Front page

GOP prods a hesitant Scott Brown to run for Senate

Washington Republicans have begun a “full court press’’ to persuade the increasingly reluctant Brown to run for John Kerry’s seat.

As the size the of average television is growing, the prices are plummeting.

Debee Tlumacki for the Boston Globe

Persuading spouse can be key to a huge TV

Being able to talk one’s spouse into buying a monster-screen television, as many a married person has learned, is sometimes the biggest hurdle to the purchase.

“Over the years I learned this really is just all about people,’’ a reflective Senator John Kerry said Thursday.

Dina Rudick/Globe Staff

Globally bound, John Kerry first retraces, recalls roots

As he heads for the world stage as secretary of state, John Kerry reflected on his start in Massachusetts politics in an exclusive interview with the Globe.

The Red Sox’ officially maintained a sellout streak last season despite playing before many empty seats.

Red Sox season-ticket renewals down 10%

Could the sellout streak be in jeopardy? The renewal lapse is seen as a sign that even hardcore fans are cooling in their enthusiasm after a joyless 2012 season.

Mark Sargent (right) and Jeanmarie Louis in court Thursday.

Man held, is called suspect in 24 fires

A Middleborough man and his stepson were ­charged with ­arson, an arrest authorities believe will solve a string of mysterious fires across the region.

The Nation

Globally bound, John Kerry first retraces, recalls roots

“Over the years I learned this really is just all about people,’’ a reflective Senator John Kerry said Thursday.

By Matt Viser

As he heads for the world stage as secretary of state, John Kerry reflected on his start in Massachusetts politics in an exclusive interview with the Globe.

Hagel grilled during confirmation hearing

Chuck Hagel also said that the Iraq war was the ‘‘most fundamentally bad, dangerous decision since Vietnam.’’

By Ernesto Londoño

Chuck Hagel, President Barack Obama’s nominee as defense secretary, confronted withering criticism during a marathon confirmation hearing Thursday.

Restricted vessel traffic permitted on Miss. River

By HOLBROOK MOHR

The Coast Guard is permitting restricted commercial vessel traffic on the Mississippi River near Vicksburg, Miss., as crews work to remove oil from a leaking barge, a Guard spokesman said Thursday. A 16-mile stretch of the river was closed Sunday after two oil barges hit a railroad bridge and one of them started leaking light crude.

The World

Iran says it will use advanced nuclear gear

By Alan Cowell

Iran plans to install more sophisticated equipment at its nuclear enrichment plant, in a move likely to worry the US, Israel, and the West.

New bells en route for Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral

The nine bells will be displayed outside Notre Dame until Feb. 25, and then will be hoisted into the cathedral’s towers.

By JEFFREY SCHAEFFER

Nine enormous bronze bells have made their way from a Normandy foundry to Notre Dame Cathedral.

Stalingrad gets name back on days marking battle

By Vladimir Isachenkov

The southern Russian city where the Red Army decisively turned back Nazi forces in a key World War II battle will once again be known as Stalingrad, at least on the days commemorating the victory, the regional legislature declared Thursday.

Editorial & Opinion

CARLO ROTELLA

Off the grid in Boston

By Carlo Rotella

If you live in the Boston area and you’re not from around here, you receive reminders of your non-belonging, but that doesn’t mean that Boston isn’t shaping you.

SCOT LEHIGH

The search for a big senator

 Bill Weld was governor of Massachusetts from 1991 to ’97.

By Scot Lehigh

Mass. typically has big, nationally known and respected senators. Let’s look at the possible field through the prism of real or potential stature.

Dan Connell

Reverse the exodus from Eritrea

By Dan Connell

Protesters in one of Afria’s most repressive nations are calling for a constitutional framework for a transition to democracy.

Metro

GOP prods a hesitant Scott Brown to run for Senate

By Frank Phillips and Michael Levenson

Washington Republicans have begun a “full court press’’ to persuade the increasingly reluctant Brown to run for John Kerry’s seat.

Kevin Cullen

The virtues of inexperience

By Kevin Cullen

Saying Mo ­Cowan shouldn’t keep John Kerry’s seat warm in the US Senate because he lacks experience is a bit much.

Red Sox season-ticket renewals down 10%

The Red Sox’ officially maintained a sellout streak last season despite playing before many empty seats.

By Nick Cafardo

Could the sellout streak be in jeopardy? The renewal lapse is seen as a sign that even hardcore fans are cooling in their enthusiasm after a joyless 2012 season.

More Stories

Wind flares up around Mass., and blows a lot down

By Lauren Dezenski and John R. Ellement

Business

Super Bowl a high-stakes game for ad makers

Spots cost $3.8 million for 30 seconds and rival the game itself, ratcheting up pressure on agencies to make clients happy — and keep their jobs.

By Callum Borchers

Spots cost $3.8 million for 30 seconds and rival the game itself, ratcheting up pressure on agencies to make clients happy.

Boston’s downtown condo market soared in 2012

By Jenifer B. McKim

Sales rose 28.9 percent last year over 2011, while the median price increased 5.69 percent.

Robo-signing firm agrees to pay $1.6 million to Mass.

Attorney General Coakley cited a serious violation of state law.

By Jenifer B. McKim

The settlement will resolve allegations a foreclosure processing company engaged in “robo-signing.” Attorney General Martha Coakley said.

Obituaries

Mary Ruth Ray, cofounder of the Lydian String Quartet

Violist Mary Ruth Ray had a long association with Emmanuel Music.

By Jeremy Eichler

Ms. Ray, 56, was the founding violist of the Lydian String Quartet and as a key member of the ensemble at ­Emmanuel Music, was one of Boston’s most dependable ­inner voices.

Max Kampelman, 92; led arms negotiations with USSR

Mr. Kampelman with President Reagan, enroute to Geneva.

By William Yardley

Dr. Kampelman was a US diplomat enlisted by Democratic and Republican presidents to negotiate Cold War treaties with the Soviet Union on nuclear weapons and human rights.

Butch Morris, 65; created eccentric ensemble music

Butch Morris conducting at a New York City jazz festival.

By Ben Ratliff

Mr. Morris created a distinctive form of large-ensemble music built on collective improvisation that he single-handedly directed and shaped.

Sports

Sabres 7, Bruins 4

Sabres outmuscle Bruins

Thomas Vanek had three goals and an assist against Tuukka Rask and the Bruins on Thursday night.

By Fluto Shinzawa

The Bruins committed a series of uncharacteristic defensive miscues as the Sabres humbled them for the first time this season.

Dan Shaughnessy

Super Bowl a part of New Orleans recovery

The Superdome is hosting the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002.

By Dan Shaughnessy

The NFL’s showcase event is back in New Orleans for the first time since the Patriots’ win in 2002, and much was changed by Hurricane Katrina.

Christopher L. Gasper

Sorry Patriots fans, the Ravens will win

By Christopher L. Gasper

As Christopher L. Gasper spins the dial on his iThink, he says the Ravens are poised to claim the NFL championship on Sunday.

G: Arts & Movies

BSO cellists break out with new quartet, fresh approach

The Boston Cello Quartet, whose members also play in the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has a repertoire that ranges from Bach and Dvorak to Chick Corea and Astor Piazzolla. The group is celebrating the release of its first CD, “Pictures,” with a sold-out performance Friday night at the Revere Hotel.

By Geoff Edgers

The Boston Cello Quartet, all members of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, is celebrating the release of its first CD, “Pictures,” with a sold-out performance at the Revere Hotel.

Book Review

‘Remembering Whitney’ by Cissy Houston

Cissy Houston (left) recalls daughter Whitney (right) as funny and smart, but also stubborn and emotionally remote.

By Sarah Rodman

In the emotionally tangled book, the elder Houston is a fiercely protective mama bear to the memory of her damaged cub.

theater

Cherry Jones looks homeward to play a Williams heroine

Cherry Jones and director John Tiffany at Zero Church Street last month preparing for “Glass Menagerie,” which opens Saturday at ART’s Loeb Drama Center.

By Patti Hartigan

Paris, Tenn. native Cherry Jones plays Amanda Wingfield in the American Reperatory Theater production of Tennessee Williams’s “The Glass Menagerie.”

More Stories

Classical Notes

Nicholas Phan has found a muse in Britten

By David Weininger

Television Review

‘House of Cards’ with Kevin Spacey: Netflix ascending

By Matthew Gilbert

Noisy Neighbors

Guillermo Sexo’s ‘Bring Down Your Arms’ EP

By Matt Parish

High Five

High Five: Jackie Evancho

By Sarah Rodman

Critic’s Notebook

Mumford & Sons lead the way. But to where?

By James Reed

events

Boston-area to do list

By June Wulff

Annie's Mailbox

Ask Amy column

Dear Margo

Dear Margo column

Night Watch

ManRay Reunion at Brighton Music Hall

By Katy Rushlau

Names

Marion Cotillard honored by Hasty Pudding

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Ed Sheeran performs at Notre Dame Academy

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Dan Shaughnessy’s book on Terry Francona finds an audience

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Early numbers are in for ‘Southie Rules’

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein