israel as Hamas extends rockets’ range
JERUSALEM — The military and political confrontation between Hamas and Israel showed no signs of abating Wednesday, with Gaza militants launching more rockets into Israeli territory and the military responding with further airstrikes.
The Health Ministry in Gaza said the death toll there stood at 53 since Saturday and 45 since Monday, the beginning of Israel’s intensified aerial assaults that its military is calling Operation Protective Edge.
NSA Records Detail Surveillance of American Muslim Leaders
WASHINGTON — A new report based on documents provided by Edward J. Snowden has identified five American Muslims, including the leader of a civil rights group, as having been subjected to surveillance by the National Security Agency.
Mass. House lawmakers approve gun bill aimed at toughening state laws
After making last-minute changes to mollify angry gun owners, the Massachusetts House approved wide-ranging legislation Wednesday aimed at tightening state gun laws, already considered among the strictest in the nation.
Maine town hosts 33d annual tribute to Moxie soda
It’s a four-day celebration of the carbonated beverage that many Mainers consider a symbol of the state’s unique character
Five myths about Iran’s nuclear program
The deadline for reaching a deal with Iran is July 20, and it’s important to understand the facts.
Emmi Sorokin dresses men down — and up
The men’s stylist and author of “The Business Casual Survival Guide” talks about the do’s and don’ts of men’s fashion.
Commuter rail ‘heat restrictions’ to be solved by 2016
Call it The Curse of the Framingham/Worcester line.
For years, westbound commuter rail passengers have suffered from summertime speed restrictions, a precaution taken when high temperatures cause the steel tracks to expand and potentially buckle, a situation that could cause a derailment. For passengers, the restrictions can mean a doubling of commuting time.
Snowden asks Russia to extend asylum
MOSCOW — Edward J. Snowden, the former U.S. National Security Agency analyst who fled to Russia last year after releasing reams of secret U.S. government documents, has applied to extend his temporary asylum, his lawyer was quoted as telling Russian news agencies Wednesday.
Fifty bodies found in Iraq, raising fears of sectarian war
BAGHDAD — At least 50 bodies turned up blindfolded and bound in a predominantly Shiite area south of Baghdad on Wednesday, raising the specter of sectarian war as Iraqi forces, aided by Shiite militias, battle Sunni insurgents across the country.
American Apparel, top shareholders find comon ground
The retailer appears to have reached a deal to remake the board of directors and bolster the company’s finances.
A summer without swagger for Hollywood
NEW YORK — Hollywood’s summer at the box office isn’t just missing nearly 20 percent of last summer’s revenue. It’s lacking swagger.