Front page

Ex-T pension chief recommended $25m investment that went bust

The FBI and the SEC are investigating the investment, pushed for by a former MBTA pension chief, which had “many of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.”

Patrick’s cousin gets presidential clemency

Governor Patrick does not recall ever meeting the cousin and had no involvement in the application for clemency, his spokeswoman said.

Former pastor Frank Schaefer was consoled by the Rev. Lorelei Toombs after United Methodist Church officials defrocked him Thursday.

Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Methodist Church defrocks minister who officiated at gay wedding in Hull

The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor of a church in Lebanon, Pa., was forced to surrender his credentials.

Hackers targeted credit card transactions at Target. Above, a Target store in Somerville on Black Friday.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

Target data breach sets off alarms

It is unclear how many Mass. customers are affected by the breach, but 36 of Target’s 1,800 stores are in the state.

Peter and Annie Blatz write two holiday letters, one that shares a more polished version of their lives and a private one for their own enjoyment.

Easy to scorn, the holiday letter still hard to give up

Even in 2013, when eye-rolling about holiday letters has become a winter sport, many still feel called to the keyboard.

The Nation

Patrick’s cousin gets presidential clemency

Deval Patrick does not recall ever meeting his first cousin Reynolds Allen Wintersmith Jr., whose drug sentence was commuted by President Obama, the governor’s spokeswoman said.

By Matt Viser and Tracy Jan

Governor Patrick does not recall ever meeting the cousin and had no involvement in the application for clemency, his spokeswoman said.

NSA debate shifts in favor of surveillance limits

By Julie Pace

The national debate over US government surveillance seems to be turning in favor of reining in the agency’s expansive spying powers.

New Mexico’s high court OK’s same-sex marriage

By Barry Massey and Russell Contreras

The justices said same-sex couples are a discrete group that has been subjected to a history of discrimination and violence.

The World

Power visits Central African Republic amid strife

US ambassador to the UN Samantha Power spoke with children in a refugee camp near Bangui’s airport Thursday.

By Somini Sengupta

The US ambassador to the United Nations, Samantha Power, delivered what she called a blunt and simple message: The United States is watching.

Russian oil tycoon released from prison

In October 2003, masked commandos stormed into Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s jet and arrested him at gunpoint.

By Nataliya Vasilyeva

The Russian president’s top foe and the country’s formerly richest man was let out of prison after more than a decade.

EU puts pressure on Israel for peace with Palestinians

By Karin Laub

Support in Europe for sanctioning Israel over its settlement policies could gain steam if current negotiations fail, the outgoing EU envoy to the Middle East said.

Editorial & Opinion

SCOT LEHIGH

The GOP vs. the right

“I think they are misleading their followers,” House Speaker John Boehner said of right-wing advocacy groups.

By Scot Lehigh

The vote for the bipartisan budget deal was an explicit rejection of right-wing advocacy groups’ demand for ideological purity.

opinion | JOSHUA GREEN

Conservative activist groups will strike back

By Joshua Green

Advocacy groups such as Heritage Action have a long-term plan to shift the Republican Party to the right.

CARLO ROTELLA

A Yes vote for bombast

Jon Anderson, Yes lead singer, posed before a concert in Lowell in 2004.

By Carlo Rotella

The progressive rock group missed the cut to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, but its sincere commitment commands a certain respect.

Metro

Methodist Church defrocks minister who officiated at gay wedding in Hull

Former pastor Frank Schaefer was consoled by the Rev. Lorelei Toombs after United Methodist Church officials defrocked him Thursday.

By Lisa Wangsness

The Rev. Frank Schaefer, pastor of a church in Lebanon, Pa., was forced to surrender his credentials.

Easy to scorn, the holiday letter still hard to give up

Peter and Annie Blatz write two holiday letters, one that shares a more polished version of their lives and a private one for their own enjoyment.

By Beth Teitell

Even in 2013, when eye-rolling about holiday letters has become a winter sport, many still feel called to the keyboard.

Fairhaven Marine’s body is returned to Mass.

Two men held an American Flag on the side of Route 6 as the hearse carrying the body of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew R. Rodriguez passed Thursday.

By Brian MacQuarrie

People lined the streets from New Bedford to Mattapoisett for Matthew Rodriguez, 19, who was killed in Afghanistan.

More Stories

Governor Patrick backs chief of welfare agency

By Peter Schworm and Michael Levenson

Nanny to face trial in girl’s death

By Milton J. Valencia and John R. Ellement

Kevin Cullen

Southie’s King of the Ice

By Kevin Cullen

Globe Santa

A fund-raiser where everyone knows your name

By Jeremy C. Fox

FRAMINGHAM

Pair charged in Framingham slaying

By Nicholas Jacques

Business

Ex-T pension chief recommended $25m investment that went bust

Karl White, at one time the head of the MBTA’s pension fund, says he didn’t know what happened to the MBTA’s money after he left Fletcher Asset Management in November 2008.

By Beth Healy

The FBI and the SEC are investigating the investment, pushed for by a former MBTA pension chief, which had “many of the characteristics of a Ponzi scheme.”

Target data breach sets off alarms

Hackers targeted credit card transactions at Target. Above, a Target store in Somerville on Black Friday.

By Deirdre Fernandes

It is unclear how many Mass. customers are affected by the breach, but 36 of Target’s 1,800 stores are in the state.

Mass. jobless rate eclipses nation’s

A “Help Wanted” sign was displayed at the Black Dog Bakery in Tisbury in October. Economists say sequestration has taken a disproportionate toll on the state’s economy.

By Megan Woolhouse

The Mass. unemployment rate in November surpassed the nation’s for first time in more than five years, suggesting weaker conditions here.

Obituaries

Karl Baehr, 54; popular Emerson professor

Karl Baehr

By Bryan Marquard

As senior executive in residence in Emerson’s marketing communication department, Dr. Baehr was an inspiring presence for current and former students.

Janet Rowley, cancer genetics pioneer; at 88

Dr. Rowley conducted landmark research with leukemia in the 1970s, linking cancer with genetic abnormalities — work that led to targeted drug treatment for leukemia.

Al Goldstein, pioneering pornographer; at 77

Al Goldstein

By Andy Newman

Mr. Goldstein was the scabrous publisher whose Screw magazine pushed hard-core pornography into the cultural mainstream.

Sports

Sabres 4, Bruins 2

Sabres wrap up win

Milan Lucic and Buffalo’s Mike Weber (not pictured) tangled early on.

By Amalie Benjamin

The four goals allowed by the Bruins negated an excellent effort from Brad Marchand, who scored both of Boston’s goals.

Chaz Williams has been deciding factor for UMass basketball

Dynamic point guard Chaz Williams (left) has UMass off to a 10-0 start and pointed toward a long-awaited NCAA bid.

By Julian Benbow

The senior guard, who had an offer to go pro in Turkey, turned down the money and has helped the Minutemen get off to a 10-0 start.

Dan Shaughnessy

These pieces are now falling into place

DAVID ORTIZ: 39 at end of current deal

By Dan Shaughnessy

Thoughts acquired while hiring a food taster after reading fanboy blogs, tweets, and e-mails . . .

G: Arts & Movies

David O. Russell’s ‘Hustle’

Director David O. Russell.

By Mark Feeney

Russell is on a roll with “The Fighter,” “Silver Linings Playbook,” and now comes “American Hustle,” which he directed and co-wrote, with Eric Singer.

Movie Review

A glorious con job in ‘American Hustle’

Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams in “American Hustle.”

By Ty Burr

Director David O. Russell’s film is a playful mix of scam and ’70s schlock that sends you out of the theater on a cloud of rapture.

Stage Review

A rich take on ‘Robin Hood’

From left: Jordan Dean, Christina Bennett Lind, and Christopher Sieber in American Repertory Theater’s production of “The Heart of Robin Hood.”

By Joel Brown

“The Heart of Robin Hood” breathes life into the well-worn story with gags as old as vaudeville and Dust Bowl melodies.

More Stories

Classical Notes

One conductor, two programs, plenty of holiday spirit

By David Weininger

Book Review

‘Brown Dog’ by Jim Harrison

By John Freeman

movie review

The inside scoop on ‘Llewyn Davis’

By Ty Burr

MOVIE REVIEW

‘White Reindeer’ is more cruel than yule

By Peter Keough

Globe critics pick their favorite episodes of 2013

By Christopher Muther and Sarah Rodman

Noisy Neighbors

David Dominique, ‘Ritual’

By Jon Garelick

Night Watch

OldJack’s Holiday Homage

By Vanessa Fernandes

events

Boston-area to do list

By Milva DiDomizio

Love Letters

He led her on

Music Review

Lauryn Hill gives new life to old gems at Royale

By Julian Benbow

Names

Celtics spread cheer at Children’s Hospital

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

A gala supporting the Home for Little Wanderers

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Movie news for Newton South stars

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Local organizations on NEA grant list

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein