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.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/12/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/lorenz_122114dining_001.jpg Does anyone use their dining room anymore?

Granny would be intrigued to learn that today’s dining rooms often serve as playrooms, nurseries, or home offices.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2014/12/19/BostonGlobe.com/Arts/Images/extra-3795.jpg 8 hours as an extra on the new Miles Teller film

A reporter spent a day on set for “Bleed For This,” the Martin Scorcese film about R.I.-bred boxer Vincent Pazienza.

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.

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.