City Desk

The Needle: Lion Love Edition

What To Expect When Lions Are Expecting: National Zoo officials say Shera and Nababiep, their two female lions, are both pregnant. The only male lion in Woodley Park, Luke, is the father. Apparently, things get exciting at the Zoo after hours! (Or at least, officials think things get exciting; the pregnancy may be only imaginary. "There's always room for error," great cats acting curator Craig Saffoe says.) If the diagnosis is correct, lion cubs could arrive by the end of this month. Remember, Shera and Nababiep: As Smithsonian employees, you're eligible for the federal government's generous family leave and day-care reimbursement policies. +3

Lobster Mobs: About 50 people lined up in Farragut Square well before the Red Hook Lobster Pound arrived for its debut on the D.C. food truck scene. At least they finally arrived; on Tuesday, when the truck originally planned to hit the streets, almost that many people stood in line in vain before the lobster gurus reported they wouldn't be showing up, after all. Fortunately, the prices—$15 for a lobster roll—may keep the lines from getting too out of hand for too long. (Unfortunately, the people who have the time to spend more than an hour waiting for lunch may not have jobs to help fund their lobster purchases.) +5

Hey, Hey, Hey—Fat Albert Backslides: Things were going so nicely for Albert Haynesworth after he finally passed the Redskins fitness test. He was getting along (reasonably well) with head coach Mike Shanahan; he played in the team's first preseason game against Buffalo. Apparently, that second quarter of effort was too much for the Redskins' $31 million man, as he's now missed two straight practices. Team officials say "dehydration" is to blame. In case you're wondering, at $31 million, Haynesworth's salary could pay for 100,000 years of annual Fiji water delivery. -4

Inane Mosque Battle Moves South: First Michael Bloomberg was besieged with questions about why he believes in First Amendment rights even for Muslims at an Adrian Fenty campaign event. Now a chapel at the Pentagon may be coming under scrutiny because there, too, Muslims are allowed to pray even though terrorists attacked the building on 9/11. And as everyone who watches cable news or reads Charles Krauthammer knows, there's an exception in the Bill of Rights for people you don't like. The only thing worse than watching this absurd pseudo-controversy  unfold in the national media would be watching it unfold in the local media. -3

Yesterday's Needle rating: 40 Today's score: +1 Today's Needle rating: 41

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