Tsarnaev appears in court for final hearing before trial

WCVB

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev appeared relaxed during the hearing, which marked his first court appearance since July 2013.

A woman who identified herself as Kimberly was one of the pro-Tsarnaev demonstrators outside the courthouse.

Photos

Scenes from the Tsarnaev hearing

Supporters of the accused Marathon bomber held signs outside court as victims of the attacks attended the hearing.

Mass. posts biggest monthly job gain in more than 3 years

Massachusetts added 13,500 jobs in November, the most since July 2011, and the unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent.

Where communities have banned fracking

New York is the fourth state to ban the controversial practice used to extract natural gas from shale rock deep underground.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Metro/Images/cadden150-7734.jpg Co-owner of pharmacy in deadly outbreak pleads not guilty

Barry Cadden faces a racketeering charge that includes allegations that he and another official murdered 25 people.

Delivery firms vow to avoid holiday delays

Companies are trying to avoid a repeat of last year’s debacle, when more than one million packages weren’t delivered in time for Christmas.

10/16/14: Foxborough, MA: Jets head coach Rex Ryan smiles as he shakes hands with some of the game officials before the game. Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is in foreground at far right. The New England Patriots hosted the New York Jets in a Thursday night NFL regular season game at Gillette Stadium. (Globe Staff Photo/Jim Davis) section: sports Patriots-Jets (1)

Ben Volin | On Football

Softer Rex Ryan takes edge out of Patriots-Jets rivalry

The Patriots-Jets rivalry just isn’t the same with Ryan actually complimenting Bill Belichick and Tom Brady.

A musician played a trombone at the Malecon in Havana, Cuba, on Wednesday.

Under new US policy, who can travel to Cuba?

While the US plans to restore diplomatic ties, most Americans will not be able to travel to the Caribbean island nation.

Horses left the gate for the last race at Suffolk Downs.

Talks break down between horsemen and Suffolk Downs owners

The sides were involved in negotiations for a deal that would have allowed racing to continue.

Governor Deval Patrick got a surprise call from President Obama on Thursday.

Obama calls into Patrick’s final monthly radio show

“Governor, this is Barack Obama, formerly of Somerville,” the caller said in his unmistakable, halting cadence.

Boston Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge, left, listens as guard Rajon Rondo speaks during Celtics basketball media day in Waltham, Mass., Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Celtics’ Danny Ainge admits trade talk on the rise

The team president wouldn’t say if there was any truth to the reports of a potential Rajon Rondo deal with the Mavericks.

The final episode of “The Colbert Report” airs Thursday night.

Opinion | Steve Almond

With ‘Colbert,’ morality was just another form of entertainment

The rise of shows like “The Colbert Report” reflects our regression from capable citizens to passive consumers.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/18/BostonGlobe.com/Lifestyle/Images/68cffa289a494cf5819042181c77d5cc-68cffa289a494cf5819042181c77d5cc-0.jpg Will Americans be able to taste Cuban-grown coffee?

Sure, changes in Cuba policy could mean more cigars. But it could mean more coffee, too.

Opinion

Opinion | JOAN VENNOCHI

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/17/BostonGlobe.com/EditorialOpinion/Images/Joan_Vennochi_150px-1170.jpg Can Aaron Hernandez beat the rap?

In January, the disgraced Patriots player will be back in the same news cycle as his old team.

The Big Picture

A protester takes shelter from smoke billowing around during protests on Aug. 13 against the shooting of black teenager Michael Brown in Freguson, Mo., by white police officer Darren Wilson.

David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch via Associated Press

Best photos of 2014: Part II

Photographs from May-August on a range topics from around the world.