Romney's Favorite Meatloaf, Life on Mars, and Confessions of a Bicycle Thief

A summary of the best reads found behind the paywall of The New York Times.

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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.

Top Stories: When Abdul Samad came home to discover 11 of his family members massacred by an American soldier, he lost support for the U.S. presence and its effort against the Taliban. The Catholic Church has a new strategy of putting legal pressure on abuse victims' advocacy groups.

New York: Albany's once idealistic promise to have an independent group redraw district lines has broken down, as once again the gerrymandering process falls to partisan lawmakers.

Opinion: In an "opinion documentary," one New Yorker locks up his own bike, then attempts to steal it to see whether anyone will stop him.

Technology: At South by Southwest, an effort to recruit homeless people to walk around with WiFi transmitters has come under fire.

Politics: Nate Silver brings the wizardry usually reserved for predicting political contests to his N.C.A.A. bracket.

U.S.: While oceanographers predict debris from the Japanese tsunami won't hit the west coast for months, those who comb the shoreline for flotsam say they're already picking up items they believe came from Japan.

Sports: John Branch has a long piece documenting the Long Beach State's unlikely trip to the N.C.A.A. tournament.

Food: Mitt Romney didn't get to eat his traditional birthday meal: Meatloaf cakes. But with the recipe printed in the Times, you can taste what the campaign schedule denied him.

Science: As we get closer to resolving the question of whether there's life on Mars, funding cuts might leave us without an answer. John Tierney refines his formula for predicting celebrity break-ups.

Arts: Neil Genzlinger reviews Fashion Star writing that the "addictive little show" actually has a place in a world dominated by Project Runway.

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