Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve Party

You are all invited. 

Maybe you would like to go out to the bar first?

"Who’s On First bar faces another hearing before licensing board" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  December 18, 2015

Since 2001, the owner of the Who’s On First bar has appeared before the city’s Licensing Board at least eight times to address public safety concerns that included assaults, shootings, and stabbings inside and outside the bar, city records show. The board moved to suspend the owner’s license three times for incidents of violence, once for up to four days.

But problems have continued to erupt at the popular Fenway bar, which will once again appear before the Licensing Board on Friday following the shooting death of 29-year-old Jephthe Chery just outside its doors early Thanksgiving morning.

See: A Globe Thanksgiving

“Why is the place not shut down?” said Lauren Dewey Platt, president of the Fenway Community Center’s Board of Directors.

Bars and clubs are rarely permanently shuttered in Boston, according to a Globe review....


"Who’s On First promises to boost security after shooting" by Jan Ransom Globe Staff  December 18, 2015

The owner of the Who’s On First bar in Fenway promised to step up security measures by purchasing ID scanners and cameras after a Thanksgiving Day shooting left one man dead and three others wounded, an attorney for the bar told the Licensing Board during a hearing Friday.

Boston police said about 200 people were in Who’s On First the morning 29-year-old Jephthe Chery was killed. A man was captured on surveillance footage provided by the Boston Red Sox leaving the bar, returning moments later with a firearm, and then shooting at the victims, Sergeant John Wright told the board.

A new five-point security plan the bar is pledging to implement for promoted events calls for it to obtain metal and hand wand detectors, hire a police detail, and install two security cameras at the front door. Staff must check patrons for weapons every time they enter the bar. Boston police Captain Paul Ivens, the commander of Area D-4, must be notified at least two weeks in advance of all promoted events.

Screw it. Let's go home.

The security plan was hashed out between the bar and Boston police, said Jack Diamond, the attorney for Who’s On First. The bar’s owner, Robert Paratore, declined to comment after the hearing.

The board will decide Wednesday whether there was any connection between Who’s On First and the shooting and whether the bar was at fault, said Christine Pulgini, chairwoman of the board, during the hearing.

City Councilor Josh Zakim sent a letter to the board Friday calling for the panel to revoke the bar’s license.

He said in the letter that Chery’s death was “the tragic endgame of a decade-long pattern of mismanagement and blatantly disrespectful behavior towards the Fenway neighborhood.

“There is no reason whatsoever to believe that any punishment short of license revocation will result in meaningful change,” Zakim wrote.

Zakim said neighbors have expressed concern that they could be victims of violence near the bar.

Chery’s mother, Rose Relise Chery, who attended the hearing with her husband, Jean, relatives, and her son’s friends called the proposed security plan “garbage.”

“They’re talking about cameras . . . there are already cameras,” she said. “They talk about police . . . The police was there! It’s not going to be good enough. They’re supposed to shut it down.”

But Diamond said his client was not at fault, and the night of the killing was uneventful.

“Nothing occurred inside or anything of a violent nature that would give anybody any kind of notice that 15 minutes later there was going to be someone firing shots,” he said.

Diamond said two calls were made from Who’s On First to police moments after gunfire erupted.

Police had been on the scene that night, but left to respond to another call.

As the officers were making their way back to the area shots rang out.

Who’s On First has a long history of violent incidents and has generated 43 violations since 1991. Two women were shot outside the bar in September. The board ruled in October that the bar was not at fault and did not violate its liquor license.

Friday’s hearing was at least the ninth time the bar has appeared before the board to address public safety concerns that included assaults, shootings, and stabbings since 2001.

Chery, a commuter rail conductor who lived in Hyde Park, was killed on Nov. 26 outside the bar after he stopped by to say hello to a friend. Boston police have said he was not the intended target.

Dominique L. Carpenter-Grady, 26, of Dorchester, was arrested on Dec. 2 in connection to Chery’s death. He pleaded not guilty and was held on $250,000 cash bail at his arraignment in Roxbury Municipal Court.



City board declines to revoke license for Who’s On First bar

Roggie’s owner pleads guilty to interfering with police investigation

Also see:

Indiana allows Christmas alcohol sales, but many aren’t celebrating

Americans are drinking themselves to death at record rates

Sav-Mor Liquors selects winner of sign competition

Feeling Booz-y!

"Consultancy Booz Allen plans Boston expansion into big data" by Jon Chesto, 7 days ago

Booz Allen Hamilton’s roots go back 101 years. But that hasn’t stopped the management consulting giant from trying to play a key role in the Financial District’s emerging innovation hub, dominated by much younger entrepreneurs.

Booz Allen, the McLean, Va., company, is planning a major downtown expansion as it makes its Boston office an important center for its data science and analytics operations.

“There’s such a rich talent pool here in the Boston space,” Booz Allen’s executive vice president, Fred Blackburn, said. “We really see this as a key innovation hub for us as we go forward. There just flat out isn’t the quality and richness of the talent pool anywhere else.”

Booz Allen’s local expansion can be traced back nearly three years, when its executives embarked on an aggressive strategy to pursue private-sector clients. At the time, nearly all of its revenue came from the federal government. That’s because the consultancy had split up in 2008, with Booz Allen retaining the government-focused workers. The commercial-sector teams were placed under the Booz & Co. banner (and later acquired by PwC).

Booz Allen managers saw the data analytics practice in Boston as a prime resource, one that could make the firm more attractive to private-sector clients by showing them ways to use data-crunching to solve real-world business problems. So they began ramping up local staffing levels.

Recently, Booz Allen has made a point of embedding itself within Boston’s innovation community, chief scientist Alex Cosmas said.

One example: The company just set aside $10,000 for a prize for the MIT $100K Entrepreneurship Competition, to award a team in the business plan contest that most effectively uses data analytics for business innovation.

Another example: Last year, Booz Allen bought Epidemico, a nearly 30-person Boston firm that specializes in analyzing population health data.

“There are Booz Allen consultants volunteering their time willingly to go to meetups, to go to seminars, [to visit] local universities every single day,” Cosmas said.

Cosmas said Booz Allen considered the Seaport District and Cambridge for its new Boston-area office. But the Cambridge Innovation Center’s expansive startup space on the other side of Post Office Square.

Stas Gayshan, managing director at the center, said, “Large companies are really good at scaling innovation. It’s the way you take innovation to the world.”

Blackburn said that Booz Allen focuses on big companies for traditional consulting revenue. But he sees opportunities among startups for revenue-sharing agreements or to take small equity stakes in these young firms, he said.

And, of course, there’s the hunt for talent. Mixing with recent college graduates can only help as Booz Allen looks to fill positions in its rapidly expanding local staff. (In total, it employs about 180 people in Greater Boston.

“The culture in Boston is to care about the public good, to solve tough problems, and not just create the next billion-dollar company [or] turn a quick buck,” Cosmas said.... 

I must be drunk or I wouldn't have read that.


One too many, a hundred isn't enough!

Need a ride home? She will call you a bus.

"School celebrates Hanukkah with parade through Boston" by Felicia Gans Globe Correspondent  December 08, 2015

More than 2,000 years ago, when the Maccabees were fighting the Syrian-Greek Empire in the area of modern-day Israel, the Jewish people were oppressed, forced to pray in private or face severe punishment.

It’s the story of Hanukkah, but it’s also a story that resonates with some modern Jews.

Not with me.

Rabbi Dan Rodkin, the 43-year-old leader of the Shaloh House Jewish Day School in Brighton, said that before he immigrated to the United States from Russia, he feared his professors or bosses could penalize him for being outwardly religious.

Things were beginning to change when he left Russia in 1991, but he was eager to start a new life here, to practice his religion publicly without fear.

Then why did they fight on the side of the British?

Also seeSecret Facts - Soviet & Jews 

I suppose the names Kaganovich and Yagoda don't mean anything to you?
It’s what makes Hanukkah special to him and other Russian immigrants, he said. Public celebration is encouraged.

“The idea behind it is to remind people that it’s Hanukkah. It’s our tradition to light [a menorah] near a window, so people can see that we’re lighting,” he said. “Usually, when we do holidays, we do it inside the house. But we want to teach people that light is better than darkness.”

That's why I'm here.

Rodkin and other leaders at the Jewish Day School brought celebration to the streets of Boston Tuesday night with their sixth annual “Grand Chanukah Hummer Parade,” where they were joined by Mayor Martin J. Walsh.

Thanks for helping out with the greenhouse gas problem!

The school, which doubles as a Russian Jewish community center, hosts the parade each year to recognize their members’ freedom to celebrate the holiday out in the open. Many of the center’s members are Russian immigrants like Rodkin, and they feel lucky that their religious practices are no longer oppressed.

“It’s very meaningful that now we can be in a free country,” he said. “We want to bring this message to the streets of Boston.”

Before the parade, attendees were invited to a public menorah lighting and a reception with music and traditional foods.

During the event, about 80 children rode in four Hummer stretch limos with menorahs attached to the top. About 30 to 40 other cars, driven by community members, followed in the parade with menorahs attached to their own roofs.

“We wanted to do something fun for kids,” Rodkin said. “We do a lot of exciting things. For Passover, Purim, every holiday, we do something. But this is the best.”

I think I'll pass over Purim.


Thank God Hanukkah is over.

"Faneuil Hall merchant hopes for deal to save ducklings" by Thomas Farragher Globe Columnist  December 08, 2015

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas at Faneuil Hall.

A grim-faced Adam Hirsch could be evicted in a few weeks.

Now you know how Palestinians feel.

Hirsch says he’s caught in the latest effort to reenergize the iconic Boston destination. A New York-based company is trying again to breathe new life into the 350,000-square-foot marketplace that is showing its age since its rebirth 40 years ago.

It's a $hamele$$ effort. 

There’s an economic needle that needs to be threaded here. Nobody wants a Faneuil Hall dominated by dowdy shops, pushcarts of tired tchotchkes, and barrooms musty from beer spilled during the days of the Kevin White administration, but the landlord has found a home for Cheers, the bar based on the 1980s TV show that gave life to unforgettable characters like Norm Peterson, the rotund beer-loving accountant.... 

That's where I shut him off.


Related shot:

"Adam Hirsch had seen it all in Harvard Square, until he could not see the basement floor. Hirsch, owner of the famous Curious George children’s store, arrived at the store at about 6:30 a.m. Friday to find the basement flooded, after a major water main burst a block away. “Part of the challenge of being in a place with old infrastructure is the old infrastructure,” Hirsch said. “It just comes with the territory.” Hirsch shrugged off the incident as another example of Harvard Square’s old charm. “We’ll endure, that’s what we do,” he said. “We love it here, and this is a minor blip.” Several businesses closed in the wake of the flooding, including Verizon Wireless, TIAA-CREF, Starbucks , Kaplan University, and Citizens Bank. Harvard bus routes were also being rerouted, police said."

Also see: Curious George owner questions BPL bid process

They gave the space to PB$

Maybe the yoga classes will help with the anger. 

Oh, look, we are at the party:

"In a 99-slide presentation sent to Yahoo’s board and published by Business Insider, Eric Jackson of the SpringOwl investment firm claimed that chief executive Marissa Mayer (left) spent $7 million on a Gatsby-esque ‘‘Roaring ’20s”-themed holiday party this year. A person familiar with the company disputes that figure, saying that the 4,000-attendee party really cost one-third of that price — roughly $2 million. Jackson also questioned Mayer’s spending on the most Silicon Valley of perks: free food. Jackson said it’s gone too far, estimating that Yahoo has spent $450 million over four years feeding its workers. The same person close to the company said that Jackson’s estimates for the food budget are overblown by a factor of 10, and that the company’s food budget has really been more around $45 million."

RelatedYahoo CEO Mayer gives birth to twin girls

They will eat a lot. Bad suit.

Here are some Christmas leftovers:

Christmas Cookies

Ever wonder what music gets President Barack Obama in the Christmas mood?


Quote of the day: Caitlyn Jenner

Who let that murderer speak?

"Families traveling from far-flung places, returning home for the holidays. That image of Christmas fits the perception of Americans as rootless, constantly on the move to seek opportunity — even if it means leaving family behind. Yet that picture masks a key fact: The United States offers less government help for caregiving than many other rich countries. Instead, extended families are providing it."

“It speaks to a class divide in the population,” but culture also plays a role.

(Ding dong) 

The FOOD is here!

"Former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle (right) is appealing the more than 15-year prison sentence he received for possessing child pornography and having sex with underage prostitutes, which was longer than the maximum term prosecutors agreed to pursue as part of his plea deal. Fogle pleaded guilty last month to one count each of distributing and receiving child porn and traveling to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a child. As part of his plea deal, he agreed not to seek a sentence of less than five years in prison and prosecutors agreed not to push for more than 12½ years behind bars. Judge Tanya Walton Pratt sentenced Fogle to more than 15 years in prison, though, giving him grounds to appeal because it exceeded the maximum term prosecutors agreed to pursue."

What else you order?

"Pizza delivery man charged in fatal Stoughton crash" by Peter Schworm and John R. Ellement Globe Staff  December 14, 2015

STOUGHTON — For decades, Joseph Brady Jr. sold Christmas trees on the side of Route 27, just outside the town center. Drivers could pull off the road, choose their favorite, and be on their way in minutes.

On Friday evening, Brady, 71, was crossing the busy, fog-shrouded road beside his lot when he was struck and killed by a pizza delivery driver, a 33-year-old who was allegedly under the influence of drugs, police said.

Michael Burns was on his way back to the pizza shop after a nearby delivery when his car hit Brady, who was found lying face down in the road, prosecutors said. He was rushed to the hospital but did not survive.

Police said it was foggy at the time of the crash, and visibility was poor. The stretch of the road where the crash happened was quite dark....

What drugs was he on?


How many slices will you eat

Better get hungry first:

"Celebrities help brand newly legal marijuana" by Kristen Wyatt Associated Press  December 31, 2015

DENVER — As the expanding marijuana industry emerges from the black market and starts looking like a mainstream industry, there’s a scramble to brand and trademark products.

The celebrity endorsements are just the latest attempt to add cachet to a line of marijuana. The marijuana industry’s makeshift branding efforts, from celebrity names on boxes to the many T-shirts and stickers seen in towns with a legal marijuana market, show the industry taking halting steps toward the mainstream, but patents and trademarks are largely regulated by the federal government, which considers marijuana an illegal drug and therefore ineligible for legal protection.

The result is a Wild West environment of marijuana entrepreneurs trying to stake claims and establish cross-state markets using a patchwork of state laws.

So far, federal authorities have either ignored or rejected marijuana patent and trademark requests.

I'm sorry, what (cough, cough) were you $aying?

‘‘They haven’t issued a single patent yet. But generally speaking, there is broad agreement within the patent law community that they will,’’ said Eric Greenbaum, director of intellectual property for Ligand Pharmaceuticals Inc., which is seeking a patent for a strain of marijuana to treat seizures.

No, I'll pass, thanks.

Companies like Ligand are betting that if marijuana becomes legal nationally, they will be first in line to claim legal ownership of whichever type of marijuana they have already developed.

Marijuana companies also are filing state-level trademarks, thereby avoiding the snag in a federal trademark application: the requirement that the mark is used in interstate commerce.

Marijuana producers also are claiming everything they can that doesn’t involve the actual drug. So a marijuana company could trademark its logo or patent a process for packaging something, without mentioning that the ‘‘something’’ is marijuana.

What's in this again?



Marijuana case tests federal banking rules

Church-going marijuana users lose bid

They worship an evergreen tree.

Time to make a plate.

What do you mean you are not hungry?

"The lead singer of the Irish rock band the Cranberries, Dolores O'Riordan, pleaded guilty in Ireland Wednesday to assaulting three police officers and a flight attendant during an alleged psychotic episode last year. Judge Patrick Durcan ordered the singer to write letters of apology to those she attacked. Durcan said he would sentence her early next year. A cabin attendant testified that O'Riordan stomped on her ankle as an Aer Lingus flight from New York landed in Shannon, Ireland, in November 2014. Police said she spat in their faces, head-butted one, and kicked the others (AP)."

They are the Real Deal

So what drugs was she on, or is it in the genes (or is that jeans?).

Need a sip of water?

"Person falls through ice in Littleton trying to rescue drone" by Steve Annear Globe Staff  December 30, 2015

Drones may have been a popular Christmas present this year. But don’t risk your life for them, the Littleton Fire Department said.

On Wednesday, rescue crews rushed to Mill Pond for a report of a person falling through the ice while trying to retrieve a drone that had landed on the partly-frozen surface.

After suiting up in special gear to protect themselves from the cold waters, members of the department determined that no one was in immediate danger or in need of rescue.

But firefighters did spot the drone sitting roughly 100 feet away from the shallow area that was searched.

As firefighters looked around the area, they noticed footprints in the mud leading away from the pond, said Littleton Fire Chief Scott Wodzinski.

Firefighters then followed the footprints, he said, which brought them to a nearby housing development.

Officials spoke there with an individual who confirmed that he and a friend had been flying the drone near the pond Tuesday, when the drone suddenly landed on the ice.

Wodzinski said the individual told firefighters that he and his friend had tried to retrieve the drone Tuesday night, but the ice was too thin, and their efforts were unsuccessful.

“Whoever fell through the ice was able to get out on their own,” said Wodzinski.

To be sure that no one else tried to retrieve the drone from the pond, Wodzinski said, the department sent a firefighter in a special suit, tied to a rope, out onto the ice on his stomach. Once the firefighter was close, he was able to grab the drone before being reeled back in by first responders.

“There were no problems retrieving it,” the chief said.

Wodzinski said the department later returned the drone to its owner. But he cautioned others flying drones in the area to steer clear of Mill Pond, and not to risk their lives for the pricy devices....


Maybe they were trying to delivered a Christmas gift. 

At least they were nowhere near the airport.

First Night is set, so let’s focus on July 4

Yes, it's already 2016 in other parts of the world:

"Belgium arrests two in alleged holiday terror plot" by Milan Schreuer New York Times  December 29, 2015

PARIS — In a series of raids on Sunday and Monday around Brussels, authorities found Islamic State propaganda and military-style uniforms, hardware, and computer equipment in the homes of two suspects.

Same style as Paris.

No arms or explosives were discovered, prosecutors said, the authorities did not identify the suspects, and they have not established any links to the Paris attacks. Four other people were held for questioning before being released.

The authorities said they had found evidence of “serious threats” to multiple locations in Brussels, including the Police Headquarters for the city center and the nearby Brussels central square known as the Grand Place or Grote Markt. It is the city’s biggest tourist attraction, and it is packed with crowds around Christmas.


Tired of the mind-manipulating fear being constantly promoted by authority yet?

Brussels’ alert level was raised to the highest one possible for several days after the November attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people and were carried out mainly by attackers who had connections to Belgium.

Turns out that was all a crisis drill gone live.

On Wednesday, Brussels city leaders are expected to decide whether the annual New Year’s Eve fireworks display, scheduled for another large public square near the Grand Place, should go ahead as scheduled, the AP said.

I wouldn't attend anyway.

The city has since returned to relative normalcy. But the New Year’s Eve festivities, which could draw as many as 50,000 visitors, will be closely guarded by police officers and soldiers, a spokesman for the mayor said. Visitors will not be allowed to bring bottles, pets, or their own fireworks.

Nine men have been charged in Belgium in connection with the Paris attacks, and a global search continues for Salah Abdeslam, a Belgian-born Frenchman who is believed to be the only survivor among those who directly participated in the attacks.

One week after the attacks in Paris, the Belgian authorities expressed concern that the threat of a similar terrorist attack in Brussels was “serious and imminent.”

NATO met in between and nothing happened!

The police raided several homes throughout the country and arrested 16 people, 15 of whom were released the next day without being charged. Although no arms or explosives were found during those raids, the authorities said they had averted a major terrorist attack.

The Paris massacre was carried out by suicide bombers and gunmen equipped with Kalashnikov-style assault rifles. Those attacks were claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Benoit Ramacker, spokesman for the government crisis center, said heightened security measures are planned for the New Year’s Eve celebration at Grand Place, but that at the moment, the Belgian government sees no reason to cancel the popular event, the AP reported.

“We want life to continue despite this risk,” Ramacker said. “So we take security measures that are adapted. But I repeat: If it’s ever necessary, we'll take the decision [to recommend cancellation], even if it’s a difficult one.”

In Britain on Tuesday, a husband and wife who were trying to help the Islamic State were convicted of planning a bombing of civilian targets in London to mark the 10th anniversary of the July 7, 2005, attacks on the city’s transit system.

Mohammed Rehman, 25, and his wife Sana Ahmed Khan, 24, were found guilty at the Old Bailey court. Rehman was also convicted of possessing an article to be used for terrorist purposes. The pair will be sentenced later this week.

The July 7 attacks carried out by four British Muslim suicide bombers killed 52 civilians and injured hundreds more.

It's no laughing matter.


"Ninth person is detained in Belgium over Paris attacks" by Sewell Chan New York Times  December 24, 2015

LONDON — The investigation into the extensive involvement of Belgians in the Paris terrorist attacks widened Thursday with news that a 30-year-old Belgian man had been arrested on terrorism charges.

After weeks of withering criticism of Belgium’s government, the king appealed for unity Thursday, while also warning that there would be “zero tolerance” of extremist preachers. At least 500 Belgians are believed to be fighting alongside Islamic State militants in Iraq or Syria — the most, as a proportion of the population, of any country in the European Union.

The man facing terrorism charges, identified only as Abdoullah C., was detained Tuesday just outside the Molenbeek neighborhood of Brussels, where many of the attackers lived or had ties.

An investigative judge issued an arrest warrant for involvement with “terrorist murders and participation in the activities of a terrorist organization,” according to the federal prosecutor’s office in Brussels. Officials said they had not announced the arrest right away to avoid tipping off possible accomplices.

In addition, a global manhunt continues for Salah Abdeslam, 26, a Belgian-born Frenchman believed to be the only direct participant in the attack who is still alive, and Mohamed Abrini, 30, who was seen on video driving with Abdeslam two days before the attacks.

The Paris attacks prompted intense scrutiny of ineffective and convoluted governance in Belgium, where a vast majority of the attackers had ties.

In his annual Christmas message, which was prerecorded but broadcast on Thursday, King Philippe offered exceptionally blunt remarks....

Who cares what the f***ing king has to say?


"Turkey foils New Year’s terrorist plot, arrests 2" by Suzan Fraser and John-Thor Dahlburg Associated Press  December 30, 2015

ANKARA, Turkey — With less than 48 hours left in 2015, Turkey on Wednesday became the latest country to announce the foiling of a holiday attack plot, detaining two suspected Islamic State militants believed to be planning suicide bombings during New Year celebrations in the capital city’s heart.

‘‘They were caught before they had the opportunity to take action,’’ said the office of the chief prosecutor of Ankara, Turkey’s capital.

In other words, they were betrayed by their government handlers.

In Belgium, an investigation was continuing into what authorities characterized as a ‘‘serious threat’’ of holiday season attacks directed at police, soldiers and popular attractions in the capital city of Brussels. An official close to the investigation, speaking on condition of anonymity because the case is ongoing, told The Associated Press both suspects belong to a motorcycle club, the Kamikaze Riders, which is known for illegal stunts on public roads.


At least one other member of the Kamikaze Riders is known to have been investigated in the past for possible links to Islamic radicalism, but his former lawyer said Wednesday nothing was ever proven.

The pre$$ is killing itself with this laughable garbage!

Abdelouafi Eloussaki, a founding member of the Kamikaze Riders who died in a motorcycle crash in May 2013, had two younger brothers who were members of the radical group Sharia4Belgium. The group recruited fighters for the Islamist cause in Syria and has been designated a terrorist organization in Belgium. Both brothers also went to Syria, were one was killed and the other badly wounded. Attorney Abderrahim Lahlili told the AP his former client was jailed for a time in Belgium after going to Turkey to fetch his wounded sibling and bring him home. But he said Belgian authorities never definitively linked the older Eloussaki to extremist causes.

Belgian media accounts said Eloussaki had once boasted about being caught in France driving at a speed of 146 mph. He reportedly showed no signs of radical extremism, but was a childhood friend of the biker group’s founder, who has been convicted of several holdups and has been named by some Belgian media as one of the attack suspects arrested this week.

Four other people have been questioned in the case but released, Belgian authorities said without providing details.

Belgium has been one of Europe’s leading recruiting grounds for foreign jihadi fighters, and was home to four of the Nov. 13 attackers who killed 130 people in Paris, including suspected ringleader Abdelhamid Abaaoud and fugitive Salah Abdeslam. Nine other people have been arrested in Belgium in investigations linked to the Paris attacks, which were claimed by Islamic State.

On Wednesday, another police search linked to the Paris attacks was carried out in the Molenbeek area of Brussels, and a person detained for questioning, said Thierry Werts, a spokesman for the Federal Prosecutor’s Office.

In France, authorities were also clearly preparing for a possible worst-case scenario on New Year’s. About 60,000 police and troops were to be deployed throughout the country Thursday. The previously scheduled New Year’s Eve fireworks show in Paris has been canceled....


Gee, the terrorists missed the E.U. meeting last month in Turkey, too. 

Happy New Year, readers.


A novel technique to restore a cherished mural at BPL

Dozens take part in free yoga class at Boston Public Library