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Cracked 3rd rails trouble MBTA

The rare cracks disabled the Braintree and Ashmont lines at the JFK/UMass station Wednesday morning.

Many more may be victims of data theft

The credit card theft that hit hundreds of attendees at conventions in Boston this fall could be much larger.

Laser therapy may boost vaccine potency

A therapy using lasers that was first developed in Russia has shown promise in strengthening vaccines.

Teenagers placed flowers at the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year after 20-year-old Adam Lanza fired more than 150 rounds from his mother’s semiautomatic rifle.

Essdras m Suarez/Globe Staff/file

Newtown far from a catalyst for gun control

Today, it is easier, not harder, to carry a gun in many parts of the nation than it was before the Newtown massacre last Dec. 14.

Belmont’s Alex Marthews took his business card to an event at the Venture Cafe in Cambridge recently.

Among tech crowd, the paper business card endures

Of the many things swept away in an increasingly digitized economy, the lowly business card has been an unlikely survivor.

The Nation

Newtown far from a catalyst for gun control

Teenagers placed flowers at the entrance to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last year after 20-year-old Adam Lanza fired more than 150 rounds from his mother’s semiautomatic rifle.

By Brian MacQuarrie

Today, it is easier, not harder, to carry a gun in many parts of the nation than it was before the Newtown massacre last Dec. 14.

Before crash, Asiana pilot was wary

By Stephen Braun

The pilot who crashed last summer at the San Francisco airport told investigators he was ‘‘very concerned’’ about attempting a visual approach.

Calif. man accused of shooting ailing wife, sister

By Robert Jablon and Raquel Maria Dillon

A 60-year-old man is accused of fatally shooting his dementia-stricken wife and then killing his sister as she lay in a vegetative state, in what police describe as ‘‘apparent mercy killings.”

The World

US halts aid to Syria rebels

By Michael R. Gordon, Mark Landler,

The decision demonstrated the frustrations of trying to cultivate a viable alternative to President Bashar Assad.

Police withdraw from Kiev square

Protesters huddled in a makeshift shelter built into a barricade in Kiev’s Independence Square Wednesday. Police moved earlier in the day to clear parts of the square.

By David M. Herszenhorn

The government said a crackdown had been needed to ease traffic congestion and promised that there would be no dispersal of the protesters.

Uruguay OK’s marijuana bill

By Leonardo Haberkorn and Michael Warren

The government’s stated goal is to drive drug traffickers out of the dope business and gradually reduce consumption.

Editorial & Opinion

EDWARD L. GLAESER

An ‘Hour of Code’ isn’t enough

Third-graders in an “Hour of Code” class.

By Edward L. Glaeser

Every student should learn basic principles of computing, and one hour of instruction won’t suffice.

JOAN VENNOCHI

Case of Uncle Onyango shows Obama’s credibility gap

By Joan Vennochi

President Obama’s deceptions about his family relationships and the Affordable Care Act constitute a pattern, and deceptions always hurt more than they help.

Alex Beam

(Over)sharing our seasonal joy

By Alex Beam

It’s the season for messages of glad tidings. And the real news.

Metro

Laser therapy may boost vaccine potency

At Mass. General, Dr. Satoshi Kashiwagi (left) and Dr. Mark Poznansky led a team that spent nearly a year trying out different lasers to determine a safe dosage in mice.

By Carolyn Y. Johnson

A therapy using lasers that was first developed in Russia has shown promise in strengthening vaccines.

Cracked 3rd rails trouble MBTA

The MBTA brought in buses to serve riders at the JFK station after cracks in the third rail caused by cold weather brought train service to a halt.

By Martine Powers

The rare cracks disabled the Braintree and Ashmont lines at the JFK/UMass station Wednesday morning.

Edwin Alemany socialized after killing Amy Lord, prosecutor says

Edwin Alemany entered a not guilty plea during his arraignment at Suffolk Superior Court on Wednesday.

By Maria Cramer

Edwin Alemany went drinking with friends after he allegedly kidnapped and murdered the 24-year-old South Boston woman, prosecutors said.

More Stories

Victim killed by bus recalled as ‘sweet woman'

By Peter Schworm and John R. Ellement

Yvonne Abraham

Michelle Wu is stumbling out of the blocs

By Yvonne Abraham

Walsh not ruling out lawsuit to block Revere casino

By Travis Andersen and Shirley Leung

Business

Many more may be victims of data theft

By Deirdre Fernandes

The credit card theft that hit hundreds of attendees at conventions in Boston this fall could be much larger.

Among tech crowd, the paper business card endures

Belmont’s Alex Marthews took his business card to an event at the Venture Cafe in Cambridge recently.

By Callum Borchers

Of the many things swept away in an increasingly digitized economy, the lowly business card has been an unlikely survivor.

Coca-Cola to use Boston’s XL Hybrids’ system

By Erin Ailworth

The soft drink giant will use technology made by XL Hybrids Inc. to retrofit 100 of its service vans to run on electric power.

Obituaries

Erica Kaitz, 52, of Boston; Pan-Mass Challenge official

Erica Kaitz, with her husband, Rick.

By Bryan Marquard

Mrs. Kaitz, who was diagnosed with cancer in 2012, helped raise nearly $3 million for cancer research through personal and family efforts over the years.

Joseph Napolitan, pioneering campaign consultant; at 84

Joseph Napolitan (right), with fellow political analyst Richard Scammon.

By Paul Vitello

Mr. Napolitan, who was born in Springfield and died in Agawam, used polling and media advertising, heralding the waning power of party organizations.

Tabu Ley Rochereau, renowned African musician

Congolese vocal legend Tabu Ley Rochereau.

By Jon Pareles

Mr. Rochereau’s voice was always sweetly urbane, whether he was singing of love, his Christian beliefs, or social issues.

More Stories

Sports

clippers 96, celtics 88

Celtics lose in Doc Rivers’ return to Boston

Doc Rivers had lots to smile about on Wednesday: not only was he cheered in his return to Boston, but his Clippers also left town with a win.

By Baxter Holmes

The ex-Celtics coach was cheered in his return to Boston, where his Clippers dealt the Celtics a second straight loss.

dan shaughnessy

Celtics fans show Doc Rivers the love in his return

Doc Rivers’s emotional return to TD Garden included a wave to the fans, a video tribute by the Celtics, some tears — and a Clippers’ win.

By Dan Shaughnessy

Doc returned to the Garden as head coach of the Clippers for the first time. And it was a love-fest. Doc-apalooza.

Red sox notebook

Red Sox want Stephen Drew back, but on their terms

Stephen Drew’s agent, Scott Boras (right), held court Wednesday at the winter meetings.

By Peter Abraham

“We like Stephen and the job he did,” Ben Cherington said, later adding: “If a deal makes sense for us, we would do it today.”

G: Style

Book REview

‘The Making of Middle-earth’ by Christopher Snyder

By Ethan Gilsdorf

Snyder makes clear J.R.R. Tolkien cleverly adapted ideas, characters, and themes from myriad source materials.

Fashions behind ‘Inside Llewyn Davis,’ ‘American Hustle,’ ‘Her’

A sketch by costume designer Mary Zophres for the Coen brothers’ “Inside Llewyn Davis.”

By Christopher Muther

In this season’s holiday movies, costumes are earning as much attention as actors and scripts. Here’s what designers have to say about their work.

Party Lines

Party Lines: Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner

Dianne Kelly (left) of Dorchester and Corinne Ball of Dorchester.

About 1,200 guests recently attended the 4th Annual Massachusetts Fallen Heroes Memorial Dinner.

More Stories

Bargain Bin

Boutiques offer markdowns for the holidays

By Ami Albernaz

Ask Martha

Making a more flavorful homemade jam

By Martha Stewart

The week ahead: Music

By Kevin Lowenthal

The week ahead: Nightlife

By Milva DiDomizio

The week ahead: Family events

By Milva DiDomizio

Mark your calendar

By June Wulff

events

Boston-area to do list

By Milva DiDomizio

Handyman on Call

Should she repaint before she sells?

By Peter Hotton

Names

A&E debuts a first look at ‘Wahlburgers’

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Will Middlebrooks steps in for Gronk at video game event

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Matt Light joins ‘Duck Dynasty’ guys on USO tour

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Pats don Burberry for Berkshire Hills Music Academy

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

R.E.M. musicians on lineup for Hot Stove Cool Music show

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Around town: Soup Nazi and Trenni Kusnierek

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

George Wein takes Newport Jazz on the road

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Names

Cartier on Newbury hosts a holiday soiree

By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein

Shake up your holiday decorating

By Melissa Rayworth

Globe North

New Whittier Bridge promises smoother ride

The Whittier Bridge, a landmark for travelers on Interstate 95 just south of the New Hampshire line, was built in 1951.

By Joel Brown

Traffic should have an easier time getting to New Hampshire and Maine beginning in late 2016 thanks to the $292 million Whittier Bridge/I-95 Improvement Project.

Andover

Andover High students work to cut down waste

Students at Andover High School, wearing protective gear, empty trash from lunch in the cafeteria for sorting. Their waste audit showed that most of the trash can be recycled or composted.

By Brenda J. Buote

High school seniors and participants in an environmental sustainability internship course conducted a waste audit.

Lynn

Wind turbine rises in Lynn

Lynn’s first wind turbine, which should save the city around $60,000 a year, is up and should soon be running, generating about 1 million kilowatts  annually.

By Steven A. Rosenberg

The construction of a 254-foot-high wind turbine should save the city around $60,000 a year in electrical costs.

Globe South

‘BioBus’ hits the road to promote alternative energy and sustainability

Southeastern Regional Vo-Tech High School has a new bus with cabinets made from scraps, floors made from old tires, and a grey water filtration system.

By Don Lyman

Southeastern Regional Vocational Technical High School’s BioBus is painted green, has counter tops made from recycled paper, and floors made from old tires.

Lung cancer takes higher than expected toll in south suburbs

By Jean Lang

A state report on cancer rates indicates that more people die from lung cancer than expected in some south suburbs, particularly among women.

Hingham skater preps for Winter Olympics

Ice Skaters Gretchen Donlan and her partner Andrew Speroff  practice in preparation for the January US Figure Skating Championships at TD Garden in Boston.

By Jessica Bartlett

In the bid to determine who gets on the US Winter Olympics team, one of the top pairs consists of Gretchen Donlan of Hingham and Andrew Speroff of Colorado.

Globe West

Bedford dealing with homeless families in a local hotel

Aaron Gornstein, undersecretary for Housing and Community Development.

By Kathleen Burge

The town of 14,500 residents had one of the state’s largest population of homeless families in hotels.

Communities along Marathon route getting more invitational bibs

Runners passed by in Hopkinton.

By Ellen Ishkanian

The Boston Athletic Association gives out invitational numbers with few restrictions to local communities.

College counselors offer advice to minimize stress

By Ellen Ishkanian

According to guidance counselors, tutors and college coaches, it is important to recognize that the application process is hard, and not brush aside the stress involved.