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The Esplanade was empty except for this couple following an evacuation order.

Storms hit Boston, cut short Fourth of July show

Officials ordered the crowd at the Esplanade to evacuate once the fireworks display ended as severe weather arrived.

Mayor Daniel Rizzo hailed a pro-casino vote in February.

Revere mayor took donations from men tied to Wynn plan

Daniel Rizzo has accepted thousands from two convicted felons he now calls “unsuitable persons.”

Scrutiny eases on MBTA pensions

The state Legislature abandoned its effort to make the T retirement fund follow disclosure and ethics rules that apply to other pension funds.

Gordon College leader joins request for exemption to hiring rule

The school’s president objects to an order barring federal contractors from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.

People prefer electric shocks to time alone with thoughts

A startling new study finds that people don’t much enjoy spending even 10 minutes alone with their thoughts.

The Nation

Drought won’t stop fireworks in western states

Greg Clark and Tracey Modica prepared to drop fireworks shells into some of the dozens of launching tubes set up at Balloon Fiesta Park in Albuquerque.

By Susan Montoya Bryan

Some places ban fireworks altogether, but other states are going in the opposite direction.

Police say Ga. father was leading a double life

Justin Ross Harris exchanged nude photos with women the day his son died, police said.

By Kate Brumback

A man who police say killed his toddler son by leaving the boy inside a hot SUV was exchanging nude photos with women the day his son died.

Veteran dies 500 yards from VA hospital emergency room

By Russell Contreras

It took 30 minutes for the ambulance to be dispatched and take the man from one building on the hospital campus to the emergency room, officials confirmed.

The World

Israel readies troops along Gaza border

Hamas spokesmen warned Israel would pay a heavy price in a war.

By Jodi Rudoren and Isabel Kershner

The move came after Palestinian militants fired some 30 rockets at southern Israel over 24 hours.

EU calls for broader inquiry for fraud in Afghan elections

By Amir Shah

The European Union cited “highly worrying indications of potentially widespread fraud.”

Dozens of Iraqi militants killed in clashes with army

Turkish truck drivers boarded an aircraft in Iraq’s Kurdistan region Thursday after being released by militants. The 32 men were delivering diesel fuel when they were kidnapped.

By Alissa J. Rubin

The militants’ group gained potentially significant economic ground, taking control of Syria’s largest oil field.

Editorial & Opinion

Full text of the Declaration of Independence

Read the full text of the document, written by America’s Founding Fathers 238 years ago today.

CARLO ROTELLA

Nonna’s Independence Day

By Carlo Rotella

Because of my immigrant heritage, the Fourth of July reminds me of my Sicilian grandmother.

H.D.S. Greenway

Independence Day for Scotland?

By H.D.S. Greenway

As Americans celebrate Independence Day, many Scots are plotting their own independence.

Metro

Hotly debated Mass. casino repeal will be Question 3

Mass. casino repeal supporters gathered in front of the State House last week.

By Michael Levenson

The numbers to the ballot questions, unveiled Thursday, will become an inescapable part of the political landscape this fall.

Gordon College leader joins request for exemption to hiring rule

Gordon College president D. Michael Lindsay.

By Evan Allen

The school’s president objects to an order barring federal contractors from discriminating in hiring on the basis of sexual orientation.

People prefer electric shocks to time alone with thoughts

A study found that people prefer electric shocks to time alone with their thoughts.

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

A startling new study finds that people don’t much enjoy spending even 10 minutes alone with their thoughts.

More Stories

RMV site down before fee hikes

By Martine Powers

KEVIN CULLEN

Columnist empties his notebook

By Kevin Cullen

Names

Pops change works for Tom Bergeron

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Business

Scrutiny eases on MBTA pensions

By Beth Healy

The state Legislature abandoned its effort to make the T retirement fund follow disclosure and ethics rules that apply to other pension funds.

Startups connect demand to supply

Paloma Sierra of El Pelon delivered Wednesday lunch, arranged by Phoodeez, to e-mail analytics firm Litmus.

By Callum Borchers

A wave of local tech companies is in the business of brokering everything from hiring a baby sitter to buying a bottle of wine.

Stock market’s 5-year rally hits milestone

A board above the trading floor of the New York Stock Exchange showed Thursday’s record closing number for the Dow Jones industrial average.

By Peter Eavis

A a strong jobs report indicated that the economy might finally be gaining steam.

Obituaries

Harry Shapiro, 100; horn player spent decades with BSO

Mr. Shapiro was a horn player in the BSO from 1937 to ’76.

By Jeremy Eichler

Mr. Shapiro spent more than six decades with the orchestra as a player and in managerial roles.

Louis Zamperini, was WWII hero, Olympian; at 97

Captain Louis Zamperini (right) with another prisoner of war, Fred Garrett, after they returned to California in 1945. Mr. Zamperini was known as the “Torrance Tornado.”

By Christopher Weber

Mr. Zamperini was an Olympic distance runner and also survived 47 days on a raft in the Pacific after his bomber crashed.

Walter Dean Myers, 76; children’s author

Mr. Myers was a tireless champion of education.

By Hillel Italie

Mr. Myers spent much of his adult life writing realistic and accessible stories about crime, war, and life in the streets.

Sports

Xander Bogaerts’s struggles leave many baffled

Red Sox rookie Xander Bogaerts is hitless in his last 23 at-bats. Jim Rogash/Getty Images

By Peter Abraham

Despite his woes at the plate, the Sox have given no consideration to demoting the rookie.

Red Sox prospect Henry Owens has found a nice rhythm

Portland pitcher Henry Owens shows his fiery side during Monday’s win over Trenton.

By Julian Benbow

The lanky lefthander, currently pitching for the Portland Sea Dogs, refuses to label himself as just a baseball player.

on soccer

Surviving and advancing no easy task at this World Cup

Lionel Messi gives Argentina a big advantage over the competiton.

By John Powers

Every team remaining in the quarterfinals has had brushes with elimination.

Capital

Baker, Coakley try to redefine candidacies

Charlie Baker visited a Roxbury restaurant in June (left), and Martha Coakley greeted supporters in Salem.

By Stephanie Ebbert

It’s the challenge both Charlie Baker and Martha Coakley face as they wage comeback campaigns: how to appear more personable.

Weekly Poll

Half of Mass. voters OK with legalized marijuana

A young marijuana plant.

By Michael Levenson

The poll suggests the state could be fertile ground for a ballot campaign to legalize the drug here in 2016.

Capital profile

Casino opponent John Ribeiro continues a tradition of activism

John Ribeiro was surrounded by activism growing up in East Boston. He has embraced his role as chairman of the Repeal the Casino Deal coalition, but some opponents describe him as a zealot on the issue.

By Jeremy C. Fox

Ribeiro’s journey from database designer and neighborhood softball coach to major political player may seem unlikely but, in his telling, it was almost inevitable.

G: Arts & Movies

Art REview

At the MFA, a copy of Magna Carta

Christian Remick’s “A Perspective View of the Blockad of Boston Harbor.”

By Mark Feeney

One of four existing copies of Magna Carta is at the Museum of Fine Arts through Sept. 1.

Classical Notes

Emergence explores the roots of the string quartet genre

The Emergence Quartet (from left) is Zoe Kemmerling, Lisa Goddard, Emily Dahl, and Emily Davidson.

By David Weininger

An inventive program in the summer series of the Society for Historically Informed Performance illustrates the roots.

The stage is set for designer Nate Bertone

Nate Burtone attends Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Below: a model for the “Grease” set he designed.

By Kelly Gifford

Bertone, 20, of Salem, has already worked with the likes of Tony Award-winning scenic designer Beowulf Borrit.