Trimming the Times: Centrist Obama; Troubled Robots

A guide to what's in the New York Times for those worried about hitting its pay wall

This article is from the archive of our partner .

Now that the New York Times pay wall is live, you only get 20 free clicks a month. For those worried about hitting their limit, we're taking a look through the paper each morning to find the stories that can make your clicks count.

Leading the home page today, a report on the ongoing federal budget negotiations finds President Barack Obama taking a centrist position in order to get a deal made. And in a high-profile breaking report, Hamid Karzai's half brother, Ahmed Wali Karzai, has been shot and killed in Afghanistan. For us, one of the best reads was the report on robots, and how they advance so quickly in some areas, but so slowly in the realm of mimicking humanity.

World: The Times is really going big on its coverage of the News of the World hacking scandal. The section lead reports that the police officers investigating the hacking had their own phones hacked, in addition to reports on other high-profile hacking victims and News Corp.'s maneuverings on the BSkyB deal. But there's plenty more coverage, including a fascinating report from a village in China that's building its own skyscraper.

U.S.: The sobering report on a massive Southern drought suggests the possibility of a "new Dust Bowl" to go along with the Great Recession. And political history buffs will be interested in the coverage of a collection Robert F. Kennedy's papers, about to be released, and the conflict over housing them at the library named for his famous brother.

Business: For those living in financially strapped small towns, especially, the report on a Rhode Island city teetering on the edge of municipal bankruptcy will be an edgy read. And on the international front, the growing Italian debt crisis has taken its toll on markets abroad, though similar reporting on the subject is widely available from the competition.

Technology: The story might be straight from a press release, but it's still interesting: A new iPhone application can automatically sort your Facebook friends into groups.

Science: There's a fascinating report on the difficulties of making robots that look and act like humans, even as industrial robotics advances at high speed. And in a look at the future of science funding, the news of researchers turning to the Web to ask the public for financial help seems almost natural.

Health: The report on a disappointing effort to combat shingles is a good reminder that simply developing a vaccine isn't enough to curb a disease. In a smaller but much more hopeful story, we learn that a company making AIDS and Hepatitis B drugs has agreed to license them to the patent pool for low-cost reproduction.

Sports: It's very frustrating: One of the reasons to particularly like women's soccer -- the general absence of "flopping," or exaggerating a fall just to get a penalty -- seems to be fading as more and more players indulge in the practice in the Women's World Cup.

Opinion: Rick Perlstein takes to the lead op-ed to make the case for Betty Ford as an important legacy.

Arts: The story to catch here is the architecture review of the China Central Television building, which takes you on an armchair trip to Beijing.

Style: In a fun feature, producers Robert and Michelle King take a look at troubled political couples, in general, through the lens of their hit show, The Good Wife.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.