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Early tests are raising worries that the USS Gerald R. Ford may not meet the Navy’s goal of significantly increasing the number of warplanes it can quickly launch — and could even be less effective than older vessels.

Navy’s new $12b aircraft carrier beset with performance problems

The vessel, which is the first in a next generation of carriers, may be less effective than older vessels, a review shows.

Monks in Spencer launch brewery

Brother Isaac Keeley is director of the Trappists’ brewery in Spencer.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Saint Joseph’s Abbey built one of the largest breweries in the state — and the first American Trappist Brewery — to meet its expenses.

New mayor not ceding rights on casino proposals

Martin Walsh has petitioned the state gambling commission for time to further investigate grounds for greater negotiating rights that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.

With sobs, Bulger, Greig traded jailhouse love letters

“Whitey” Bulger and Catherine Greig wrote the letters on a legal pad ferried between prisons by a defense attorney.

Are fans suffering from Patriots ‘playoff fatigue?’

Boston teams have made it to the playoffs so many times lately that some have become a bit blase about it all.

The Nation

Navy’s new $12b aircraft carrier beset with performance problems

Early tests are raising worries that the USS Gerald R. Ford may not meet the Navy’s goal of significantly increasing the number of warplanes it can quickly launch — and could even be less effective than older vessels.

By Bryan Bender

The vessel, which is the first in a next generation of carriers, may be less effective than older vessels, a review shows.

‘Humiliated’ Chris Christie apologizes for scandal

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made a statement and answered reporters’ questions for two hours on Thursday.

By Kate Zernike and Marc Santora

The New Jersey governor tried to control the damage from revelations that his administration had ordered revenge-closings of traffic lanes.

Obama holds meeting on NSA

By Julie Pace and Kimberly Dozier

President Obama is still grappling with key decisions on the future of the phone collection program, lawmakers said.

The World

Syrian groups try to recruit Americans

By Eric Schmitt and Michael S. Schmidt

Groups with ties to Al Qaeda are trying to get Americans and other Westerners to carry out attacks at home, according to US officials.

Iraq is waiting to mount offensive against Al Qaeda

Gunmen patrolled near an exploded mortar shell during clashes in Fallujah on Thursday.

By Qassim Abdul-Zahra and Adam Schreck

Fears that civilian casualties could push tribal leaders to side with the extremists are behind the wait.

Germany to help dispose of weapons

Specialists will help destroy chemical weapons removed from Syria under the auspices of international organizations, the government said.

Editorial & Opinion

LAWRENCE HARMON

Red flags in Walsh’s picks for key jobs

Eugene O’Flaherty was tapped to be Boston’s lead attorney.

By Lawrence Harmon

Mayor Walsh’s choice for Boston’s lead attorney is a politician known for dead-of-night budget amendments and political payback.

SCOT LEHIGH

Will Chris Christie be a slow fade?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie spoke during a news conference Thursday at the Statehouse in Trenton.

By Scot Lehigh

The traffic scandal in New Jersey highlights one of the central concerns about the governor: that he is a petty, vindictive bully.

opinion | Andrew J. Bacevich

The endless Army

By Andrew J. Bacevich

The generals are hard at work searching for new venues in which to demonstrate the Army’s relevance.

Metro

New mayor not ceding rights on casino proposals

A conceptual design shows a proposed casino development by Mohegan Sun on the parcel of Suffolk Downs in Revere.

By Mark Arsenault

Martin Walsh has petitioned the state gambling commission for time to further investigate grounds for greater negotiating rights that could be worth tens of millions of dollars.

With sobs, Bulger, Greig traded jailhouse love letters

With approval from Catherine Greig’s attorney, James J. Bulger’s lawyer visited her at a detention center in Rhode Island to deliver a letter the gangster had written to her on a legal pad. She then wrote her own letter to him.

By J.M. Lawrence

“Whitey” Bulger and Catherine Greig wrote the letters on a legal pad ferried between prisons by a defense attorney.

ACLU demands dismissal of all Dookhan-related cases

Annie Dookhan is in prison for falsifying test results while working at a state lab in Jamaica Plain.

By Milton J. Valencia

The civil liberties group said the state had failed over the past two years to coordinate a proper response to the drug lab scandal.

More Stories

Kevin Cullen

Evans, Gross are a dynamic duo

By Kevin Cullen

State transportation worker faces child porn charges

By Pat Greenhouse and John R. Ellement

Two homicides hours apart are Boston’s first of 2014

By Jeremy C. Fox and Travis Andersen

New Bedford

Small earthquake strikes near New Bedford

By Catalina Gaitan and Jacqueline Tempera

Business

Monks in Spencer launch brewery

Brother Isaac Keeley is director of the Trappists’ brewery in Spencer.

By Megan Woolhouse and Gary Dzen

Saint Joseph’s Abbey built one of the largest breweries in the state — and the first American Trappist Brewery — to meet its expenses.

Natural gas prices in region spike

By Erin Ailworth

Limited pipeline capacity combined with frigid temperatures have sent demand for heat and electricity soaring this winter.

Office rents soaring in city’s Innovation District

Just a few years ago rents were 43 percent cheaper in the Seaport. Now the average rent is $52.92 per square foot, less than 1 percent below the average in the Back Bay.

By Casey Ross

The Innovation District’s rise as a home for business is a symbol of Boston’s commercial real estate recovery.

Obituaries

Dr. Charles Magraw, 87; actively opposed war

Dr. Magraw’s patients were devoted, a colleague said.

By Emma Stickgold

Dr. Magraw, a psychoanalyst from Newton, sought to assist civilians injured during the Vietnam War.

Amiri Baraka, 79; activist poet-playwright

Amiri Baraka, shown at left in 1972 and then 30 years later in 2002, wrote poems, short stories, novels, essays, plays, musical and cultural criticism, and even jazz operas.

By Hillel Italie

Mr. Baraka’s blues-based, fist-shaking poems, plays, and criticism made him a provocative and groundbreaking force in American culture.

Tabby Thomas, hard-driving bluesman; at 84

Mr. Thomas is best known for his Louisiana-style blues, a hard-driving blues influenced by Chicago bands.

Sports

Battered Patriots soldier on

By Ben Volin

It’s hard to argue that any team has reached the Super Bowl with as many impact players on the sideline as this year’s Patriots.

Kings 4, Bruins 2

Bruins take a beating in Los Angeles

Adam McQuaid and Kyle Clifford fought in the second period.

By Amalie Benjamin

It has not been a good road trip for the Bruins, their penalty-killing unit, or the goalie as the Kings piled up the goals.

BASEBALL NOTEBOOK

Dan Le Batard banned from future Hall of Fame voting

Tigers ace Justin Verlander underwent muscle repair surgery but is expected to be ready for spring training.

Le Batard also was kicked out of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America for a year after he turned over his 2014 ballot to a website that allowed readers to choose the selections.

More Stories

US Figure Skating Championships

Gracie Gold glides into lead after short program

By John Powers

CHRISTOPHER L. GASPER

Time for Danny Amendola to shine now

By Christopher L. Gasper

New Orleans at Seattle | Saturday, 4:35 p.m.

Scouting report: Saints-Seahawks

By Jim McBride

San Diego at Denver | Sunday, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)

Scouting report: Chargers vs. Broncos

By Jim McBride

patriots notebook

Week off was welcome for Logan Mankins

By Shalise Manza Young

San Francisco at Carolina | Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Scouting report: 49ers vs. Panthers

By Jim McBride

COLTS notebook

Colts’ T.Y. Hilton will be targeted by both teams

By Julian Benbow

on basketball

Brad Stevens shows he’s now leader of Celtics

By Gary Washburn

San Diego at Denver | Sunday, 4:40 p.m. (CBS)

First playoff meeting for AFC West rivals

By Arnie Stapleton

New Orleans at Seattle | Saturday, 4:35 p.m.

Saints’ ground game thriving

By Brett Martel

college hockey notebook

Harvard men skating in right direction

By Nancy Marrapese-Burrell

San Francisco at Carolina | Sunday, 1:05 p.m.

Michael Crabtree’s return changes 49ers

By Janie McCauley

bruins notebook

Bruins’ penalty-killing unit is slumping

By Amalie Benjamin

US Figure Skating Championships

Notes: Winners not guaranteed spot on Olympic team

By John Powers

SPORTS MEDIA

Dan Dierdorf signs off with Patriots-Colts

By Chad Finn

G: Arts & Movies

Are fans suffering from Patriots ‘playoff fatigue?’

Robert Biggs, a presence at many Patriots playoff games, will put the ticket money to other uses this time around.

By Beth Teitell

Boston teams have made it to the playoffs so many times lately that some have become a bit blase about it all.

Stage Review

Captivating duet of sex, power in ‘Venus in Fur’

Chris Kipiniak and Andrea Syglowski in the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of “Venus in Fur.’’

By Don Aucoin

David Ives’s play, now at Huntington Theatre Company, is a spellbinding production that you really don’t want to miss.

Stage REview

Story, songs, and sincerity make ‘Once’ a winner

Dani de Waal and Stuart Ward onstage in Broadway in Boston’s presentation of “Once.’’

By Terry Byrne

Within the space of a few bars of music, “Once” transports its Opera House audience to an intimate Dublin pub.

More Stories

Movie Review

No heavy lifting in ‘Hercules’

By Peter Keough

MOVIE REVIEW

‘Sundance Shorts’ are long on artistry

By Peter Keough

Television REview

Lena Dunham’s ‘Girls’ flirts with maturity

By Christopher Muther

Television REview

Military comedy ‘Enlisted’ earns its stripes

By Sarah Rodman

movie review

‘The Past’ has much to teach us

By Ty Burr

Classical Notes

Konvergence brings new music to Cambridge

By David Weininger

Book REview

‘Perfect’ by Rachel Joyce

By Clea Simon

Scene & Heard

Young rapper Casso on the right track

By Martín Caballero

High Five

Laura Cortese capturing pop-folk

By Alex Stills

events

Boston-area to do list

By Milva DiDomizio

Music review

A visceral, pulsing play on ‘Passion’

By Jeremy Eichler

Names

Patriots playoff fun at Children’s

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Sandra Bullock thanks Boston at People’s Choice Awards

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Ben Fincher captures ‘Gone Girl’

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

South Boston guy gets Travel Channel pilot

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

‘Anchorman’ actor David Koechner hits the Wilbur

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

‘Once’ upon a musical

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Harvard Art Museums finds look-alikes

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Julie Kahn leaving Entercom

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein