Front page

MBTA wants funding; no cuts, fare hikes for now

T officials will hold off until at least March before resorting to fare increases or service cuts, waiting for lawmakers to address the state’s transportation funding.

Ashton B. Carter is known for his command of both technical data and policy documents.

JAY PREMACK FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Cabinet nod could be next for Harvard’s Ashton Carter

The leading national security strategist, a top lieutenant to the past two secretaries of defense, may be the next in line for the top job.

Attendance for the Boston Ballet’s “Nutcracker” is up 23 percent from three years ago, and revenue is up 36 percent.

ESSDRAS M SUAREZ/GLOBE STAFF

Holiday shows bringing box office joy

For Bostonians, “The Nutcracker” is a time-honored holiday tradition. For Boston Ballet’s leaders, the annual production has always been something else: A show capable of making or breaking the budget. But this year, the company’s leaders aren’t sweating. “The Nutcracker” is on target to earn record revenues. And Boston Ballet isn’t alone. Boston arts institutions ranging from the Holiday Pops to Revels are reporting a box office boom that’s setting records.

Child porn victims seek restitution

A small but growing number of child pornography victims in the United States are seeking financial damages from people who have taken perverse pleasure in their exploitation, filing legal claims in criminal cases here and around the country at a time when child pornography is exploding in popularity. They say their pain is ongoing from images that can never be cleared from the Internet and they want those convicted of viewing, collecting, and sending child porn to pay restitution. ictims say their pain from images that cannot be cleared from the Internet is ongoing, and they want convicted child porn viewers and senders to pay restitution.

Human toll emerging in shortage of some cancer drugs

Dozens of cancer drugs have been taken off the market in recent years when manufacturers closed factories, stopped making certain products, or were forced to halt operations because of quality control problems. Researchers have struggled to quantify the effect that the shortages have had on patient care, but an article published Wednesday by the New England Journal of Medicine detailed how children treated for Hodgkin’s lymphoma were hurt by the loss of one drug.

The Nation

Cabinet nod could be next for Harvard’s Ashton Carter

Ashton B. Carter is known for his command of both technical data and policy documents.

By Bryan Bender

The leading national security strategist, a top lieutenant to the past two secretaries of defense, may be the next in line for the top job.

Obama, Senate to resume talks on fiscal crisis

Since President Obama signed legislation in late 2010 extending all the Bush-era tax cuts for two years, he has never strayed from his vow to veto any legislation that extends them again for affluent households.

By Jonathan Weisman and Jennifer Steinhauer

The president and Senate members will launch an effort to avert more than a half-trillion dollars in tax increases and spending cuts.

Obesity drops among preschoolers

The rate of obese 2- to 4-year-olds from low-income families dropped 1.8 percent in 2010 from 2003, and fell 6.8 percent for those who were extremely obese.

The World

Adoption ban threatens US-Russia ties

A man holds a poster saying “Lawmakers, adopt ill orphants” as he protests against a bill banning adoption of Russian orphans by American citizens in St. Petersburg, Russia.

By David M. Herszenhorn

The upper chamber of Russian Parliament approved a bill to ban adoptions of Russian children by US citizens, sending the measure to President Vladimir Putin.

Militants say hostages imperiled in Mali

An Al Qaeda-affiliated group is accusing France of endangering the lives of a half-dozen French hostages.

Suit exposes feud in Iran’s politics

Four children of an influential ex-Iranian president are suing a radical lawmaker for describing his family as a corrupt ‘‘octopus.’’

Editorial & Opinion

Joan Vennochi

Respect for Menino and the status quo

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino greeted children on Christmas Even at the Catholic Charities Teen Center in Dorchester.

By Joan Vennochi

Mayor Menino’s body may be weak after dealing with a recent illness, but so far there are no public signs of declining political muscle.

Edward L. Glaeser

College debts but no degree? Reform the Pell grant program

By Edward L. Glaeser

By tying the payments that colleges receive from Pell grants to graduation and employment, colleges would have a greater stake in their students’ success.

Jackson Keyser

Sixth-grader weighs in on longer school day

By Jackson Keyser

Believe it or not, more time in school has its benefits, writes a student who has first-hand experience with a longer day.

Metro

MBTA wants funding; no cuts, fare hikes for now

Pedestrians entered the MBTA stop in Central Square in September.

By Eric Moskowitz

T officials will hold off until at least March before resorting to fare increases or service cuts, waiting for lawmakers to address the state’s transportation funding.

Child porn victims seek restitution

By Jenifer B. McKim

A growing number of victims are seeking financial damages from those who collected pictures and videos depicting their abuse.

Human toll emerging in shortage of some cancer drugs

By Chelsea Conaboy

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine illuminates how little is known about what the lapses in drug supply will mean for people’s health.

Business

29 million travelers set Logan record

Gary Lewis of Maine was recognized as the 29 millionth traveler to pass through Logan Airport this year.

By Michael B. Farrell

With more foreign travelers visiting Boston than ever, 2012 has turned into a record year for the Massachusetts travel industry.

Holiday sales a big letdown for US retailers

By Laura Finaldi

Although post-Christmas sales and gift cards could yet boost the final numbers for retailers, few analysts expect the totals to come close to earlier projections.

NHL lockout felt beyond Bruins’ ice

The crowd on Causeway Street is much smaller these days with the Bruins out of commission as a result of the NHL lockout.

By Callum Borchers

From parking lots to even youth leagues, the NHL’s third work stoppage in 19 seasons is taking a toll that mounts with each passing day.

Obituaries

Patrick King, 91; English High coach

PATRICK J. KING

By Kathleen McKenna

Jody to family and friends, Mr. King was a standout athlete at English High School in Boston, where he returned after college to teach and coach.

Bill McBride, 67; lost to Jeb Bush in Florida

BILL McBRIDE

By Jennifer Kay

Mr. McBride, a Florida Democrat, defeated Janet Reno for the party’s gubernatorial nomination in 2002 but lost to the incumbent governor.

Gerry Anderson, 83, creator of ‘Thunderbirds’ sci-fi television series

Gerry Anderson with a Thunderbird 2 on the show’s 40th anniversary in 2005.

By Cassandra Vinograd

Mr. Anderson’s show introduced the use of ‘‘supermarionation’’ — a puppetry technique using thin wires to control marionettes.

Sports

Red Sox close the deal for Joel Hanrahan

The Red Sox have told Joel Hanrahan he is their closer.

By Peter Abraham

The Red Sox obtained the closer and infielder Brock Holt for reliever Mark Melancon and three prospects.

Patriots’ Rob Gronkowski won’t say if he is playing

In a talk with reporters Wednesday, Rob Gronkowski said he is taking things day to day.

By Shalise Manza Young

Neither the tight end nor coach Bill Belichick would say whether Gronkowski, who has been out with a broken forearm, would play Sunday.

ON FOOTBALL | Midweek Review

Patriots offense deserved blame for Jaguars game

Tom Brady has been outspoken in his criticism of his team for the way it played in Jack-sonville. The quarterback made his share of mistakes, but his teammates made more.

By Greg A. Bedard

While Tom Brady made his share of mistakes in the sloppy win, his teammates on offense — especially the line — made more.

G: Style

The biggest style hits and misses of 2012

By Christopher Muther and Rachel Raczka

From the Olympics to the Oscars, the Emmys to ‘Argo,’ we run down looks that turned heads — in both directions.

The best and worst dressed starlets of 2012

By Christopher Muther

A glance at red carpet pictures made it clear who took the title of best dressed starlet of 2012 — and who was the worst dressed.

Hit: 5 models who ruled the runway

By Rachel Raczka

Five models who ruled the runway

More Stories

Misses: Worst of the red carpet 2012

By Christopher Muther

Bargain Bin

Let the post-holiday shopping sales begin

By Ami Albernaz

events

Boston-area to do list

By June Wulff

Book Review

‘The Missing Ink’ by Philip Hensher

By Richard Eder

Critic’s corner for Dec. 27

By Matthew Gilbert

Annie's Mailbox

Ask Amy column

Handyman on Call

Why does his bathroom sink only leak occasionally?

By Peter Hotton

Boston-area events

By June Wulff

Movie stars

Movie capsules

Names

A party atmosphere on Christmas Eve

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

For Dennis Lehane, it’s a dogged pursuit

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Ben Affleck, Lady Gaga on do-good list

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Jessica Simpson announces pregnancy

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Celebrities spotted in and around Boston for holidays

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Globe North

Assembly Square development is taking shape

Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville went over the Assembly Square layout with Don Briggs, a Federal Realty senior vice president.

By Jarret Bencks

The first phase of Assembly Row includes buildings that will hold about 450 apartments, a movie theater, and enough retail space for 50 to 60 stores and restaurants.

Winchester

Proposed CVS in Winchester faces opposition

By John Laidler

A proposal to build a new CVS in Winchester faces opposition from residents and the town planning board, who question its design.

Timeline shows progress at Assembly Square

A recent view of the Assembly Row space in Somerville.

How the mixed-use residential and retail project is scheduled to grow in the next two years.

Globe South

Mike Healy’s campaign strategy

Mike Healy’s campaign strategy.

Candidate gets Quincy’s political season off to an early start

Mike Healy discussed his City Council bid with patrons at the Donut King in Quincy on a recent Saturday.

By Jessica Bartlett

Eleven months before the election for Quincy City Council, Mike Healy is already out campaigning for the Ward 4 seat.

Scituate

Scituate officials may seek local meals tax

By Jessica Bartlett

Scituate officials are considering a 0.75 percent local meals tax, but they haven’t decided how the revenue, estimated at $200,000 a year, would be used.

More Stories

Braintree

Braintree golf course had healthy year

By Jessica Bartlett

High School Hockey

New hockey coach at Walpole High makes good impression

By Coryn Doncaster

Lakeville

Longtime selectman to step down

By Christine Legere

Halifax

Housing rehab, past and future

By Christine Legere

Hanover

Friends make donation to library

By Christine Legere

Braintree

Police roster expands

By Jessica Bartlett

Globe West

Suburban wildlife spottings

One minute we’re saving them, the next minute we’re hunting them. In 2012, an owl caught in a Weston soccer net was rehabbed and released, a bear met a tranquilizer dart while scoping out pricey Brookline real estate, and Belmont approved a volunteer team to confront aggressive coyotes. But when Weston launched a deer hunt on public land this fall, opponents cried foul.

2012: Year in review

A juvenile male great horned owl was examined at Tufts Wildlife Clinic a few hours before it was released back into the wild.

By Lisa Kocian

We take a look back at some of your favorite Globe West stories from 2012.

New high school spirit

With smart boards and solar panels, new high schools opened in Natick, Wayland and Wellesley (above). Natick’s athletic teams also got a new name, the Red Hawks, replacing the short-lived Red and Blue as a substitute for the controversial Redmen name. Plans to build a new Concord-Carlisle High School stalled when the state suspended funding, saying the project had ballooned past its original budget and scope. The state later said it would reinstate its contribution — but only if the school district met a list of conditions.