City Desk

The Needle: ¡Visca el Barça! Edition

Mes Que Un Irritating Bureaucracy: It's not just Capital Bikeshare, pedicabs, and dancers who have a tough time enjoying themselves on the Mall. European soccer champions FC Barcelona, in town to play an exhibition match against Manchester United at FedEx Field tomorrow night, were ordered not to do an informal training session yesterday while wandering around town. "Police authorities informed [Barça] coaching staff that without previous authorization, it was not permitted to run on the Mall," Catalan paper Sport reported. We hope to see Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Shakira paramour Gerard Piqué, and other Barcelona stars at the next rally for greater D.C. autonomy. -1

The Gas Is Too Damn High: Get into a D.C. taxicab these days, and the first thing the driver will do after greeting you is start the meter, then add $1 to the farebox, automatically. That's due to a gas surcharge the transparency-loving Taxicab Commission implemented earlier in the year. The surcharge, as of today, is sticking around a while longer, to Nov. 26. At this point, why not just raise the starting fare to $4? -1

Hot Weather Is A Trend!: Sure, it's 102 degrees out there today, which is a new record. But new heat records now come along every week or so; we're unimpressed. What does impress us a bit is the news that July 2011 is now the the hottest month ever in the District. So far, only six days have had high temperatures below 90 degrees; the average temperature for the month is 83.9 degrees, which includes evening lows, and which is four degrees higher than the usual average for July. At this point, seeing Dennis Quaid wandering down the street wouldn't be surprising. Though actually, given the heat, it'd probably just be a mirage. -2

Hail Victory: The Washington Redskins are the undisputed offseason champions of the modern-day NFL. This year, there's a new reason for July optimism: The team has signed all its draft picks to contracts as training camp gets underway. Does that mean they'll beat the Giants on Sept. 11, when the real games actually start? Well, if past experience is any guide... probably not. But hope is what the preseason's for! +2

Yesterday's Needle rating: 46 Today's score: -2 Friday bonus: +2 Today's Needle rating: 46

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