T may halt $190m order for commuter rail cars

Chronic delays and concerns about shoddy workmanship have prompted executives to threaten cancellation of the contract and possibly seek a new firm.

MBTA riders are thinking twice before they touch potentially germ-covered poles on trains.

Matthew J. Lee/Globe Staff

Close quarters send a shudder in flu season

With an outbreak stoking fears, people in Boston are swimming in hand sanitizer and flocking for flu shots. But on MBTA trains, germs bring a special kind of dread.

Cambridge cancer diagnosticians strike a chord

Foundation Medicine, which uses genomics data and DNA sequencing to help doctors pinpoint treatments for cancer, has drawn high-profile backers such as Bill Gates.

Andrew Hyams, with wife Tracey and son Josh, said the game reminded him of Newtown massacre.

State removes violent games from rest stops

After a Newton couple complained, nine violent games were removed from service plazas in Charlton, Ludlow, Lee, and Beverly.

Officials expect 600,000 to 800,000 people to attend President Obama’s Jan. 21 inauguration ceremony.


For Obama’s second inaugural, fund-raising limits lifted

Four years ago, $50,000 was the maximum donation for the president’s gala. Now, individuals can give up to $1 million, and the ban on corporate donations is gone.

Kevin Cullen

A list far too long

If the mother of a 7-year-old boy with behavioral ­issues wanted to find a Glock instead of a therapist, she wouldn’t have to go to 66 gun stores.

Patrick seeks higher health payments by retirees

Most future state and municipal retirees would have to pay about $1,000 a year more for health care under Governor Patrick’s plan to save up to $20 billion over the next three decades.

Even for preseason Patriots games, traffic turns roads leading to Gillette Stadium into virtual parking lots.

Patriots games a boon or bust for local businesses

Businesses around Gillette Stadium are split about the Patriots and the playoffs: Traffic creates a parking windfall for some and revenue headaches for others.

Dan Shaughnessy

No offense to Houston, but Texans simply can’t win

It’s impossible to come up with a scenario that has the Houston Texans defeating the New England Patriots Sunday night.


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Nation & World

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political notebook

US President Barack Obama announced his Chief of Staff Jacob Lew as his nominee for Treasury Secretary.

Obama nominates Lew as secretary of Treasury

President Obama Thursday assigned one of the top Cabinet roles to a longtime budget chief and former adviser to the late House Speaker Tip O’Neill Jr.


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A spokeswoman for Albertson’s LLC said Shaw’s and Star Market are expected to keep their brand names.

Shaw’s, StarMarket part of $3.3 billion sale

The stores will be sold to a group that includes Cerberus Capital Management, the company that controls the Steward Health Care System hospital chain in Boston.


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Television Review

From left: Hannah (Lena Dunham), Shoshanna (Zosia Mamet), Jessa (Jemima Kirke), and Marnie (Allison Williams) in HBO’s quirky 20-something drama “Girls.”

‘Girls’: Painfully good

HBO’s “Girls,” returns in great form for season 2. Lena Dunham’s characters remain amusing as they grow up and out of heir self-contained cultural warp.