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Mass. SJC bars no-parole life terms for youths

The court said scientific research shows that lifelong imprisonment for youths is cruel and unusual because their brains are “not fully developed.”

The nonprofit Music & Youth Initiative offers training and mentoring.

ESSDRAS M SUAREZ/GLOBE STAFF

Young musicians get lessons in the law

Members of the Music & Youth Initiative, a nonprofit music training and mentoring program, are learning how to protect their work.

JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE

Spirit of Christmas, near and far

Children enacted the story of Jesus’ birth (above) during a Christmas Eve Mass at Blessed Mother Teresa Roman Catholic Church in Dorchester.

US academia split over boycott targeting Israel

The decision by a US organization of scholars to boycott Israeli academic institutions has ignited debate on college campuses.

The Nation

White House again stretches deadline for healthcare

President Obama said late last week that more than 1 million Americans had enrolled for coverage since Oct. 1.

By Robert Pear

The government extended its deadline to sign up for health insurance for those who were stymied by the federal website.

Astronauts successful in cooling system fix

Tuesday’s repair work on the International Space Station was the second spacewalk in four days for astronauts Rick Mastracchio (top), and Michael Hopkins.

By Marcia Dunn

Space station astronauts repaired a crippled cooling system during a rare Christmas Eve spacewalk Tuesday.

Federal court declines to halt gay marriage in Utah

By Brady McCombs

The US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit on Tuesday rejected the state’s request to stop gay marriages in Utah.

The World

UN to add 6,000 peacekeepers in South Sudan

By Nicholas Kulish and Rick Gladstone

The fighting between government and rebel forces is threatening to tear the young nation apart.

Israel launches strikes after civilian death

A Palestinian inspected a Hamas training camp after it was hit by an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip.

By Ibrahim Barzak

A girl was killed and 10 were wounded in Gaza in response to the deadly shooting of an Israeli civilian by a Palestinian.

Bombing at Egyptian police station kills 15

Egyptians carried the coffin of a victim killed in the explosion at a police headquarters during a funeral in the Nile Delta city of Mansoura on Tuesday. Egypt has seen an escalating campaign of spectacular bombings, drive-by shootings, assassinations, and mass killings.

By Mohammed Wagdy

A powerful blast ripped through a police headquarters in an Egyptian Nile Delta city, killing 15 people and wounding more than 100.

Editorial & Opinion

SCOT LEHIGH

A word of Christmas advice

By Scot Lehigh

The perfect gift for a young person: A word, written on a note card, along with its definition.

JEFF JACOBY

The radical dream of ‘peace on earth’

British and German soldiers fraternized at Ploegsteert, Belgium, on Christmas Day 1914.

By Jeff Jacoby

Christmas is a time to wish for peace on earth, yet not everyone has always had good will toward men.

Larry Tye

Bridging the care gap

By Larry Tye

Things have improved dramatically — but not enough — in rooting out hospital miscues and keeping patients from being readmitted.

Metro

Mass. SJC bars no-parole life terms for youths

By Sarah Schweitzer and Michael Levenson

The court said scientific research shows that lifelong imprisonment for youths is cruel and unusual because their brains are “not fully developed.”

US academia split over boycott targeting Israel

By Marcella Bombardieri

The decision by a US organization of scholars to boycott Israeli academic institutions has ignited debate on college campuses.

Prosecutor says mother failed child in Fitchburg case

Alberto Sierra was led from court Tuesday after a judge ruled he was too dangerous to release on bail.

By Peter Schworm

The mother of missing 5-year-old Jeremiah Oliver “did nothing” to protect him and his siblings from abuse, prosecutors said.

Business

Data theft at Target reveals plastic’s liabilities

The breach of customer data at Target stores has made it clear that credit and debit cards and the systems designed to process them are more vulnerable than ever.

By Michael B. Farrell

Retailers in the United States have been slow to adopt newer security technologies designed to reduce fraud.

Comeback plan at bank includes new credit card

OneUnited is one of the largest black-owned banks in the country.

By Deirdre Fernandes

OneUnited Bank is trying to make a comeback from its financial problems with a new credit card aimed at consumers who are trying to repair bad credit.

Top stories in business news for the year 2013

Dozens of diners, staff, and race watchers were injured at the Forum restaurant because of the Marathon attack. The restaurant didn’t reopen until August.

We asked readers to vote on the year’s top local business stories. Here’s what they chose.

Obituaries

Jerome Grossman, 96, longtime Democratic activist

Jerome Grossman, a self-described “Relentless Liberal,” was a lifelong champion of progressive causes.

By Bryan Marquard

Mr. Grossman, a self-described “Relentless Liberal,” was a lifelong champion of progressive causes.

Edwin Shuman III, 82; POW defied Hanoi Hilton guards

Edwin Shuman’s fighter jet was shot down in 1968.

By Richard Goldstein

Lieutenant Shuman’s fighter jet was shot down in 1968.

Richard Heffner, 88; ‘Open Mind’ host led film-ratings board

Mr. Heffner had taught at Rutgers University since 1964. Above, on “The Open Mind” set with guest Floyd Abrams.

By Margalit Fox

The historian, educator, and broadcaster spent two decades as chairman of the motion picture industry’s film-ratings board.

Sports

Shawn Thornton’s 15-game suspension upheld

Shawn Thornton

By Fluto Shinzawa

Under the ruling, the Bruins forward remains ineligible to play until Jan. 11 against San Jose.

Fans have lots of fun in the stadium’s last row

Though Nicole Frisk (left) confesses to a fear of heights, one benefit of sitting in the last row is being able to steal a kiss (with Ryan Parish) with no one watching.

By Stan Grossfeld

They’re the farthest away from the action, but fans who sit in the last row at New England arenas say they have some of the best seats in the house.

On Football | Midweek Report

Patriots’ adjustment in ground game flattened Ravens

LeGarrette Blount (above) and Stevan Ridley pounded the Ravens for 130 yards on 31 carries, mostly out of the stretch play.

By Ben Volin

In Sunday’s blowout win, the Patriots unveiled a new running game to neutralize a size disadvantage along the offensive line.

G: Food

Young musicians get lessons in the law

The nonprofit Music & Youth Initiative offers training and mentoring.

By James H. Burnett III

Members of the Music & Youth Initiative, a nonprofit music training and mentoring program, are learning how to protect their work.

Movie REview

In love with ‘Her’

Joaquin Phoenix’s Theodore Twombly falls for a computer voice.

By Ty Burr

Joaquin Phoenix is superb in the touching meditation on what it means to be human and where our machines may be taking us.

Movie Review

In ‘Mandela,’ a great man deserves a great film

Idris Elba stars in the title role in “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom.”

By Ty Burr

“Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” is extremely well produced, it features two excellent lead performances, and it is dull.

More Stories

Movie Review

The analog life of Stiller’s ‘Mitty’

By Peter Keough

holiday Recipe

Recipe for cocktail buckwheat blini

By Debra Samuels

By the Glass

Resolution for 2014: Drink more sparklers

By Ellen Bhang

A Tank Away

On the outskirts of Vermont’s skiing hot spots

By Bryan Marquard

events

Boston-area to do list

By June Wulff

Book Review

‘Jesus’ by Jay Parini

By Glenn C. Altschuler

Names

Patriots huddle up as holiday helpers

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Cheryl Fiandaca leaves BPD for Channel 7

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Kate Winslet discusses waiting for ‘Labor Day’

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Local movies set for release next fall

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Celebrity sightings in and around town

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein