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Priscilla Rodas showed a cellphone picture of her bruised eye taken days after a road rage incident now in dispute.

Pat Greenhouse/Globe staff

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Private citizens sometimes seek charges against their accusers in secret courts

Massachusetts is one of a small number of states that allow private citizens to go before clerk magistrates to lodge serious criminal complaints that are vetted, and sometimes settled, in secretive hearings.

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/14/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/13techtoys_004.jpg STEM toys promise to turn kids into tech geniuses. Grown-up coders are skeptical

There’s a growing market for so-called STEM toys, which promise to teach science, technology, engineering, and math skills. Do they work?

Sean P. Murphy | The Fine Print

//c.o0bg.com/rf/image_90x90/Boston/2011-2020/2018/12/16/BostonGlobe.com/Business/Images/2b8b0749e69c47caaf40cbb437e6a341-2b8b0749e69c47caaf40cbb437e6a341-0.jpg Beware of those big travel sites offering great deals

Jon Harrington found out the hard way that sometimes the sites rely on smaller, less reliable agencies to do the booking.

Report on Russian disinformation shows operation’s breadth

The Russian disinformation operation used every major social media platform to deliver words, images, and videos tailored to voters’ interests to help elect President Trump — and worked even harder to support him while in office.

Evan Vucci/Associated Press

The report is the first to study the millions of posts provided by major technology firms to the Senate Intelligence Committee.

California’s foray into early voting could change the contours of the Democratic nomination battle in 2020.

The next threat to the New Hampshire primary? California

Because of early voting, ballots could be cast on the West Coast even before Iowans head to their caucuses.

Metro

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Private citizens sometimes seek charges against their accusers in secret courts

Priscilla Rodas showed a cellphone picture of her bruised eye taken days after a road rage incident now in dispute.

By Nicole Dungca and Jenn Abelson

Massachusetts is one of a small number of states that allow private citizens to go before clerk magistrates to lodge serious criminal complaints that are vetted, and sometimes settled, in secretive hearings.

The next threat to the New Hampshire primary? California

California’s foray into early voting could change the contours of the Democratic nomination battle in 2020.

By James Pindell

Because of early voting, ballots could be cast on the West Coast even before Iowans head to their caucuses.

Early voting proposed for Mass. presidential primary

William Galvin will appeal to Legislature.

By James Pindell

According to Secretary of State William Galvin, the point of the proposal is simply to make voting more convenient.

Obituaries

Amy Anthony, groundbreaking affordable housing leader in Massachusetts and beyond, dies at 74

Ms. Anthony (left) presented an award in Roxbury in 1984, when she was the state’s secretary of communities and development.

By Bryan Marquard

Ms. Anthony served as Massachusetts secretary of communities and development and went on to found the nonprofit Preservation of Affordable Housing, which brought her vision and expertise to communities across the country.

Sports

JIM MCBRIDE

Patriots breakdown: The best, worst (and everything in between)

Pittsburgh, PA 12-16-18: Pitsburgh LB T.J. Watt took Patriots quarterback Tom Brady to the turf as he rushed him into throwing an incomplete pass. The New England Patriots visited the Pittsburgh Steelers in a regular season NFL football game at Heinz Field. (Jim Davis/Globe Staff)

By Jim McBride

The Patriots hadn’t dropped back-to-back December games since 2002.