The first release candidate for version 2.65 of Blender has been launched. It is not quite as stable as many users would wish but it integrates a batch of new features and also does away with plenty of issues affecting various modules.
New in this build is the fire simulation that has been added to the Smoke Simulator. On this note, there is also a smoke flow force field now available, which improves interaction with other simulations.
Cycles Rendering now comes with support for writing custom shaders in the Open Shading Language. Additionally, motion blur effect has been added, allowing moving objects to appear blurry.
As far as mesh modeling is concerned, the bevel tool received plenty of improvements and a new symmetrize tool is available. The full set of new features is available here.
The development team plans to roll out a second release candidate this week, one that should eliminate a known crash bug as well as a bunch of other showstoppers.