We're using 2.4, but the steps are much the same as far as I am aware:
1) Site administration > Front page > Front page settings
2) Locate the Front page drop-down menus that indicate "The items selected above will be displayed on the site's front page" (the implication is that they are visible before a user logs in). Choose News items as one of your choices.
3) For News items to show you can set the number of posts to display.
4) Click the Save changes button at the bottom of the page.
As for blocks on the landing page:
1) On the site's landing page (site home, or front page), click Turn editing on.
2) From the Add a block menu choices, choose any you wish to add to the front page.
3) Reposition the block and tweak the configuration settings as desired.