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Panel opposes Partners expansion on South Shore

A state watchdog agency is expected to advise against Partners HealthCare’s aggressive plan to take over South Shore Hospital and a nearby doctors group.

Aides expected, even urged, Mayor Menino to look into a car service once he left City Hall.

Suzanne Kreiter/Globe Staff

Mayor Menino set to get behind the wheel again

With two decades of city-provided rides coming to an end, Thomas Menino is turning his focus to 21st-century driving.

Fraser resigning as Boston’s fire commissioner

For seven years, Roderick Fraser Jr., who is resigning in January, battled union leaders and led reforms of a fractious fire force.

The National Security Agency program that monitors Americans’ phone calls was exposed this year by Edward J. Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

Judge rules against NSA phone call monitoring

A federal judge ruled that the program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls probably violates the Constitution.

The government demanded that manufacturers prove germ-fighting chemicals were safe.

Antibacterial products get FDA safety challenge

The FDA demanded that manufacturers prove that their germ-fighting chemicals were safe and more effective than soap and water.

Developer Steve Wynn, represented by former governor William Weld, won an investigators’ recommendation Monday that his company be considered fit to operate a casino in Everett.

Wynn Resorts gets positive report on casino bid

State gambling investigators have recommended that Wynn Resorts be deemed suitable to operate a casino in Everett.

The Nation

Judge rules against NSA phone call monitoring

The National Security Agency program that monitors Americans’ phone calls was exposed this year by Edward J. Snowden, a former NSA contractor.

By Charlie Savage

A federal judge ruled that the program that is systematically keeping records of all Americans’ phone calls probably violates the Constitution.

Antibacterial products get FDA safety challenge

The government demanded that manufacturers prove germ-fighting chemicals were safe.

By Deborah Kotz

The FDA demanded that manufacturers prove that their germ-fighting chemicals were safe and more effective than soap and water.

Bill to ease pain of spending cuts gains ground

Senator Charles Schumer, a New York Democrat, said he believes “it’s a pretty safe bet” that the legislation is going to pass.

By David Espo

The House-passed budget bill picked up GOP support in the Senate, increasing the prospects for the measure to clear the chamber.

The World

Wave of attacks in Iraq leaves at least 65 dead

An Iraqi policeman examined a damaged vehicle after a car bomb attack on Shi’te pilgrims in Baghdad on Monday.

By Sameer N. Yacoub

Attacks killed at least 65 people, including 34 Shi’ite Muslims on pilgrimage, in the country’s most violent day in close to two months.

UN seeks $6.5 billion to help Syrian war victims

Some Syrian refugees have relocated to Quru Gusik refugee camp in Iraq’s Kurdistan region. About 2.3 million people have fled the country, according to the United Nations.

By Nick Cumming-Bruce

The United Nations says the fighting has created the biggest displacement crisis since Rwanda’s genocide 20 years ago.

Israel, Lebanon try to calm tensions after flare-up

By Josef Federman

Israel and Lebanon tried Monday to ease tensions after a deadly border skirmish that left one Israeli soldier dead.

Editorial & Opinion

Farah Stockman

Power in prison

Nelson Mandela visited his former prison cell on Robben Island in South Africa in 2003.

By Farah Stockman

Political prisoners have managed to turn their captivity into an advantage.

TOM KEANE

The telephone regulation game

By Tom Keane

Rules and regulations are adopted with the best of intentions, but the real world is so complex that perverse consequences can result.

PAUL MCMORROW

Boston’s housing solution lies in Allston

By Paul McMorrow

Allston looms large because, unlike most of Boston’s neighborhoods, it has a huge surplus of vacant and underutilized land.

Metro

Fraser resigning as Boston’s fire commissioner

“As I look back on my years here, I’m leaving a much better department than when I found it. And I’m proud of that,” said departing Boston Fire Commissioner Roderick J. Fraser Jr.

By Meghan E. Irons

For seven years, Roderick Fraser Jr., who is resigning in January, battled union leaders and led reforms of a fractious fire force.

Mayor Menino set to get behind the wheel again

Aides expected, even urged, Mayor Menino to look into a car service once he left City Hall.

By Andrew Ryan

With two decades of city-provided rides coming to an end, Thomas Menino is turning his focus to 21st-century driving.

Wynn Resorts gets positive report on casino bid

Developer Steve Wynn, represented by former governor William Weld, won an investigators’ recommendation Monday that his company be considered fit to operate a casino in Everett.

By Mark Arsenault

State gambling investigators have recommended that Wynn Resorts be deemed suitable to operate a casino in Everett.

Business

Panel opposes Partners expansion on South Shore

South Shore Hospital in Weymouth.

By Robert Weisman

A state watchdog agency is expected to advise against Partners HealthCare’s aggressive plan to take over South Shore Hospital and a nearby doctors group.

Firms line up for Mass. tax breaks

By Hiawatha Bray

The state will vote on tax breaks for 15 companies that are investing a total of nearly $200 million on improvements and pledging to create 1,417 jobs.

Global shipping woes at top of eBay’s fix-it list

Concerns about negative customer feedback made eBay seller Peter Givertzman decide against its Global Shipping Program.

By Susan E. Reed

The reluctance of US sellers to ship outside of the country prompted eBay last year to develop its Global Shipping Program.

Obituaries

Edward Gleason, 80; Episcopal theologian

The Rev. Gleason guided students at Noble and Greenough School and at Phillips Exeter Academy.

By Jasper Craven

As the minister of Phillips Church at Phillips Exeter Academy, Rev. Gleason encouraged a more inclusive, vibrant spiritual environment that still exists.

Allen Rosenberg, 82, Olympic rowing coach

Allen Rosenberg (front) with the US rowing team in 1961.

By Bruce Weber

Mr. Rosenberg was a coxswain-turned-coach whose innovations in rowing technique helped produce Olympic and world champions.

Sports

celtics 101, timberwolves 97

In rematch, Celtics ease past Timberwolves

After a missed 3-pointer by the Timberwolves, Jared Sullinger drilled a 3-pointer with 2:22 left, giving the Celtics a 95-92 lead.

By Baxter Holmes

The team proved that there’s a mile-wide gap between the Celtics that were blown out a month ago by the Timberwolves and the Celtics of now.

On basketball

Kris Humphries steps up when Celtics need him

Celtics forward Kris Humphries had to get physical against Kevin Love and the Timberwolves’ big frontline.

By Gary Washburn

Humphries deserves more playing time, but instead of complaining he has kept himself prepared, contributing key minutes to the Celtics.

Christopher L. Gasper

Patriots’ margin for error now razor thin

Tom Brady, center, walked off the field after a frustrating loss in Miami on Sunday.

By Christopher L. Gasper

The Patriots don’t have enough of their impact players to pull away, so they’re just going to have to keep pulling out close games.

G: Living

Ancient form of Yoga used to cure Yuletide stress

Instructor Lees Yunits at Easton Yoga Center offers a version of yoga nidra called “Divine Sleep.”

By Jan Brogan

Yoga nidra has gained both in popularity and credibility in recent years in the West as an effective way to relieve stress and anxiety.

Bookish | Matthew Gilbert

John Williams’s ‘Stoner’ finds a second life

The novel, by John Williams, quickly fell into obscurity — and had a rebirth in 2006.

By Matthew Gilbert

Written in 1965, “Stoner” — which, by the way, has absolutely nothing to do with weed — quickly fell into obscurity.

Music Review

Tallis Scholars sing of the season and more

Peter Phillips, pictured conducting the Tallis Scholars in London last summer, led them Saturday at St. Paul Church.

By Jeffrey Gantz

The Tallis Scholars celebrated their 40th anniversary.