Attacking Iran, a Chain of Kidneys, and the Most Interesting Obituary in the World

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: An Israeli airstrike on Iran would require 100 planes flying more 1,000 miles over unfriendly territories, an operation more complicated and dangerous than any previous strike they've attempted. The Taliban has turned to kidnapping in Pakistan as a major source of its revenue. A 60-person chain of kidney transplants saved 30 lives as donors gave organs to strangers in exchange for a compatible kidney for a loved one in need.

Technology: The sky is filled with so much space junk that "low Earth orbit" may soon become unusable for satellites and collisions will cause much of that junk to fall back to Earth.

World: Many women from Southern Sudan are trapped and suffering in the North following an independence vote that split the two countries. If America's influence in the world — both good and bad — will wane as foreign policy budgets shrink.

New York: Casey Greenfield, who became famous for a highly-public custody fight after having a baby with a married journalist, is making a new name for herself as a family law specialist for elite professionals.

Books: An excerpt from Anthony Shadid's memoir, which comes out next month. He died on Friday while covering the war in Syria. The story of "The Wrecking Crew" a group of studio musicians who created the music on dozens of the biggest hits of the 1960s.

Politics: A profile of David Plouffe, one of President Obama's most trusted advisors.

U.S.: A mild winter is hurting ice fishing in Minnesota.

TV: More new talk shows are coming to daytime TV, all hoping to take over the post-Oprah world.

Styles: Male fashion accessories (bags, hats, bracelet) are showing record sales growth.

Sports: Why don't young black stars get the same treatment as Tim Tebow and Jeremy Lin? A Jewish-American hockey player whose family was nearly wiped out by the Holocaust is now playing for Germany's national team. It's the 50th anniversary of the first version of the New York Mets, one of the worst baseball teams of all-time.

Obituaries: John Fairfax, who rowed across both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, has the most interesting obituary ever: "At 9, he settled a dispute with a pistol. At 13, he lit out for the Amazon jungle. At 20, he attempted suicide-by-jaguar. Afterward he was apprenticed to a pirate."

Photo Gallery of the Day: “Gerhard Richter: Panorama,” a retrospective of the artist’s work.

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