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North Korea says rocket launch was successful

North Korea defied international warnings with the launch, and the US said it had detected an object in orbit.

Free Syrian Army fighters were seen in Fafeen village, north of Aleppo province on Tuesday.

US recognizes Syria’s main rebel group

President Obama declared Syria’s main opposition group the sole ‘‘legitimate representative’’ of its country’s people.

Obama, Boehner trade offers to avert ‘fiscal cliff’

President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner spoke by phone and exchanged proposals as each side blamed the other for the deadlocked talks.

State hits utilities with major fines over 2011 storms

The state has levied $24.8 in fines on National Grid, NStar, and Western Massachusetts Electric Company for their response to two storms in 2011.

Heather Schmidt (center left), founder of City Chicks, and confectioner Caitlin Barry (center right) teaching a cooking class in Somerville.

Aram Boghosian for The Boston Globe

exclusive wednesday preview | food & dining

A 21st-century home ec class

City Chicks, founded last August by Heather Schmidt, offers a range of classes that help apply traditional skills to modern life.

exclusive wednesday preview | g cover

// Christmas desserts in the Provencal tradition

The consul general of France in Boston brings Provencal flavors to a holiday spent in America.

Math even mathematicians don’t understand

An article on a Japanese mathematician who claimed to have solved one of the great problems in math brought word of a mathematician in Maine who may have done something similar.

Justice in the shadows | Part 3 — Secret courts

// Courts inside prisons, far from public view

Thousands of immigrants find themselves at the mercy of a legal system that, for many, amounts to an assembly line toward deportation.