Trimming the Times: Assad in Trouble; Met Miracle

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.

The home page leads with a report from Syria, where embattled President Bashar Assad has stayed ahead of a popular uprising, but may not survive a recession coupled with economic sanctions. Also high on the page, a feature on New York City's Department of Design and Construction gives some neat background on a new crop of design-forward city buildings popping up around town. And we're clapping for the lead Arts story, about the financial windfall for New York's Metropolitan Opera.

World: The lead story, on the sentencing of former Ukranian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, is quite fascinating but also available elsewhere. The reports from Surt, where Libyan forces continue to battle Qaddafi loyalists, are worth the click as NATO finds itself surprised at the loyalists' tenacity. And check out the report of a terrifying-sounding shoot out over drugs on the Mekong river, which caused Chinese officials to suspend boat traffic there.

U.S.: The two stories high on the page, about drug-testing requirements for welfare and a dispute over such testing at a college make a good read together as a starting point to discussing the ethics of such mandatory testing. In a completely different sphere, the unexplained story on a shortage of Gulf shrimp is worth the click, though it's a frustrating read. And while you're down south, check out the account of the seven people rescued after 20 hours adrift near the Florida Keys.

Business / Technology: Check out the lead story, on large banks getting into the headhunting business on behalf of their hedge fund clients. And the Media Decoder blog has some good analysis on the demise of Netflix's Qwikster, which it compares to New Coke.

Science: There are some gems in today's section, including the report on scientists mining vast stores of Internet data to try to predict revolutions and other social phenomena, and a unique study finds a personal benefit to the sensation of envy, but also a drawback after it wears off.

Sports: The big news, of course, is the cancellation of the NBA season's first two weeks over a contract dispute with the players' union, but you can find that anywhere, of course. Rather, get immersed in the MLB playoff coverage, with the Rangers' victory over the Tigers and the Cardinals' trouncing of the Brewers.

Opinion: Frank Bruni has the lead op-ed, arguing that the way candidates are characterizing their rivals in the Massachusetts senate race is over-simplified, with an overly simplistic "bingo" graphic to accompany the piece.

Arts: The lead story is the one you want to click, describing the financial miracle at New York's Metropolitan Opera, where donations for fiscal year 2010-2011 surpassed the previous year by 50 percent and the company balanced its budget for the first time in seven years.

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